Wrong argument May 27, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Ian O’Doherty writes in the Independent about Eagles of Death Metal singer Jesse Hughes who was in the Bataclan the night of the attack in November. Some will have noted that Hughes has been making problematic statements subsequently. O’Doherty suggests that:
…their singer Jesse Hughes (pictured) has enraged French liberals with his subsequent comments. Hughes is a compelling figure – pro-life, pro-gun and pro-Trump, he was always an unlikely ally of the French and, speaking to journalist Gavin McInnes last week, he repeated his claims that the Bataclan was an inside job: “There’s no denying the terrorists were already inside, and they had to get in somehow. Why was the (backstage) door left open?”
The singer then seemed to further insult his French former friends when he added: “One girl got up and said she was scared. The guy said, ‘Don’t be scared, you’ll be dead in two minutes’, and then he shot her. I saw fear fall like a blanket on the whole crowd and they fell like wheat in the wind.”
It’s interesting to note that Hughes, who was covered in blood after the carnage having been splattered in the attack, has also admitted he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, yet he remains steadfast in his view that gun control and cowardice are Europe’s two biggest flaws and believes that “fear of offending Muslims is the terrorists’ greatest weapon”.
People can agree or disagree with what Hughes has to say.
What they cannot deny is that he was literally centre stage when the attack happened and if anybody has earned the right to have an opinion on the events of that night, it is surely him.
But the organisers of the festivals decided that his comments were racist and they cancelled the bookings.
Except, except, except,being there doesn’t gift him authority to make inaccurate statements or allegations. And that is what the ones in relation to the ‘terrorists already inside… why was the backdoor left open?’ with its explicit suggestion that there was collusion on the part of those working in the Bataclan has caused such offence and the one directly responsible for the festivals deciding not to host him (and as someone who has been at gigs for forty or so years I find it odd that he would think it curious that some doors were left open – and he hasn’t thought this through either, the fact that doors could be left open was in part pivotal to the survival of people that night). Not so much his thoughts on guns and Trump which have, hitherto largely been neither here nor there.
It’s not difficult to find this out, but then O’Doherty doesn’t seem to find it difficult to, and I phrase this carefully, find a most unusual and perhaps not entirely accurate line of argument in all this.
Indeed he himself then sets out on a path that runs parallel to that of Hughes.
The response fits easily into the framework of mixed-up reactions that have characterised Europe’s handling of terrorists who want to drag us all back to the Middle Ages.
We are all heartily sick of the proliferation of silly social media hashtags to signify fatuous solidarity with the victims of whatever the latest terrorist atrocity happens to be.
However, the decision to effectively censor a band who went through an unspeakable ordeal and then expressed an inconvenient opinion could be seen as the most ridiculous case of victim-blaming anyone has seen for some time.
If that was what it was that would be appalling but spreading inaccuracies, deeply wounding inaccuracies does no one any good. I’ve enormous sympathy for Hughes (indeed quite apart from that I’ve always been a fan of EODM and seen them live myself) but that doesn’t allow him to escape criticism.
“It’s easy to see why his comments are causing so much hurt. Unlike a politician, his fans have invested time and emotion into a band whose music they buy and gigs they attend. There is a rapport between a band and its fans, some of which are dedicated followers. They already feel like they know him. This rapport is strengthened still as Hughes is a fellow survivor and the compassion extended in the community of survivors is also extended to him. Comments in the media like his are a stomach punch to those fans, especially when they are still dealing with their own trauma. He is alienating the very people who helped him get where he is. At his return gig at L’Olympia he expressed his love for the people of Paris yet his words bite into still raw wounds and he doesn’t appear to see the hurt they cause.”