My heart is broken: Eric Clapton and Van Morrison release an anti-mask and anti-lockdown song

December 21, 2020 • 8:45 am

Shoot me now! According to the Vanity Fair article below (click on screenshot) Van Morrison wrote a song, “Stand and Deliver”, clearly meant to denigrate Britain’s public-health restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. Worse—the song was performed by Eric Clapton (below).  Both of these guys were musical heroes of mine, but now I’m not so sure. And I wasn’t aware that this is Morrison’s fourth anti-lockdown song. Well, nobody ever claimed the guy was fully on the rails, but—et tu, Clapton?

You know, a lot of rock stars were loons or nasty s.o.b.s, but so long as they produced good songs, I didn’t much care. But this time they’ve released an odious song!

A few words from the Vanity Fair article:

Eric Clapton and Van Morrison, both age 75 and therefore at 220 times the risk of death from COVID-19 compared to people 18 to 29, have released a blues-rock track raging against public health codes.

“Stand and Deliver,” written by Morrison and sung by Clapton, includes couplets like “Do you wanna be a free man / Or do you wanna be a slave? / Do you wanna wear these chains / Until you’re lying in the grave?”

It continues “Magna Carta, Bill of Rights/The constitution, what’s it worth?/You know they’re gonna grind us down/Until it really hurts/Is this a sovereign nation/Or just a police state?/You better look out, people/Before it gets too late.”

The phrase “stand and deliver” is associated with highwaymen, suggesting that Morrison and Clapton feel that governments scrambling to keep their populations alive are somehow stealing from them. The track concludes with the line “Dick Turpin wore a mask too.” Turpin was an 18th century British criminal known for highway robbery.

The song was released just as a new and faster-spreading COVID strain was identified in the United Kingdom, with a 40 percent increase in cases from just one week ago. British Heath Secretary Matt Hancock called the new strain of COVID “out of control.”

Earlier this year, Morrison referred to preventive measures as pseudoscience, and “Stand and Deliver” marks his fourth anti-lockdown track after “Born to Be Free“, “As I Walked Out,” and “No More Lockdown.” This latest, though, is the first to infect another Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

Snopes adds this:

In late 2020, music legends Van Morrison and Eric Clapton announced they had collaborated on a new a single, to be released on Dec. 4. They announced the profits were going to Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, a philanthropic project to support musicians whose livelihoods have been harmed by a series of lockdowns in the U.K., designed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s the song, with the lyrics below. There’s no doubt it’s about opposing pandemic restrictions. If you don’t believe that, read the lyrics—especially the last line. I have to say, though, that this is a pretty crappy song. I doubt you’ll be hearing it on the oldies stations in the future.

Lyrics: (my emphasis in last line; Dick Turpin was a highwayman).

Stand and Deliver

Stand and deliver
You let them put the fear on you
Stand and deliver
But not a word you heard was true
But if there’s nothing you can say
There may be nothing you can do

Do you wanna be a free man
Or do you wanna be a slave?
Do you wanna be a free man
Or do you wanna be a slave?
Do you wanna wear these chains
Until you’re lying in the grave?

I don’t wanna be a pauper
And I don’t wanna be a prince
I don’t wanna be a pauper
And I don’t wanna be a prince
I just wanna do my job
Playing the blues for friends

Magna Carta, Bill of Rights
The constitution, what’s it worth?
You know they’re gonna grind us down, ah
Until it really hurts
Is this a sovereign nation
Or just a police state?
You better look out, people
Before it gets too late

You wanna be your own driver
Or keep on flogging a dead horse?
You wanna be your own driver
Or keep on flogging a dead horse?
Do you wanna make it better
Or do you wanna make it worse?

Stand and deliver
You let them put the fear on you
Slow down the river
But not a word of it was true
If there’s nothing you can say
There may be nothing you can do

Stand and deliver
Stand and deliver
Dick Turpin wore a mask too

h/t: Barry

240 thoughts on “My heart is broken: Eric Clapton and Van Morrison release an anti-mask and anti-lockdown song

    1. More than disappointed. First Clapton had his whole racism issue years ago, now this? Proof positive that you can’t fix stupid. Rather than complain about inaction that cost people their lives, they talley against rules that cost them cash. Pathetic.

