21 February 2010
Rock star found to be money grabbing hypocrite shock horror!
I will start off by saying that I never liked the Police, I certainly never liked any of Sting;s solo work. As a musician I have always thought him to have a meagre talent, as for his singing.... a weasel with its knackers caught in a mousetrap would be more pleasing to this ear!
To be fair, some of his work as an activist was laudable, including his appearances at Amnesty International events. However it would seem that his concerns for human rights and the environment issues have taken a back seat
According to today’s Mail Sting accepted up to £2million to sing for Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Islom Karimov, a vicious piece of human excrement who runs Uzbekistan as a personal fiefdom and who treats human rights as something very, very optional.
Uznews.net and Eurasia.net (perhaps the last independent media outlets in the country) claim that Sting sold out the National Opera House in the capital, Tashkent, in October last year. Tickets went for £1,400 - 45 times the average local monthly salary. The concert was the highlight of a week-long festival organised by Ms Karimova's Forum of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan Foundation.
Sting is not alone in performing in Uzbekistan: Rod Stewart and Julio Iglesias have also recently played there (although in Rod Stewart’s case it was almost certainly a cruel and unusual punishment on his audience)
In a statement, Sting said: 'I played in Uzbekistan a few months ago. The concert was organized by the president’s daughter and I believe sponsored by Unicef.
'I supported wholeheartedly the cultural boycott of South Africa under the apartheid regime because it was a special case and specifically targeted the younger demographic of the ruling white middle class.
'I am well aware of the Uzbek president’s appalling reputation in the field of human rights as well as the environment. I made the decision to play there in spite of that.
'I have come to believe that cultural boycotts are not only pointless gestures, they are counter-productive, where proscribed states are further robbed of the open commerce of ideas and art and as a result become even more closed, paranoid and insular.
'I seriously doubt whether the President of Uzbekistan cares in the slightest whether artists like myself come to play in his country, he is hermetically sealed in his own medieval, tyrannical mindset.'
Hmm well it didn’t stop him from possibly raking in a couple of £million in the process. If this is true then it goes to show what a mercenary bastard the man is. Perhaps the statement should read
'I played in Uzbekistan a few months ago. The concert was organized by the president’s daughter and I believe sponsored by Unicef or at least that is what I'm telling you right here, right now to make it sound a little less reprehensible. '
I supported wholeheartedly the cultural boycott of South Africa under the apartheid regime but I was a lot younger then. Now I am not far off getting my bus pass I couldn't give a fuck about the Uzbek president’s appalling reputation in the field of human rights as well as the environment.
I made the decision to play there because a couple of mill is a couple of mill and it will keep me in incontinence pads and zimmer frames in a few years time.
I have come to believe that cultural boycotts are not only pointless gestures, they are counter-productive as they deny already filthy rich no-talents like me to add more money to my already obscenely large pile
I seriously doubt whether the President of Uzbekistan cares in the slightest whether artists like myself come to play in his country, he is hermetically sealed in his own medieval, tyrannical mindset. I could not care less about that as I came away with a fucking huge wedge of cash.'
Unsurprisingly Craig Murray, the former ambassador to Uzbekistan described Sting’s statement as
”transparent bollocks.... He got paid over a million pounds to play an event specifically designed to glorify a barbarous regime. Is the man completely mad?”
Nah, just greedy!