Elvis Costello, Lord of the Idiots

Here is musician Elvis Costello talking to Israel’s Channel 2 only a  few weeks ago, expressing the view that he believes in cultural dialogue and that an artist should perform anywhere except for in totalitarian states which would censor the words in his songs.

Of course, Costello subsequently canceled his upcoming concerts in Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

To quote the lyrics of one of Costello’s own songs:

Oh I used to be disgusted
and now I try to be amused

32 thoughts on “Elvis Costello, Lord of the Idiots”

    1. Michael Zvi Krumbein

      Turkey is considered Europe. I don’t know about Lebanon today, and Iraq is on probation until we pull out.

      1. Thats unusual. I would classify it as Middle East. Istanbul being Europe. And I am pretty sure thats almost universal to do so.

        Lebanon I think has some convoluted democracy. Speaking of Lebanon, I finally met a Druze online. She is a Lebanese Druze. She hates Hezbollah and seems sympathetic, if not supportive, of Israel. Next time I talk to her, Ill invite her here to give her views. Oh and she also says they dont consider themselves Arab or Muslim. 😉

        1. Michael Zvi krumbein

          Istanbul is in Turkey, no? And they are in NATO, and the Czar called the Sultan the Sick Old Man of Europe?

          1. Michael Zvi krumbein

            Sorry, he called the Ottoman Empire that, slthough then it did contain most of the Middle East.

      1. I said arguably. There is a somewhat fair vote there. Compare Iran, which was very blatantly rigged. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan(?), Egypt, and Syria—none of which even really try to have democracy.

        Although I think maybe on the local levels they all might have something. Mayors across the world are probably elected, not appointed. Although even in the US our mayoral elections are pretty much a joke.

  1. Elvis is performing in Northern California "Wine Country" on Sunday. Put another way, he is happy to entertain the swells on "occupied" territory where the natives were largely exterminated and the few that weren't were pushed off their land.

  2. Actually Turkey is in Central Asia or Anatolia but certainly isn't in the middle east if we are maintaining a political theme. Although, given their rather undemocratic dealings with certain members of their populous I doubt they would qualify.

    Lebanon and Iraq both have constitutional anomalies whereby certain positions in government can only be held by people of a certain religious background in order to maintain a level of secularism and enforce a degree of power sharing.
    This is largely due to the obvious violence that would ensue should any party feel left out.

  3. Aussie Dave, Are you the same Aussie Dave that used to occassionally post on the Costello-L llist? You live in Israel now? Be safe!

    Really disappointed in Elvis, btw.

    1. Thanks for your well wishes, Bill.

      Not sure if I posted on that list, (I may have, but do not recall) but used to be a huge Costello fan, owning all of his albums. I have now gone cold turkey.

        1. Yes, let's hear it for Diana. Who'd of thought she was smarter than him? And let's hear it for Elton too! Loved his comment about not "cherry picking your conscience." Elton's aim was true there.

      1. Yeah, you did. How many Aussie Daves could there be that "used" to love Elvis Costello?

        I used to adore you. We talked occasionally, a couple of times offline. I'm not really named Bill. Bill is just an email address I can use to post with. I used to post incessantly on the list. One time you told me I was funny, not to worry about all my posts. It was very sweet

        1. 2nd part:)

          I've gone cold turkey too. Very angry with him here. And speaking of Turkey, I still follow his press and when he recently announced that he was playing in Turkey in November of this year, I got even angrier, if that's possible. Major hyprocrite.

          1. 3rd part:)

            All the atrocities commited by Turkey, including their refusal to ever acknowledge a Kurdish homeland, people who they kill every day, and Elvis will play there for the pig Erdogan? Big fucking hyprocrite.

            1. 4th part:) Whew!

              I ranted about it on the EC Fan Forum. May have gotten thrown off and the posts deleted? Haven't gone back to check? His fans there were calling for my head:) I said all I wanted to say. Not going back for more abuse.

              1. Hopefully, the rest will fit here? 🙂

                Anywho, was surprised to see your name here. Knew it must be you. I found this video searching for stuff he said about playing in Israel. Funny how he says he won't play in a "totalitarian" state! What does he think Turkey is?

                Nice talking to ya, Aussie Dave! Good to know I'm not the only one who is bothered by his immense hypocrisy.

                Take care of yourselves over there, and please know that there are those of "U.S." who will never let Israel stand alone. God bless Israel! God protect Israel!

                1. And the award for the most number of postings on a more than year old thread goes to! [drum roll please]

                  Not Bill … yeahhhh and the crowd goes wild!

                  Paul McCartney was also an ubermensch when he played here. I wasn't going to go but the concert was only a 15 min walk from where I was staying. Then a 2pm in the afternoon I thought, this is one of the Beatles! Am I mad? He's performing 1km from me, there are tickets (it was in Park Hayarkon which is almost impossible to fill especially at $100 per ticket). So I went. And its no accident that this guy is one of the most successful musicians alive. Great show: on a par with the Rolling Stones and certainly in my top 3 list.

                    1. Yeah, I kind of remember that, Paul telling everyone to go fock themselves. It's pretty amazing the pressure that is put on them by the palisimians not to play. For Elton, they constructed a whole video I think to the turn of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," where they even changed the lyrics a bit to shame him? Glad you went.

                      And it's nice to "win" something! Woo hoo! 🙂

        2. Then it is not me. I have never corresponded offline with anyone from any forums. Perhaps there ARE other former EC fans called Aussie Dave after all!

          In any event, nice to have you come visit this blog.

          1. Maybe Aussie Dave is a popular nickname? Weird that there would be two people calling themself Aussie Dave who were EC fans! Maybe Aussies do that? Aussie Bill? Aussie Not Bill? Aussie Rachel? 🙂

            Anywho, I really liked Aussie Dave. And I like you too, Aussie Dave! 🙂

            I think I posted something on another "Israelly Cool" thread about Elvis last year? I was frantically posting all over around that time. I had to vent somehow. It was quite an orchestrated tirade. Even wrote him a letter to his record company. But … I felt as though my heart had been ripped out. God, I loved him.

            P.S. You do know that his latest album was his weakest seller to date? Barely debuted on Billboards Top 200 and then subsequently disappeared. I found that a small consolation.

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