  1. I learnt many years ago – if you want advice on science – go to a scientist

    Assuming any ‘celeb’ has any wisdom in that regard is a dangerous idea

    1. Thank you. I agree completely. The most respectable thing I heard a celeb say was when, after he’d done “Seven Years in Tibet” some journalist asked Brad Pitt what he thought of the situation in Tibet, and he replied, roughly, “Why are you asking ME about this? I’m an actor. I’m a grown man who wears makeup as part of his job.”

      If only more celebrities had that degree of self-awareness. I guess it’s good that they try to use their celebrity to accomplish things, but a little humility might help them know better what things are worth accomplishing.

        1. I think I understand the point you’re making, and it IS reasonable and even laudable for people to try to call attention to matters they think are important. But just because a person feels strongly about something doesn’t mean they’re correct, and thoughtless advice can lead to suffering and death of other people. That’s not “balls”…that’s the irresponsible behavior of a loser who doesn’t have the balls to subject their own viewpoint to criticism, but instead whines about a perceived infringement of their freedom to do whatever they feel like whenever they want, like a spoiled child. There ARE overreaches of authority, and it IS valuable to bring these to public attention, but asking people to do simple thins such as wearing masks and social distancing so they don’t expose innocent other people to the unnecessary risk of disease and death is no more one of these than is restricting people from driving under the influence of alcohol and similar substances that impair their ability to drive safely.

        2. A lot of Western free-Tibet activists could not name two cities in Tibet but are confident that the place is some spiritual shangri-la in tune with nature. How much good could they do? I commend Brad Pitt and can recommend “Tibet, Tibet” by Patrick French for a more balanced perspective. He is sympathetic to the Tibetans, but also describes how Western activists have not helped them much and sometimes been harmful to them.

      1. Well, one thing is certain. Thanks to the topic, it’s generating a lot of publicity. Perhaps, that is the plan ? “Don’t be pretending, pretending, pretending”

      2. The only way I can try to make rational sense of this. Is that the monies made will be shared to out of work musicians. That is the only redee6point. I’m so disappointed.

        1. I believe Can and Eric are definitely barking up the wrong tree. But what do I know? I don’t care to be a pawn in the game and what informations do Morrison and Clapton have that we don’t have?

      1. I would rather rather hear the opinions of Bill Gates than “Alejandro Ramos.” Gates has studied pandemics for years. What has Alejandro Ramos done?

        1. Gates developer software, then antivirus. Too make profits.Microsoft recently hacked.
          Gates never graduated college, now is expert on anti human vax
          He can’t keep his software safe

            1. Poor grammar
              Sound logic
              Gets missiles
              Off the ground

              Other way around blow up on pad
              Low IQ anal retentive sphincter can’t debate fairly, resorts to grammar complaints

              Child

              1. I can’t tell if this is an intentionally hilarious trolling or a really sad case of the stupids. If it’s trolling, it’s magnificent!

              1. There’s an interesting story about the Steve Miller Band recording their first album in London in Glyn John’s biography Sound Man.

        2. Bill Gates isn’t claiming to be an epidemiologist, at least not as far as I know. He’s building on the knowledge supplied by others. His skills are being very smart, the experience of running a large multi-national technology company for decades, knowing technology very well, and having lots of money that he can invest in smart ideas. Sounds good to me.

            1. Well, Gates didn’t do a very good job at eugenics if your parents were allowed to reproduce. They should have been the first ones sterilized.

      2. You don’t need an actual degree to know something. You need a good intellect, analytic skills, good resources and have put in the time to research it properly, that last word being operative: to learn from people who ACTUALLY know. Were I interested in genetics I’d ask or learn from PCC (E), or Dawkins, not Jenny McCarthy or Brad Pitt. Or a god-damn facebook feed.

