‘Don­ald Trump is a Pig’: Roger Waters on at­tack at mega-fest

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Rocker Roger Waters sav­aged Don­ald Trump with a pig bal­loon car­i­ca­ture as he vowed to make the most of his plat­form Sun­day at a first-of-a-kind fes­ti­val of rock el­ders. The for­mer Pink Floyd song­writer, who also re­newed his long­stand­ing crit­i­cism of Is­rael, closed out the first three-day week­end of Desert Trip which ear­lier brought the Rolling Stones and Paul McCart­ney to the vast stage in the South­ern Cal­i­for­nia desert. As Waters played “Pigs (Three Dif­fer­ent Ones),” Pink Floyd’s 1977 as­sault on power mon­gers, an over­size swine-like bal­loon floated into the crowd with a sketch on it of the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date.

“Ig­no­rant, ly­ing, racist, sex­ist,” ran the words on the bal­loon’s side, as over­head screens flashed in­flam­ma­tory quotes by Trump in­clud­ing his boasts of grop­ing women that were re­cently aired in an ex­plo­sive video. Un­flat­ter­ing drawings of Trump-in one he is naked with a minis­cule mem­ber and in an­other he an­drog­y­nously has de­vel­oped breasts-also ap­peared on screens be­fore the mes­sage in bold let­ters: “Don­ald Trump is a Pig.” Waters drove home the point with a notch more sub­tlety as he per­formed Pink Floyd’s clas­sic “An­other Brick in the Wall,” bring­ing to stage a troupe of singing teenagers, mostly ethnic mi­nori­ties, who wore T-shirts that read “Der­riba El Muro”-Span­ish for “tear down the wall.” Trump, who is run­ning against Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton in the Novem­ber 8 elec­tion, launched his cam­paign on prom­ises to build a wall on the Mex­i­can bor­der as he al­leged that un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants were rapists.

Us­ing his plat­form

“The Wall,” Pink Floyd’s rock opera, takes the bar­rier as a sym­bol of per­sonal iso­la­tion but it has since fre­quently be­come a po­lit­i­cal metaphor, with Waters proudly an ac­tivist. Speak­ing to the 75,000-strong crowd, Waters hailed Cal­i­for­nia stu­dents at the fore­front of the so-called Boy­cott, Di­vest­ment and Sanc­tions cam­paign that aims to ex­ert eco­nomic and cul­tural pres­sure on Is­rael. “It’s rare that some­body like me gets a plat­form like this, so I’m go­ing to use this plat­form,” said the 73-year-old Bri­tish rocker.

“I’m go­ing to send out all my most heart­felt love and sup­port to all those young peo­ple on the cam­puses of the uni­ver­si­ties of Cal­i­for­nia who are stand­ing up for their broth­ers and sis­ters in Pales­tine,” Waters said, hop­ing the boy­cott move­ment would “en­cour­age the govern­ment of Is­rael to end the oc­cu­pa­tion.” Is­rael and a num­ber of US Jewish groups strongly op­pose the move­ment and re­cently won a vic­tory when Cal­i­for­nia barred com­pa­nies that do busi­ness with the state from shun­ning in­di­vid­ual coun­tries. While Waters’s anti-Trump stance elicited cheers, al­beit not uni­ver­sally, his state­ment on Is­rael drew a more muted re­sponse with some fans clap­ping but oth­ers boo­ing and at least one proudly wav­ing an Is­raeli flag as a counter-protest. Waters is well-known for his crit­i­cism of Is­raeli pol­icy and in 2013 came un­der fire from Is­rael sup­port­ers for putting a Star of David on the in­flat­able pig.

Pol­i­tics aside, Waters crafted the fes­ti­val’s most in­tri­cate pre­sen­ta­tion with the stage trans­formed into a “dark side of the Moon” and echo­ing voices re­in­forc­ing the mu­sic’s sense of dis­lo­ca­tion. Desert Trip, which will take place again next week­end with an iden­ti­cal lineup, is fore­cast to be the most lu­cra­tive fes­ti­val ever with ag­ing baby-boomers pay­ing pre­mium prices for the so-called “Old­chella.” Other per­form­ers were Bob Dylan, Neil Young and, on Sun­day, The Who, the other pi­o­neers along­side Pink Floyd of the rock opera.

The Who of­fered an ul­tra-abridged tour through the baby­boomers’ world with news clips show­ing events from the Viet­nam War to last year’s Paris at­tacks as the group played a blis­ter­ing “The Rock” from its “Quadrophe­nia” opera. Singer Roger Dal­trey still man­aged his in­tense, gritty screams and Pete Town­shend his 360-de­gree arm-swings of his guitar-but the sep­tu­a­ge­nar­i­ans showed no re­serve in jok­ing about their age.

In­tro­duc­ing “I Can See For Miles” as their first hit in the United States, Town­shend quipped: “We were sort of 1967’s ver­sion of Adele or Lady Gaga or Ri­hanna or Justin Bieber.” And Town­shend re­mem­bered that the week­end would have been the birth­day of bassist John En­twistle-found dead by a Las Ve­gas strip­per after a co­caine over­dose in 2002. Wher­ever he is, Town­shend said, “Have a line for me, John.” — AFP

An in­flat­able pig flies above the crowd dur­ing Roger Waters’ clos­ing per­for­mance. — AP/AFP pho­tos

Roger Dal­trey and The Who per­form dur­ing the third day of the Desert Trip mu­sic fes­ti­val.

Pete Town­shend per­forms with The Who.

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