I don't make a habit of reading Dave Bidini, columnist for the National Post. Saturday's article caught my eye: "Dear Roger Waters or a Boys View of Pink Floyd." He appears to be enthralled with rock concerts yet at the same time a little embarrassed because he wrote of his affection for Roger and Pink Floyd through the voice of his son.
I think Mr. Bidini has attended too many concerts -- very loud concerts that perhaps have affected his ability to think clearly. His idol worshiping had passed its freshness date. He's taken idol worship to a new low.
Moving beyond the gushing star-struck comments he made about Waters through the lips of his son, Bidini's love of Roger Water's music has blinded him to Roger Waters, the man. Bidini failed his son as a parent when he didn't address his son's questions about Roger Waters' comments comparing Israeli Soldiers to Nazis that appeared on emails on his homepage. Rather than discuss the vile, anti-Semitic comments, he told his son, I'm paraphrasing, that an artist's job is to provoke the world by giving controversial opinions.
One can applaud Mr. Water's for his desire to bring suffering to the forefront, but what Bidini left out is that the artist, like anyone else, should base his opinion on indisputable facts, not personal feelings. That being a famous artist who entertains the crowd with a giant pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with the Star of David, a well-known Jewish symbol, appearing amongst symbols for fascism, dictatorships and oppression of people, soaring overhead as part of the ambiance of the experience of the concert, doesn't make your opinions correct or of greater value than those not on stage.
When Bidini's son said he had studied Hitler and evil in school that was Bidini's opportunity, as a parent, to tell him that the comparison between Israeli Soldiers and Nazis was despicable. That as a consumer of social media it was important not to believe everything that one reads online. One must become a discerning consumer of information.
He should have told his son that Nazis had board meetings to discuss the establishment of a military-industrial complex whose sole purpose was the extermination of Europe's 18 million Jews -- just for being Jews -- and that today there are those who loudly and proudly say they regret Hitler didn't complete the job.
Bidini didn't. Instead he fell back on politically correct moral relativism, moral equivalency, perhaps to defend his hero, his brother in music, Roger.
He didn't tell his son about other artists like Paul McCartney, Eric Burden, Alicia Keys, Deep Purple, Rihanna, Madonna, Moby, the Pet Shop Boys, Aerosmith, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Barbra Streisand, who vehemently disagree with Waters' views.
He didn't tell him about the famous African Albino pop artist Salif Keita, the Golden Voice of Africa who has released 20 albums in a career spanning four decades but due to threats on his life and career from BDS, an organization supported by Waters, his management team cancelled his appearance at the Sacred Music Festival in Israel and his visit to Hadassah Hospital and Albinism Treatment Center.
Their research on albinism in the black population helps people who rely on Keita's foundation which deals with the stigma of being an African albino, black with white skin, as these people endure persecution, social isolation, murder, human rights violations, denial of fair access to education, as well as to healthcare and employment.
Did he suggest he read about Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, a black man who grew up under South African apartheid and travels the world debunking the myth of Israeli apartheid?
Did he talk to him about Simon Deng, a black Christian from the Sudan who begs the UN to stop attacking Israel and put their efforts into protecting his people, black Christians, sold into slavery by Arab Muslims?
Did Bidini do anything to teach his son that not all artists are to be worshiped: that just because you can sing doesn't mean your opinions have value.
Biidind let his own "idol worship" of musicians blind him to his obligation to his son to teach him the importance of verifying "facts," especially those spewed by famous artists, whose fame has nothing to do with their acumen in politics or parsing the machinations of good and evil.