Dave Mustaine is a real piece of work. That’s nothing new. The Megadeth frontman (and Metallica's Pete Best) has as much made a career for himself as a peevish talking head as he has a strident thrash-metal titan. But Mustaine really jumped the shark last week when he went Nancy Grace on President Obama’s ass. Onstage in Singapore, where Megadeth was performing last Tuesday, Mustaine peppered his stage banter with his Breitbart-worthy take on current events, suggesting that the President orchestrated the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colo., and at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., with the express purpose of ramming a gun ban through congress.
“Back in my country, my president (makes puking gesture) is trying to pass a gun ban, so he’s staging all of these murders,” Mustaine told the crowd. “Like the Fast and the Furious thing down at the border, and Aurora, Colorado, all the people that were killed there, and now the beautiful people at the Sikh temple.”
The fun doesn’t end there. If Mustaine knew when to quit, he would’ve pulled the plug on Megadeth when Marty Friedman left the band in 2000, but he didn’t. And he didn’t stop his astoundingly misinformed soapboxing with mass murder accusations. He goes on to recount a conversation he had with Singaporean promoter before the show.
“I don’t know where I’m gonna live if America keeps going the way it’s going,” Mustaine added, “because it looks like it’s turning into a Nazi America.” To which the promoter replied, “Move down here to Singapore!” Mustaine then ripped into the opening riff of the Rust in Peace classic “Holy Wars … The Punishment Due.”
Mustaine’s sentiments are typical garden-variety, conspiracy-theorist malarkey that’s ubiquitous on YouTube comment treads for any video with even the most tacit relation to politics and the president. It’s also rhetoric typical of angry, misanthropic, middle-aged American losers who manifest lifetimes of frustration into a confused jumble of individualist ideology, draconian, to-right-of-Pat Buchanan stances on social issues, big boners for Ayn Rand, an abiding belief in black helicopter-inspired anti-government fantasies and an understanding of the constitution that extends no further than Ron Paul’s Cliff's Notes-y interpretation.
In other words, getting kicked out of Metallica is step one on the road to endorsing a moralist doctrinaire like Rick Santorum while at the same time thinking the president (who probably would've wanted Dave Mustaine to have heath care after Metallica sacked him) is a Nazi — dispatches from an ugly fantasy world where life is a brutal, anti-authoritarian metal song lyrically depicting symphonies of corrupt, government-sanctioned destruction. Ironically, Metallica, not Megadeth, has a song called “Don’t Tread on Me.” Even more ironically, Megadeth’s Singapore gig was at venue called Fort Canning Park. I wonder if that’s where they cane undesirables. Or maybe enduring Megadeth in concert is a new form of corporal punishment in Singapore.
It’s not Mustaine or his words that are the biggest problem here, though. It’s not even that he spewed his psycho babble on foreign soil. He’s too much of a non-entity for his political musings to matter, even when he’s essentially indicting the President of the United States as a mass murderer who kills his own people in the interest of legislatively quashing an uprising of Soldier of Fortune subscribers. The problem with Mustaine’s Singapore rant is the reaction to it. Check out how Fox News is covering this story:
Why aren’t conservative blowhards and folks helming the Fox News fake-rage machine coming down hard on Mustaine and tarring and feathering him with the same feigned outrage they used to fillet the Dixie Chicks when Natalie Maines criticized a sitting president from a stage on foreign soil? In the clip above, Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld and panel minimize Mustaine's transgression as a joke, the foreign-soil argument is sloughed off like it's a non-issue. And they aren't very angry about it. That's not fair and balanced.
Mustaine was one of Maines’ critics. In a 2004 interview with Pit Magazine, reported here, Mustaine ranted on and on about politically motivated musicians he saw as hypocrites.
“Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks said that she is ashamed to be from the state of Texas; well I'm ashamed that you are fucking from America,” he said. “I saw her at a Nashville Predators game, talk about somebody who needs to go on a diet. I don't know if she was pregnant at the time, but she sure looked it. But the fact is unless you are a politician, shut up. What do they know about politics?”
Sigh. Where to start? Dave Mustaine is ashamed to share a country of origin with Natalie Maines because she’s fat? Way to make a point. Maybe she was ashamed to call herself an American because Dave Mustaine was a crackhead, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what she meant when she said what she said. Also, a musician making a blanket criticism of musicians for talking politics is a little, well, hypocritical, don’t you think?
While Mustaine is catching a fair amount of criticism for his claims, and rightfully so, perhaps none puts him in his place quite like that of Aurora Shooting survivor Carli Richards. "Some people think the president is a good scapegoat, but he didn't shoot me,” Richards told TMZ in response to Mustaine’s rant."It’s obviously kind of absurd and people who make up conspiracies just want attention."
Mustaine did some damage control in an interview with Libertarian radio host Alex Jones. And while he did show some contrition, saying that he made his comments “in the heat of the moment” and he didn’t mean to offend his fellow countrymen, he didn’t exactly apologize.
“I’m a patriot,” he told Jones. “I’ve always been controversial. I’m a political songwriter. And this wasn’t done to hurt any our, my, fellow countrymen. I think that it’s something that we really, really need to look into.”
Maybe Dave Mustaine should just shut up. What does he know about politics? Unfortunately, very, very little.
That said, this is still the best cat video on YouTube: