Bramovich: Oy, Bono… be like James Taylor and boycott the Philippines!

Let’s talk about James Taylor’s recent decision to cancel his Philippine concert (as we recently reported here).

The American singer-songwriter said the reason for his decision was the bloody and pointless war on drugs being waged by self-confessed murderer and former fentanyl abuser, Rodrigo Duterte.

“I don’t think of my music as being particularly political,” he said, “but sometimes one is called upon to make a political stand.”

Good for you, sir.

Now it’s time for Coldplay and U2 to follow suit. I’m not the only one, either:

While I’m not a particular Coldplay geek, I am a huge U2 fan and was planning on reviewing the concert for PLN (a perk of this job I was rather looking forward to). My personal taste in music aside, I don’t think that any major acts should bother coming to Manila.

I’d much rather see them go to places like Hong Kong (where Taylor is still playing). Why do I think that acts should boycott the Philippines? For the same reason that I wholeheartedly support the recent decision by the Millennium Challenge Corporation with regard to giving the country it’s next round of aid.

Why is that? It brings the conversation away from all the back and forth about domestic politics and instead starts to focus the narrative on consequences.

Mr Duterte, there are consequences to your actions. As I wrote in a previous column about Newton’s third law. You can’t have expected not to get any blowback from your hardline approach, your murderous words and your heinously irresponsible comments. (Or were you “just joking”?)

I hope that the community continues to cancel major events and withdraw aid. I hope that you experience what it is to have China steal the natural resources of the country in return for a huge amount of debt (that’s supposed to work the other way around by the way – when someone buys property they carry the debt, you really messed that one right up).

At the end of the day I’d very much like to see serious, high level economic sanctions put in place by every single western country and international organization that you have gone out of your way to offend.

You have admitted to murder, those murders apparently happened while you were mayor. I doubt they’re covered by your current presidential immunity, I also doubt that you can pardon yourself for atrocities committed at your hand while you were a lowly mayor.

You seem to have convinced yourself that, not only can you do whatever you like, but that every bad decision you’ve ever made is somehow forgiven because you got elected

All I can say in reference to Taylor’s cancellation is that at least the Beatles came before the Marcos regime put them off ever returning.

Beatles in Manila, Philippines (1966)

In 1966, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr brought Beatlemania to Manila. Unfortunately for the Fab Four, the mania they encountered morphed into madness.As soon as we got there, it was bad news, George Harrison said in a video clip from a documentary on the Beatles. It was a very negative vibe.The trouble began when the Marcoses & Imelda in particular, apparently decided that they would show off by throwing a party in honor of the Beatles. There was one problem: their would-be guests weren't interested. The group politely declined the invitation, and didn't show up.The reaction from the Marcoses was swift and, as the Beatles later recalled, scary.The band was denounced for supposedly snubbing the Marcoses. Then their security detail disappeared. This was followed, according to one account, by organized troublemakers attacking their car, banging on the windows and threatening them?a crude, scary version of People Power.When the Beatles were at the Manila International Airport, preparing to leave the country, McCartney recalled in a TV interview, We got pushed around from one corner of the lounge to the other.John Lennon remembered people yelling at them, You're treated like ordinary passenger! Ordinary passenger!? There was also kicking and booing and shouting, Lennon added.Asked by a reporter if he got kicked, Lennon quipped, No, I was very delicate, and moved every time they touched me.In another clip, Ringo Starr recalled how a story went around about John and I hiding behind these nuns because it's a Catholic country and they won't beat up the nuns.In a way, the incident sheds some light on how the Marcos regime began. Some have argued that Marcos actually began as a well-meaning, inspiring leader, but he eventually lost his way after he got drunk with power.But the Beatles-Manila nightmare, which took place a year after Marcos first became president, paints a different picture.For it shows that, just shortly after getting a taste of power, Marcos and Imelda were already more than willing to it, flaunt it and turn it against anyone who dared to defy them even a group of world-famous musicians.Copyright 2011 by Benjamin Pimentel Source: Inquirer.netI DO NOT OWN THIS VIDEO. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

Posted by Counterthink on Friday, June 14, 2013