Henry Kissinger defends his new Heavy Metal album

Newsflash:

Former National Security Advisor to President Nixon came out with a strong defense of his new Heavy Metal album Rage with the Machine.”  The album’s lack-luster sales have been attributed to the fact Kissinger knows nothing about music and has never played guitar before walking into the studio. Still, fans of the genre are expressing great disappointment, saying they had expected much more from the 90 year old on his debut recording.

Henry Kissinger Shankbone Metropolitan Opera 2009.jpg

Kissinger in the studio: He laid blame for the weak sales with the producer Kayne West, saying that West failed to appreciate Kissinger’s artistic message, especially on the tracks I did know Dick and Dinner with Mao , which Kissinger upheld as “Free-form masterpieces, yet to be appreciated.”

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Ok, I made up that story to illustrate a point. Nearly everyone understands that expecting Henry Kissinger to make a good Heavy Metal album, something you might put on the shelf next to Sabbath, Zeppelin and Metalica, is a total joke, and no reasonable person could expect great music from a 90 year old guy who worked for the State Department.

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Then please tell me why people express shock and disappointment when they find out that their favorite Musician / Actor / Celebrity doesn’t have a brilliant position on Geo-Politics? I have no answer for this. Several times month people send me forwards from the internet pointing out that some celebrity holds some political or social position that most people associate with Genghis Kahn or a kindergartener.

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Many of the senders have had their sensitivities offended, finding out that a favorite artist is some type of imbecile. Not me. I start off with the premise that I can appreciate their art, but they are just as likely to be stupid as anyone else.

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I like optimistic people, but if you are one of the people who were disappointed Justin Biber turned out to be a moron, they let me suggest a little less optimism may be in order. If you are one of the people still surprised that Barbara Streisand falls short of the Teddy Roosevelt honor roll of self actualization,  I want to say it’s OK to stop hoping.  I like some Mel Gibson movies, but I go to the theater knowing he is an alcoholic and a bigot, just like other everyday alcoholics and a bigots I have had to deal with in the rest of my life.

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I don’t expect these people to be any more enlightened than anyone else. In most cases their lives are little more than a revenue stream for a media company and a bunch of “assistants” and “life coaches.” They don’t even get the benefit of the reality checks that you and I enjoy from our neighbors when they respond to our opinions with “What the hell are you talking about?” When I feel generous, I just feel sorry for them.

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Being wealthy isn’t a guarantee of happiness, and in many ways it seems an impediment to theirs. The people who are famous young are rarely educated, nor have time to read, and when they travel it is with an entourage rather than a humble guest. They are surrounded by people telling them they are gifted and brilliant. For these reasons, they are perhaps even less likely to have anything enlightening to say.

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Most people shouldn’t feel smug about dumb things celebrities say on politics and world affairs. Many people have put little effort into being informed or open minded themselves. I was recently treated to a 20 minute diatribe of how segregationist Governor George Wallace was “A typical Republican,” the speaker, who had given that symposium many times before, was unaware Wallace was a life-long Democrat. This goes on from all camps. Few people praising the US constitution can even tell you how many articles it has; perhaps half of Republicans cannot identify Lincoln as their parties first President; Few Democrats understand FDR sent US Citizens to internment camps; It’s endless. Even though we are in the “information age, ” it seems to have little bearing on how informed people are. For every person who read 15 books last year, there seem to be 50 who spent 500 hours watching the brand of TV news that challenged their opinions and biases the least. Put a camera and microphone in front of these people and they might sound just as foolish as typical celebrities.

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A large part of what I love about aviation is how the solutions are unique, but the physical laws they work within are defined; there are absolute measurements and known and provable ways of achieving results. Planes don’t look alike, but they work for the same reasons. Physics isn’t written in any language, and it isn’t subject to corruption nor lobbying. Two people who both love planes, from different countries without a common language can both love the same plane, and it will fly equally well in either man’s country, regardless of political or social factors. I actually like the fact the stakes are high here, I am not afraid because the rules of flight are not arbitrary.

