In a fawning profile of Patti Smith, the grande dame of bohemian pretension, an interviewer from England’s Telegraph raved about “all her colours, her raging but formed opinions, her uncompromising spirit, the torrent of words and art and music that have poured from her for more than 40 years.” Here is one of Smith’s raging opinions, albeit more uninformed than formed: “We can live with terrorism.”
For those who are blissfully ignorant of Patti Smith’s putative artistic genius, her creative “torrent” includes poetry, artwork, and music of negligible impact and popularity. Her sole appearance on the musical charts, for example, is 1978’s “Because the Night,” a song written by superstar Bruce Springsteen with some lyrical additions by Smith.
Nonetheless, her “Godmother of Punk” persona and her association with more talented figures of hipster adoration like pornographic photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and heroin-fueled novelist William Burroughs have earned her a National Book Award for Nonfiction (for her name-dropping memoir Just Kids), an Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Minister of Culture, and a slot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Do such awards even have any credibility anymore? Barack Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize, for Pete’s sake.
Fellow Hall of Famer Mick Jagger once famously said of Smith, “I think she’s so awful… She’s full of rubbish, she’s full of words and crap. I mean, she’s a poseur of the worst kind, intellectual bullshit.” And yet her aura of artsy cool has many believing that she has had a seminal cultural influence. It’s similar to the delusional reverence sometimes accorded Yoko Ono, whose notable influence on pop culture was breaking up The Beatles.
Asked in the Telegraph interview about the political scene in the States, Smith expressed a dissatisfaction with the radical Obama that is typical of far-leftists, who complain that he hasn’t been radical enough:
I voted for Obama. I was very happy when he won. But Obama hasn’t really been able to effectively do anything that has made me… [pause] He hasn’t helped the environment. He didn’t close Guantánamo Bay. He went deeper into Afghanistan.
But, Smith explains, that was all because Obama has simply continued the line peddled by “the last regime.” George W. Bush, whose impeachment Smith lobbied for, “completely embedded the idea that the most important issue in the whole world is terrorism. It’s not the most important issue in the world,” she says with what the interviewer described as “a solemn shake of her head.” Actually, when you have an avowed enemy who is literally hellbent on killing you, other issues tend to go on the backburner. But the only time progressives take terrorism seriously is when they’re accusing America of it.
And predictably, Smith is as much of a lemming as any anti-war progressive when it comes to blaming America and Israel for war crimes and atrocities. Activists like Smith are not anti-war; they are anti-America. If they were truly anti-war they would protest both parties to a conflict. Wake me when Smith and her ilk start denouncing the Taliban or Hamas.
She expounded further on her “raging but formed opinion” about terrorism:
And I’ve said this over and over, but I’ll say it a million more times — I’m concerned more about the death of a bee than I am about terrorism. Because we’re losing hives and bees by the millions because of such strong pesticides. We can live with terrorism. We can’t live without the bee.
In all fairness, this isn’t quite as inane as it first sounds. Bees do play a very significant role in plant pollination; the bee population has apparently declined sharply in recent years, and their extinction would have a dramatic impact on the food chain (how dramatic is debatable, but to suggest that humanity will end – in four years, according to one estimate! – is typical environmentalist hysteria). Claiming that this somehow renders terrorism insignificant and harmless is dangerous nonsense, typical of the left’s denial of any threat from America’s existential enemies.
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