Recently a friend attended a Pearl Jam concert. At one point, the lead singer of the band, Eddie Vedder, went on a political rant in praise of the Democratic Party and generally trash-talking the Republicans as if they were the Lords of Mordor.
A concert-goer a few rows down from my friend shouted, “shut the fuck up and play some music.” The man closest to the shouter shoved him hard from behind, nearly knocking him off his feet. (The whole audience stood for most of the concert.) A minor pushing match ensued that wound down, but that wasn’t enough for other concert goers. One woman felt the need to shout at the man who wanted to hear music at a rock concert. When security showed up and asked who started it, all the Pearl Jam fans in the immediate vicinity pointed to the guy who had been physically assaulted. The troublemaker who wanted to hear music was then escorted out of the arena. The man who committed the assault was allowed to remain, I assume because he committed the assault for the right (or actually “left”) reason. The message here was that violence is okay to the left if it is perpetrated against people on the right.
It goes without saying that profanity-filled whoops and yells (which included words like “motherfucker” shouted during a song by a band member) were commonplace at the concert and, except for this one occasion, generated no controversy.
I’ve posed this question before but it’s time to pose it again: remember when liberals liked quoting Voltaire’s line, “I may disagree with what you say, but I defend with my life your right to say it”?
It seems like a world away when the left really was the anti-establishment, but were confident that the future belonged to them.