Paul Simon brushes over troubled waters

From yesterday's Independent profile of Paul Simon (left) - He clearly harbours political anger against the Bush White House - especially over the Iraq war - and sounded faintly embarrassed when I asked him about the time he was invited there in late 2002, a few months before the Iraq invasion. He was one of a small number of prominent artists to be honoured that year by the Kennedy Center in Washington - a ceremony that by tradition entails a trip to the White House. At first Simon said, with considerable vehemence, that he would not have set foot in the place for any other reason. But then he changed his mind and acknowledged that an invitation from a sitting president is just one of those things you don't turn down. The White House, he says, was "bigger than the occupant, no matter who that is".

Pliable adds - It is good to see Washington DC and its John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts remaining an irony free zone. Here is the announcement of the winners of the Kennedy Center Honours for 2006 by their Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman: Andrew Lloyd Webber has led a seismic change in our musical theater becoming the most popular theater composer in the world; conductor Zubin Mehta’s profound artistry and devotion to music make him a world treasure; Dolly Parton’s (right) creativity and spirit make her country music’s best international ambassador; Smokey Robinson’s song and voice have created the soundtrack for the lives of a generation of Americans; and Steven Spielberg’s films make him one of the most successful and accomplished directors of all time.”

Now read how another musician expressed his political anger in Lebanon - a war of out time
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