Saturday, October 08, 2005

More Rock Politics

While we're talking about rock and roll...

My friend Jim forwarded to me another Rock n Rap article that reports that the Dead Kennedys have announced that they have withdrawn from the October 29 "Waking the Dead" show scheduled for Los Angeles' Grand Olympic Auditorium. The show, which will still go on, featuring Suicidal Tendencies and Marky Ramone, among others, lost the Dead Kennedys when they found out it was being sponsored by the Coors Brewing Company. DK member East Bay Ray noted that "Dead Kennedys have always been wary of corporate sponsorship and steer clear of lending our name to promote a product," adding, "Because we were not alerted to the ultra conservative, right-wing sponsor for this event, we could not see a reason to go ahead and perform at this show in good conscience. Dead Kennedys want nothing to do with this event or Coors and I am disgusted that they are now sponsoring punk shows, something they are politically at odds with."

What is it about Coors in particular that Dead Kennedys find so odious? According to the R&R article,
A Google search of Coors will turn up information on a company that for years has funded right-wing groups such as the Nicaraguan Contras, the anti-gay Moral Majority, and the notoriously anti-punk Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). Coors has also broken numerous unions, is anti-environment, and has funded lawsuits against affirmative action. More disturbing facts about the company can be found at

In the seventies and early eighties, Coors had a certain cachet. It was kind of a hip, western beer. It couldn't be found everywhere and people hoped it they could aquire some sense of being cool by drinking it.

Then Ronald Reagan became President and Coors, which until then had always been quietly one of the most politically reactionary companies in the country, suddenly became quite prominently politically reactionary. The company and the family were strongly financially supportive of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, which spawned the likes of James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under Reagan. Watt and the Reagan Administration, working off a blueprint provided by MSLF, set about undoing decades of progressive environmental safeguards in the western US, relaxing regulations and opening up more land for strip mining, logging, and cattle grazing. Ronald Reagan, who never heard of a mythical welfare queen he couldn't disparage, provided corporate welfare at levels previously undreamed of to those companies that could exploit the natural resources of the west's public lands, not only allowing them to reap what they could at ungodly cheap rates, but having the Interior Department build roads on the taxpayer's dime so they could more easily and quickly rob the larder.

That's when I stopped drinking Coors beer. As the Rock n Rap article and the website they site show, there are plenty of other reasons, even aside from taste, to avoid enriching the Coors family.
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