        Bill Gates I think – despite no medical degree – comports with the above.
        D.A., J.D.
        NYC

    2. In 1944 my father was drafted into the U.S. army at the height of WW2. The draft letter basically said, “quit your job, say goodbye to your parents, kiss your wife goodbye, and report to training camp”. They stuck a steel helmet on his head, a rifle in his hands, shipped him in a steamship across the Atlantic Ocean to Marseilles, France on the Mediterranean Sea, and marched him and his division north, in September, to the Ardennes Forest, and told him to sleep in a dirt hole in the ground in winter without blanket or sleeping bag, just an overcoat. They attacked a lot in the darkness before dawn. He EARNED his Combat Infantry Badge, in COMBAT, over three battle campaigns, the Battle of the Bulge, the crossing of the Rhine River into Germany, and defending the Brenner Pass in central Europe. At no time in my experience with my father after the war did I EVER hear him say, “This is America!! You can’t FORCE me WEAR A MASK to the grocery store”!!! Eric, stuff your guitar up your butt, grow a pair, and man up. My father risked his life so you could be free and get rich playing guitar, the least you could do is wear a paper mask when you leave your mansion. Coward.

      1. Well said, Bernard! And I have been a lifelong fan of Clapton. I play his signature guitar. I play his songs. So this was a massive disappointment. We are all products of our environment, and his early racist comments were no doubt the norm in the tough, working class town where he grew up. But he then apologized. Cool. But now he is returning to this kind of simplistic thought as ofter happens to people when they get older. No excuses: this is a horrendous and sickening effort on their part.

      2. Excellent reply Bernard !! My son is a gigging guitar virtuoso and instructor. He has lost >80% of his income this year but I want him safe and healthy. Clapton and Morrison have taken the philosophy of Trump and now we have >300000 people dead in the USA. MORRISON has always been an A-hole and Clapton is plain ignorant. DR D.

    3. I have known for decades that Clapton is a moron. He is only considered a great guitarist because anybody with a Stratocaster and a diagram of the pentatonic scale can imitate him easily. I remember when he was arrested in Tulsa for pissing on people on the lower concourse at the airport.
      I don’t want to hear anything about safety and protection from a drug addict who let his kid fall out a window.
      I don’t know anything good or bad about Morrison. I don’t think anybody has even noticed him for years. He found way to finally get some attention!

      1. Only a few, highly skilled guitarists I have heard who can mimic Clapton well. Guys like Marc Mann or Steuart Smith.

        Phrasing, rhythm, slurs, dynamics are pretty important. Certainly more important than knowing pentatonic scales.

        1. And being able to play a Clapton solo doesn’t make you Clapton. There are many, many guitarists in so-called cover bands that can do that but they aren’t going to be big rock stars any time soon.

          1. I ‘discovered’ him playing Albeniz’s “Asturias”. Brilliant, although I thought he overdid the end there.
            Yes, a great guitarist. (Note, I have no idea about his political leanings -as should be).

          2. Cool, thanks! Great piece that. I think Elliot Fisk is the first person I heard play that Paganini piece. Makes you wonder about that deal with the devil and all that … 🙂

    1. As is amply demonstrated all year, there are people who have latched onto the view that being basically decent for the common good is a challenge to personal freedom. This could become a kind of unifying anthem for them. The opposite is sorely needed.

        1. Or join her NewAge collective and feel morally superior. (From her site):

          “This is the evolution of the collective, and there is nothing more powerful than a group of like-minded people coming together for change and empowerment.”

          ‘Think for yourselves; join us!’ (Monthly subscription $40 / $400 yearly)

    2. The same kind of people who get their vaccination “facts” from Jenny McCarthy or their facebook feeds. Or “mommy wellness blogs”.

      There’s a bell curve of IQ and somebody’s gotta fill the left hand side of it I suppose.
      D.A., J.D., NYC

        1. Unlike Clapton, Elvis Costello hasn’t gone on to make racist comments or refuse to back down from a racist thing he said previously. Clapton has refused to back down at every turn, as recently as the mid-2000s. Costello also has a long history of supporting the right causes in his music and his politics, while Clapton…doesn’t.

