Monday, November 29, 2010

Comfortably Numb

Unlike Elvis Costello, Roger Waters toured Israel, although he couldn't resist the opportunity to use his appearances "to criticize the government's treatment of Palestinians and to spray-paint the words 'Tear Down the Wall' on Israel's security barrier." Perhaps such talk comfortably numbs the soft-on-jihad Israelis at the shows, but tearing down the wall is the last thing Israel wants to do at this point. There's little evidence Palestinians want peace, and lots of evidence of the kind of terror Hamas wants to impose on the whole of Israel. All of this is beside the point, I guess. I was mostly thinking about Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" since lately I'm hearing it all the time on the radio. Waters is playing Los Angeles this week, tonight, tomorrow, and Friday. And I had no interest in going, frankly, although Larry Morgan's been talkin' it up like crazy. I do have an automatic recollection whenever the song comes on. In 1980 I was really getting into punk. But Scott, one of my skating buddies, was still into the arena rocks bands and he sat me down at his house one afternoon, saying "you gotta listen to 'Comfortably Numb'." It was quite a change from the Johnny Rotten I'd been listening to, but obviously it's a moment I haven't forgotten. Weird. That said, the Roger Waters tour, seen at the clip below, looks exactly like the big stadium concerts that punkers railed against in the 1970s. Corporate and the opposite of intimacy. I like everything nowadays, so I shouldn't complain, but I doubt this would have been cool back in the day. Good reviews, in any case: "Roger Waters at US Airways Center Last Night."