During the Vietnam War, there was a great deal of public opposition by musicians to the war. So far, during this war, it seems that musical personalities as voices for peace have been strangely absent. I find myself wondering if this is because there isn't opposition to the war in the musical community, people are scared to speak up or maybe they are speaking up but they're being ignored by the media. I suspect it could be all of the above to varying degrees, but I have a feeling that the last reason may well be the biggest factor. There have been a few blips here and there: The Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle and Neil Young are a few that come to mind, although Mr. Young said in an interview that he only objects to the Iraq war, not the war in Afghanistan and only The Dixie Chicks seemed to attract any attention, mostly negative, from the media. For the record, I wrote and recorded the song "Impeach the Moron" [go to my sidebar if you want to listen to it] before Neil Young released "Let's Impeach The President."
As I see it, the lack of media attention to almost all forms of opposition to the war has been very deliberate and the anti-war movement of the 60s proved that music in particular is capable of being inspirational. It can bring people together, energize them and sometimes get people to think about events in a different way, but only if people can hear it. Thus, someone like Bruce Springsteen, as popular as he is, can only truly reach people in person. It's quite a dilemma.
I was thinking about that the other day when I came across this YouTube video of Brian Eno, who, in my opinion, is the most influential yet relatively unknown musician in the history of recorded music, speaking at a demonstration in the UK.
There is another video of Brian Eno (see it here, it's a bit longer and he's mostly reading pieces by other people) addressing a different demonstration that was declared illegal by the British government. It pleased me to find that Mr. Eno, who strikes me as something of a recluse, is speaking out in spite of the potential legal consequences, but where is the media coverage? One of the most influential musicians in the world speaks at a demonstration and no one knows about it? Times have certainly changed. It's no wonder that people feel discouraged.