        2. Not that I care. Like you, I have a strict rule of separating art from artist. I’d have to cut myself off from far too many great works if I stopped listening to or viewing art from anyone and everyone with whom I disagreed. That way lies stupidity and censorship.

          1. Yes, Bach and Handel were devout Christians (well most people were in those days, and their bread was buttered there too), but their music is (if you allow me) divine.

    1. Right, and you are Jesus and your mother is Virgin Mary as according to evolution’s theory she’s still virgin.

      1. I’ll take implacable, responsible high-rise building open-window child-monitoring vigilance any day over religious nuttery-motivated, scientifically-ignorant bloviating.

    2. “Clapton is God.” And the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, but I wouldn’t take their word on science or medicine. They believe[d] in astrology, tarot cards, and the i ching. Paul McCartney once declared that there would be no famines or wars if politicians took LSD. In his interview in Playboy in 1980, John Lennon said that he didn’t believe in evolution, or that smoking caused cancer, and said that he didn’t want his son Sean to learn to read at too young an age, because children who delayed learning to read were more psychic.

      None of this has lessened my admiration for the Beatles as entertainers, but I never expected them–or any other entertainer– to have any special insight on science–or politics, or anything else outside their field.

      1. Their business acumen wasn’t too great either. Apple Corps Ltd., the company that they founded, was an absolute train-wreck.

    1. Oops, sorry Keith – not sure how I managed to overlook your post when I commented above. (Usually, it’s when I read the article but then don’t remember to refresh the page before commenting.)

  2. Weak!

    Incidentally, The Great Old Ones have been releasing stuff in coordination – McCartney, Ringo last week … I guess Clapton and Morrison took a day too – today?…. Monday?

  3. Here is demonstrated the intellectual culmination of the libertarian philosophy. Through an extreme selfish individualistic viewpoint, the anti-maskers believe that the government has no right to impose on them, in almost all circumstances, dictums that infringe on their right to make decisions that they believe are in their best interest. It matters not what science says or that they may inflict illness or death on others. Individual freedom is all that matters. No advanced, complex society could possibly function under this philosophy. But, for libertarians, their unfettered “freedom” is all that matters. In their delusional fanaticism, they have little concern for what could happen to others. After all, mask wearing requirements is nothing more than the instituting of slavery. The song says so.

    1. Yes, and yet there is good compliance on a variety of personal restrictions. Folks are now pretty good at wearing seatbelts when driving (for their safety, admittedly), and for not smoking in public facilities. I have yet to see someone try to enter a store without shirt and shoes.

      Now getting people to ride bikes and motorcycles with helmets… that is yet another matter.

    2. If only these people would remember the fundamental dictum that their freedom to swing their fists ends where another person begins…and going out in public without masks is the moral equivalent of swinging their fists with their eyes closed, while wearing a spiked cestus.

    3. And to this. Paul’s fanboys take Libertarianism seriously.

      And, hey? Who needs licensing for medical practitioners? Or drug producers? Buyer beware, don’t you know?

      1. BOY! He’s an order of magnitude crazier than I thought he was. I mean…. I knew he was bonkers – but not Olympic level bonkers.
        Thx for the clip. His son is just an a-hole.
        D.A.
        NYC

    4. It’s probably significant that the song says “they put the fear in you … but none of that was true.” I’d say that the libertarian value being promoted here was less “the right to do what I want” and more “the right to draw my own conclusions.” If they believe the virus isn’t particularly deadly then they’re not deliberately throwing their fellow citizens under the bus so they can be “free” to not wear a mask.

      They’re doing that unintentionally, because, as we know, “the right to draw my own conclusions” is anti-scientific.

    5. Libertarianism is great – look at Somalia – it is libertarianism in its purest form – all the “religious freedom” gun rights, low taxes (warlord shake downs not included) and small government in one neat package.

      The libertarians should go for a trip there to see how it all works so well. Eastern Congo and parts of Afghanistan and Syria are run similarly. No nanny state there the lucky buggers. Not like us “slaves”.

