When Rock Stars Attack!  A Message to Roger Waters

Thank goodness for rock stars!  If they’re not ridding the world’s hotels of unwanted televisions by selflessly tossing them out windows into swimming pools, they’re devoting themselves to acts of spectacular self-righteousness.  Take Roger Waters.  Please.  Preferably somewhere far, far away where he doesn’t have access to the Internet or humanity more generally.  Somewhere where he’ll be required to keep his thoughts to himself.

Roger Waters used to play bass for Pink Floyd.  Until, that is, he left in 1985.  Since then, his major hobbies have included being ridiculously rich and foisting his ill-informed opinions on anyone unfortunate enough to possess a working set of ears.  Frankly, he’s the kind of dinner guest that makes you want to hide in the broom closet, lest you should be stuck listening to his incessant waffle all night as you try and keep your food down.

Roger, apparently, has a view on the current invasion of Ukraine.  I suppose that’s true for lots of people.  But instead of dribbling his useless, malformed opinions on other late night bar patrons after him performing a bass rendition of ‘I Wish You Were Here’ on open-mic Tuesday, Roger decided he should share them with the United Nations Security Council. 

Getting up and addressing the UN Security Council isn’t something you or I can do whenever the mood takes us.  In fact, it’s not something that even Roger Waters – despite his wealth, privilege and the fact that he knows Van Morrison – can do at the drop of a hat.  He went because he was invited to go.  By Russia.

Some invitations should be treated with suspicion.  In the case of Roger Waters, he should certainly be pickier as to the invitations he takes up.  For someone who advocates boycotting Israel, his willingness to accept an invitation from Russia is not so much disappointing as it is head-smackingly bizarre.

For those who are unaware, Russia is currently controlled by certified cretin and former shirtless back up dancer for Soviet pop sensations ‘Tatu’, Vladimir Putin.  A lying ruthless autocrat responsible for misery and mayhem the world over, he’s essentially a super-villain who’s only missing a hairless cat to stroke as he chuckles maniacally.  Vladimir Putin is not the kind of person you want to invite you for a day out at the United Nations.  Not under any circumstance.  Nevertheless, he called and Roger came-a-running.  The fool.

Here’s a tip – when invited by a murderous tyrant to address the Security Council, give careful thought to saying ‘no’.  You’re not being asked because they drew your name out of a hat.  Roger Waters hadn’t won a prize.  He was asked so that whatever he said would benefit those who asked him to come in the first place.  Tragically, he made the mistake of thinking he’d been asked by Russia because they were genuinely fascinated to hear what he had to say.  As though they’d never heard any of his solo works.

I’m sure he saw this as his chance to promote peace or, alternatively, a new single.  He’s desperately unqualified.  Pink Floyd are not known for being peaceful.  If anything, they’re infamous for their intensely visceral hatred for other.  They’re the kind of band who’d spend days squabbling over what kind of sandals to wear. 

Perhaps I’m being too harsh.  Maybe Roger Waters is trying to diversify, now that interest in seeing yet another touring rendition of ‘The Wall’ is waning.  I can imagine his newly printed business card – ‘Roger Waters: Bass player, diplomat at large.’  As for the speech itself, he conceded the invasion was illegal but described it as ‘not unprovoked’. 

This is possibly the stupidest thing anyone’s said to the Security Council since Henry Kissinger recited the lyrics to Rogers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cock-Eyed Optimist’ in an ultimately futile attempt to persuade Mao Zedong to crack a smile.  It is a substantial irony that a man who once penned the words ‘We don’t need no education’ feels compelled to be both uninformed and opinionated.  It’s a terrible combination.

You’ve probably gathered that I’m annoyed with Roger Waters.  To be silly enough to do the bidding of a foul and despicable tyrant and the man most likely to steal pretzels from a child is one thing.  But to suggest a country that has been ruthlessly invaded, its people massacred and way of life generally blown to smithereens somehow had it coming is simply unforgivable.  I’m so enraged that if I had ever listened to Roger Waters’ music, I’d vow never to do so again.

 What’s next?  If Roger Waters can address the UN Security Council, can we expect to see Britney Spears as a member of the AFL Tribunal?  Snoop Dogg at Senate Estimates?  Now that would be something.  But if I could say just one thing to former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters it would be this: please stop.  Now.