Art vs. “Art”

Steve Earle, “John Walker’s Blues”

I remember when this caused a bit of a shit-storm not long after 9/11.  Written from the perspective of American-turned-Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh, it’s a nuanced, thoughtful attempt to understand why exactly a white American male with a comfortable childhood could have been drawn to radical Islam:

“I’m just an American boy raised on MTV
And I’ve seen all those kids in the soda pop ads
But none of ’em looked like me
So I started lookin’ around for a light out of the dim
And the first thing I heard that made sense was the word
Of Mohammed, peace be upon him”

This is pretty much the opposite of what Amanda Palmer did/tried to do.  Seriously, there’s nothing worse than people excusing their bad taste with the expression “You don’t understand my art!”

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