      D.A.,
      NYC

  4. Paul McCartney was on CBS Good Morning America telling people to wear masks and slamming people who don’t wear them. He is not among the anti-maskers.

      1. Will you still ridicule corona protection measures and attack their proponents when you are lying in hospital gasping for breath and begging the doctors for help? I think not.

        Or have you already made an affidavit that you do not want any medical treatment in case of a Corona infection?

    1. Paul is an example of a genuinely nice rock star. I spent part of 2020 going through his post-Beatles albums (having avoided them for years because of their press from rock critics) and now I believe he is the most talented of the Beatles. His gift for melody is astonishing in its richness and consistency. I’m looking forward to his new album, “recorded in rockdown.”

        1. The reverse could be said about Lennon too. After his first two solo albums his music declined, especially when he fell victim to radical chic. McCartney’s work has been erratic but usually recovered from its excesses. A collection of his best solo material would qualify as great in my book.

          1. Band On the Run is one of the best rock albums ever.

            And the story of it’s making is interesting too. They went to the EMI offices and asked, more or less, “Where does the company have studios? Oh, Lagos Nigeria, sounds interesting, let’s go!”

            I am a Beatles cretin: I like Paul’s work the best.

            Let It Be
            Blackbird (which I play on guitar, almost every day)
            Eleanor Rigby
            Yesterday (purportedly the most covered pop song of all time)
            I Saw Her Standing There
            Lady Madonna
            Back in the USSR
            The Fool on the Hill
            Get Back
            Paperback Writer
            Penny Lane
            Golden Slumbers
            Hey Jude
            The Long and Winding Road
            Michelle
            Mother Nature’s Son
            Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
            Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
            When I’m Sixty-Four
            and so on

        2. Agree that Paul can be too treacly without John’s edge. Funny, I was just thinking this while driving to the store a few minutes ago,listening to ComeTogether and then The Stones’ Jumping Jack Flash. These days, if given a choice, I would almost always choose Mick and the boys to listen to.

    1. Whatever musical gifts Clapton has are decidedly not on display in this dreadful song. I’ve seen much better from amateur YouTubers doing parody songs.

  5. I maintain a strict church/state wall-of-separation between politics and aesthetics. (If one cares about both deeply, one must — in the other direction lies the liquor cabinet and psychiatrist’s couch.)

    Still, this one sucks, big-time.

  6. This disgusts me. Similarly, I can no longer listen to The Rolling Stones because of the blatant misogyny of many of their songs.

  7. The phrase “stand and deliver” is associated with highwaymen, suggesting that Morrison and Clapton feel that governments scrambling to keep their populations alive are somehow stealing from them. The track concludes with the line “Dick Turpin wore a mask too.” Turpin was an 18th century British criminal known for highway robbery.

    A historical most-accurate re-enactment of such a british robbery using the iconic phrase ‘stand and deliever’ was filmed by the group Monty Python in their historical documentary about the infamous Dennis Moore. It’s worth a watch to distract from the musicians and their poor song idea.

    1. These two septuagenarians are privileged millionaires. You think it’s somehow courageous for them to “go against the current”? What do you think they have to lose? Give me a break.

    2. You nincompoop!

      This is about science & society. It may do me no good to wear a mask but it costs little effort & may prevent me spreading something I do not know I am carrying to you. These rich bastards have probably not had to do their own shopping in years so when do thry have to wear a mask? I suppose them to be tax exiles somewhere where people are selfish like the U S & do not care to pay taxes to improve SOCIETY.

      Funny though, only a year ago wearing a mask & hiding your identity was considered rebellious & antisocial, AND anti- government.

    3. How old do you say the Earth is, and on what basis? To what do you attribute the deaths of 300,000 -plus U.S. citizens (and many more global deaths, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t accurately kept track of)?

  8. This is why we can’t have nice gods! But seriously, this is just another demonstration that prowess in one area doesn’t lead to prowess in another. Yet another way to think about this is that, statistically, we should expect that some of the musicians we worship are in the “bad” political group. We’re just finding out which ones. Finally, should we not expect rich, idolized musicians to be selfish? How might that work?

