A reader writes:
I would just like to point out that the lead singer of Midnight Oil, Peter Garrett, has been an MP in Australia since 2004 and has served in two ministerial positions. While the song may indeed be preachy, this is not your typical "Rock Star Preaching." At least Garrett had the guts to place his ideas before the electorate and has tried to make substantive changes in Australian politics and policy.
I think the nomination of "Beds are Burning" for pretentious pop song is a mistake.
You can nominate Midnight Oil for being preachy, perhaps, but that's pretty much their entire catalogue. They also put their money/time where their mouth is. The lead singer has run for office and the band has been activist in support of indigenous causes for years. To be nominated for "shut up and sing", I think it has to be sufficiently inauthentic/pretentious earnestness. One can be annoyed with a bunch of rich white guys singing about Aborigine issues, but I'm guessing it's not quite what you were after, considering the honest efforts they've put forth to actually address some of the issues they've sung about.
Indeed, Garrett spent some six years as president of Australia's Conservation federation and has been on the international board of Greenpeace. Just because we do not want actors or rock stars or athletes to preach to us because they are actors or rock stars or athletes, it does not invalidate the commitment of some of them who, in this case, went on to do considerably more to tackle political issues than blogs or bitchy anonymous commenters.
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