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This said, I have trouble with people want to apply the same thinking, the need for absolutes, tests and universal laws,  to humans, not just machines. When it comes to human freedom, faith and life, I don’t think there is one ‘right way’ or ‘best result.’ I place no value on getting people to think alike on human issues. The only persons who’s mind I want to open is my own, and I have long since found that reading books is far more productive on this than arguing with people or listening to celebrities. While I may know a bit more US and social history than average, my conclusions are no more valid than anyone else’s. The only person’s life I feel entitled to run is my own.

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This website has nearly 500 stories on it, and our traditional site has 2000-2011 documented on a weekly basis. You could look through every page of it and not find a single word on how I vote, what faith I am, or any comment on a social issue. Not one paragraph on it. Yet many people write to say how moving some of the topics have been. Notice in 15 years of writing, I have never run out of topics that bring aviators in homebuilding together. This is proof enough that we have far more that unites us than divides us. This is the basic reason why the only had and fast rule we have at Corvair Colleges is: No talk of politics nor Religion.

About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

7 Responses to Henry Kissinger defends his new Heavy Metal album

  1. Terry Hand says:

    William,

    I find it sadly interesting to see people look to actors as their social, political and/or moral conscience. If they knew their history, they would know that the original actors were the court jesters, also known as “legal fools”. The word “fool” itself is from the latin “follis”, which means “bag of wind”.

    I remember clearly the actress Jessica Lange testifying before Congress years ago on the plight of the farmer. From what base of knowledge did she speak? Had she grown up living and working on a farm along side her parents? No. Her only experience was due to the fact that she had played the wife of a farmer in a recent movie. She may have had good things to say to help the small farmer, but she had no experience from which to testify other than that.

    Actors entertain, and we all enjoy that. Just don’t use them as your compass in life based solely on their career choice. I have a great deal of respect for an actor like Harrison Ford who flew his own helicopter at his own expense to help rescue an injured hiker near his home a few years ago. I appreciate his acting, but his giving of his abilities to help someone in a time of need is what I respect more.

  2. aselliott says:

    Historically, at least until the development of extremely lucrative commercial radio and television, actors were generally considered by civilized people to be near the bottom rung of humanity, perhaps a few steps above rapists, but definitely below decent thieves. The reasoning for this is quite simple – Actors are people who lie and deceive other people for a living.
    Yes, I know that they do this with the tacit consent of those people to be “entertained”, but it is only that tacit consent that differentiates them from flim-flam men, politicians and other charlatans. The internal mental processes that actors use in their craft, the ability to portray in a convincing manner someone they are not, are the same processes use by the other, less well-intentioned liars. And because the human mind is not very good at discriminating between objective and subjective realities, many actors suffer from the inability to separate their own “real” lives from the lives they portray to the audience.
    I think it a sad commentary on American society that thespian fame is so highly valued. It might be true that television and the movies, with their historically unprecedented, stratospherically high earnings, have done some serious damage to the American psyche..

  3. dan glaze says:

    Shine on you crazy diamond!!!

    • Dano, Roger Waters is one of the artists I have seen people fret over. He is complex, and he has done good things against malaria and for US Veterans, even if people don’t like his middle east views. His Grandfather was killed in WWI when his father was 1. His Father was killed in WWII at Anzio when waters was 5 months old. I don’t need nor expect a guy with that history to be “normal.”

      • dan glaze says:

        I have been a fan of his music since I was 12 years old and will will continue to be. I have never stood in his shoes and will never judge him. I’m sure the experiances life has delt him has molded his music and his opinions just as ours has us. Dan- o

  4. john fawkes says:

    you forgot to mention football as well!

  5. John Nerges says:

    Frank Zappa testified in front of Congress. About music. I really enjoyed this piece, thank you. Here is an extra tidbit on a persona level. When I was working at Walter Reed in 2002 to 2005, the casualites were pretty heavy. Some days I would go home emotionally and spiritually drained. Well meaning people would say to me: “Just so you know, I really don’t like what’s happening to our boys over there”. Now if there was one person who understood exactly what’s not to like about what’s happening to our boys over there, it was me. Bruce Springsteen took up the antiwar cause, I heard him say similar things in interviews. I loved Bruce Springsteen, I don’t listen to Bruce Springsteen any more.

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