Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Oils on World Cafe

fish_oil@space.com fish_oil@space.com
Mon, 29 Apr 2002 12:14:03 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 29 April 2002, Kelly Morris wrote

> Personally I don't think he sounds like a sell out at
> all.  That's a harsh judgement on someone who has 
> done so much.

And who continues to be more active than most of the
people who criticize him (myself included.) I didn't
intend it as a slam against Mr Garrett, or you for that
matter. I think you raised a very worthwhile point. At
49 years of age, Mr Garrett has certainly done his
share to make the world a better place. In addition to
raising a family, lecturing, heading the ACF, etc. his
commitment to changing the world spills into and lends
passion to his music.

> I think you are confusing the band members'
> personal opinions and concerns about the world with
> the band's motives itself.

Yeah, I'm afraid I am. It's a conscious choice. The two
seem inseparable in my mind. Midnight Oil IS these men
and everything they believe in. That's what makes them
different from every other band. I realize that the
whole is much more than the sum of its parts, but the
component parts are all there and always present in the
music. All that stuff about being 'true to art' first
is just talking shit to me. Sorry. I'm afraid I don't
get it. A band's first responsibility is to be true to
themselves IMO. And the Oils have long ago waded into
the political fray (thankfully). If they choose to back
off now, that's cool. I just don't like the idea of
hiding it behind some vague notion of being true to
art, as though that's more important than changing the
world. It begs the question of the purpose of art. Is
it simply some cathartic process that serves only the
artist? Is it about laying bare reality? In whos'
service is this? The artist's? The community's? I don't
have any corner on truth here, but that's how I read
it. And for some reason I refuse to think of the Oils
as mere artsy entertainment. That may be MY problem.

> All Pete was saying was
> that the band does not exist to spread a message
> around the world.  It exists first to make music.  
> However, it's natural for the band's opinions to
> appear in their music.  People write what they know
> and what they care about.

To what end do people write or care? To know and be
known? Or to share concerns, passions, etc. in order to
Bring On the Change? Maybe the medium is the message
for mass cultural consumption, but I hope to God
there's more to it for any who choose to go deeper...

> Maybe it will help put his comments into a
> better context.
> This is word for word by the way, so if you don't 
> like what he says, don't attack me.

Thanks for taking the time to post this. THe context is
helpful. Please don't take the flame personally, they
were directed not at you personally, but at the
comments, and the implication that we are such pin
heads that we don't get it and need our noses rubbed in
it, or that we don't know our political arses from
chads and dimples. REst assured that if I ever manage
to meet the esteemed Mr Garrett I'll see if I can't
straighten him out about who he REALLY is, how he
SHOULD behave himself, and what the band OUGHT to be
doing.   ;)
     Meanwhile, we continue to "kick at the darkness
'til it bleeds daylight."

Best wishes,


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