Eddie Vedder Explains Controversial Anti-War Speech in New Open Letter
Published Jul 17, 2014Following the mixed reactions Eddie Vedder received over a recent in-concert speech critical of war, the Pearl Jam vocalist has gone ahead and tried to explain his political position further via an open letter.
As previously reported, Vedder delivered a speech during a UK concert last week that damned war practices, criticizing those "looking for a reason to kill."
"They're looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn't belong to them. They should get the fuck out, and mind their own fucking business," he said, leading some to interpret his speech as a missive on the Israeli-Palestine conflict. The Jerusalem Post branded his speech as an "anti-Israel diatribe," while fans both berated and supported his words over on Facebook.
Now, in a blog post titled "Imagine That — I'm Still Anti-War," Vedder notes that he's against conflict across the board.
"With about a dozen assorted ongoing conflicts in the news everyday [sic], and with the stories becoming more horrific, the level of sadness becomes unbearable," he wrote, adding, "War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on."
The essay goes on to quote John Lennon and affirm that Vedder will continue to speak out against war, noting, "That's not something I'm going to stop anytime soon. Call me naïve. I'd rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution."
You'll find Vedder's post in full down below:
Most of us have heard John Lennon sing
"You may say I'm a dreamer,… but I'm not the only one."
And some of us, after another morning dose of news coverage full of death and destruction, feel the need to reach out to others to see if we are not alone in our outrage. With about a dozen assorted ongoing conflicts in the news everyday, and with the stories becoming more horrific, the level of sadness becomes unbearable. And what becomes of our planet when that sadness becomes apathy? Because we feel helpless. And we turn our heads and turn the page.
Currently, I'm full of hope. That hope springs from the multitudes of people that our band has been fortunate enough to play for night after night here in Europe. To see flags of so many different nations, and to have these huge crowds gathered peacefully and joyfully is the exact inspiration behind the words I felt the need to emphatically relay. When attempting to make a plea for more peace in the world at a rock concert, we are reflecting the feelings of all those we have come in contact with so we may all have a better understanding of each other.
That's not something I'm going to stop anytime soon. Call me naïve. I'd rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution.
The majority of humans on this planet are more consumed by the pursuit of love, health, family, food and shelter than any kind of war.
War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on.
With all the global achievements in modern technology, enhanced communication and information devices, cracking the human genome, land rovers on Mars etc., do we really have to resign ourselves to the devastating reality that conflict will be resolved with bombs, murder and acts of barbarism?
We are such a remarkable species. Capable of creating beauty. Capable of awe-inspiring advancements. We must be capable of resolving conflicts without bloodshed.
I don't know how to reconcile the peaceful rainbow of flags we see each night at our concerts with the daily news of a dozen global conflicts and their horrific consequences. I don't know how to process the feeling of guilt and complicity when I hear about the deaths of a civilian family from a U.S. drone strike. But I know that we can't let the sadness turn into apathy. And I do know we are better off when we reach out to each other.
"I hope someday you'll join us,…"
Won't you listen to what the man said.
— Eddie Vedder