Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Macca: Calm down, calm down

The uproar at the slightly-unpopular decision of Paul McCartney to nip over to Tel Aviv to play a gig has finally prompted McCartney to issue a "hey, folks, can't we all get along" style statement:

“Me and the band are really looking forward to this one. It’s the first time I have ever been to Israel, or really that part of the world so I am very interested to look around and look at the situation, just personally. I am going to be interested as a tourist just to look around and meet the people.”

Although, of course, he won't be going on a tourist visa. He's going to be earning cash, but carry on, Paul:
“Music can help people to just calm them down. I also think it can be very interesting for change,” McCartney says. “I always cite a John (Lennon) song ‘Give Peace A Chance’; if you watch the footage from back then, about a million people outside the White House chanting that song to Nixon inside the White House, I think that had an effect."

Sorry - did I suggest he was going to earn cash? No, no, he's going to make the "people" "calm down". Interestingly, in this he actually seems to be siding with the Palestinians - after all, if the idea is to play tunes to those who need to, you know, take a deep breath and count to ten, and he's not going to play a gig on the West Bank, that would imply it's only the Israelis that need to be becalmed by hearing Band On The Run played love.

Where his defence breaks down is that the chanting at Nixon didn't have an effect so much as the grinding daily images of dead American soldiers being flown back to the US and the escalating costs of fighting a doomed war; and even if the chanting had had an effect, it would have been because it was a targeted chant with a simple message. It's hard to see how getting people to hum along with Press To Play is going to bring about an end to hostilities.