    1. I begin to think that the prowess, or intelligence, is hollow when considered with such stupidity, and so all their output is suspect and I don’t need to pay attention to them anymore.

        1. No, they’ve got bad brains. Their music is good, I know, but it’s an anomaly. There are too many people in the world to be admiring ones so stupid. I agree we have to make nice with the opposition but I hate them and want to say so privately (on WEIT).

          1. Ignorant hate is a mental disorder
            Your diatribe rant is of low IQ projection, too obtuse to realize
            Get help for your ignorant hate, it just hurts people

          2. But I’m pretty sure a lot of musicians have bad ideas. YouTube is full of interviews with famous musicians. Some of these are very interesting in that they talk about their creative process and how they thought about things during creation of music I love. Watch a few of these, though, and you will realize that many of them are somewhat one-dimensional when it comes to things they are good at. For every Brian May (Queen’s guitarist and now a professional astronomer), there is some dumb person who’s only “skill” is personal beauty and a good rock voice.

            1. Yes, I know what you mean and I agree. My harshness is the result of often hearing that Trump supporters are just people who have had a tough time in this economy….
              No they’re not. They’re the kind of people who support a person like DT. Such a mind is not pretty. And I feel that they are to blame — not DT himself or the Republicans but the people who vote for him, his base. But we have to pretend that they’re just expressing another point of view (gag). I almost don’t know how it all gets healed without criticism of the base being a part of it.

              1. As opposed to the Clinton Crime Family, or the Biden Crime Family
                Thus it is the less of evils
                Prefer liberty to socialist hell
                You can’t beat the basic laws of economics with infinite ignorance
                It’s scary how one side lacks any self awareness or objectivity, yet seems to be the moral compass for all
                The grandiose Narcissism is malignant in ignorance
                Experiment not different this time, definition of insanity
                But TDS reigns

              2. So many, in media and outside, support a sort of equivalence between Trump supporters and non-Trump supporters as established by so many years of standoff between Republican vs Democrat, liberal vs conservative. This seems so wrong to me. Instead, it is psychopath vs normal, total selfishness vs care for one’s fellow human, batshit crazy vs sanity, rule of law vs fascism, etc.

  9. The same kind of people who would put a failed reality show host in the White House?

    Is this really a question we need to ask nowadays? We see “who” every day.

  10. Yes, celebrities are just wonderful, aren’t they?

    Even ones, unlike the Mass Murderer (that fact becoming clearer every day), who have actually accomplished something in their lives, but somehow think they are some kind of fucking oracles; and especlally what here appear to be senile, no-longer-capable-of-what-they-were-once-good-at, celebrities.

    But if 70 million will fall for the above mentioned scam artist/criminal, who knows how many will fall for this. I hope not many, and maybe even hope at least none of them are Canucks who can put me and family in danger.

  11. Only slight surprise is that Morrissey, the curmudgeonly, hasn’t joined in. Perhaps, he will write his own version.
    As regards Van Morrison, well you know what they say — ‘ The World consists of two types of people; those who like Van Morrison and those who have met him ‘.

  12. Actually, apart from the lyrics, I think it’s a perfectly OK song. In my opinion it’s in Van Morrison’s top three but I think pretty much everything he’s done is crap.

    I am pretty disappointed that Eric Clapton is on the wrong side of the debate. Oh, well.

    1. Pretty much everything he’s done is crap? The Astral weeks, St Dominic’s Preview, Moondance albums are crap? No arguing with taste, is there! I myself never liked Clapton much (music or man).

      1. No, the point of my comment was that musical taste is pretty subjective. A lot of people on here have said this is a bad song when they really mean they don’t like it for whatever reason.

        I’ve noticed a lot that when people are critical of something an artist has said or done, they will often tag on an insult to their work even though it’s not relevant. I’m going to call it “ad songinem”. The quality of the particular song is irrelevant as far as the argument against it’s irresponsible message is concerned.

        For the record, Van Morrison’s work leaves me cold for the most part and I can’t stand his singing voice.

    1. Personally, I got a kick outta Adam Ant’s cover of the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go” (even if it didn’t go over that well with the crowd at Motown’s 25th anniversary):

    1. Couldn’t get thru the Morrison/Clapton dreck, but if that’s what led me to the Iggy Pop song it was worth it; I’ve already played it several times! Speaking of senior delinquents, everybody’s favorite septuagenarians, The Rolling Stones released “Living in a Ghost Town” early on in the pandemic.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNNPNweSbp8

  13. It is apparently a problem of common sense, or do you assume what the state and the government affirm and dictate based on the so-called “scientific evidence”, generating a permanent carousel of contradictory measures and highly debatable efficacy as in the case of masks, or you are an irresponsible idiot who puts his freedom before the lives of others.
    But it’s not that simple. The measures adopted by governments around the world are not aimed at “saving lives” by avoiding contagions, as we are told ad nauseam to induce certain behaviors in people. The restrictive measures to freedoms have as a priority purpose “saving the public health system”, avoiding its collapse due to an excess of demand for which it is not and cannot be prepared. Collapse that would expose the weaknesses of the “welfare state” in general and the incompetence of all governments to manage health crises while respecting democratic principles.
    Since states have become guarantors of “public health” and providers to a greater or lesser extent of a minimum of medical services as part of the “providential state”, citizens have become “minors”, forced to follow what those responsible for the government in health matters determine as healthy. The multiplication of warnings, prohibitions, and mandates manifests the validity of a medicalization of life under the control of a growing “therapeutic state”, as Thomas Szasz pointed out.
    “Therapeutic state” that increases exponentially in the case of epidemics and other infectious diseases that since ancient times have been considered a serious problem of “public hygiene”, and that from the end of the Middle Ages as a result of plague epidemics lead to the establishment of a public entity responsible for health in northern Italian cities. These Italian “Magistratures of Health” are the remote origin of the role of the state with regard to the health of people.
    Obviously, between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries the modern notions that are commonplace today: of the individual, negative freedom, democracy, etc. were not yet consolidated. Hence, the decisions of the political leaders were taken, amid the acute popular fear of the disease, with their backs turned from any consideration of the people who should bear them. The political authority was indisputable and the medical paternalism, however, the great scientific ignorance, absolute.
    Today, centuries later, when the ideas of individual liberty, the submission of the state and governments to the rights of citizens are topical, the public health system is a system little less than despotic. And it is thanks precisely to the development of medical science that lends itself to giving it the indispensable, although not necessarily true, arguments for its mandates that restrict the freedom of individuals.
    In times when medical paternalism in relation to the individual patient has, in principle, almost disappeared, the “coercive paternalism” of the “therapeutic state” has no limits. Today the state is increasingly not only the “Big Brother” but also the “Great Physician”, one of the ways in which it exercises its control over people and deprives them of their moral autonomy with respect to themselves at the individual level, and as citizens with respect to others, on the social plane.
    And this pandemic is just a preview. If global warming turns out as worst as many Cassandras announce, we will see how many of today’s individual freedoms will go through the dump of history.

    1. Jose B

      I don’t see how a pandemic can be defeated without a government organized intervention. What else would you suggest? That the profit driven private sector health care and health insurance schemes/scams deal with it? Some utopian libertarian alternative? Apply conspiracy theory and do nothing while the virus settles in and decimates?

      The disease itself gives you a message: avoid contagion or you may die. Impose constraints upon yourself. If you collaborate with others you may may be better protected.

      There is no perfect democracy. If democracy fails to protect us and itself from a pandemic, we have at least not lost anything by trying.

      1. Like how every pandemic has been defeated prior
        Isolate the sick, the weak. Develop heard immunity
        Like ever other pandemic prior

        1. [Like how every pandemic has been defeated prior]
          Wrong.
          Smallpox: 1980 officially eliminated not by herd immunity but by aimed mass vaccination.
          Aiming for herd immunity from smallpox would have been a slaughter.

          [Develop heard immunity]
          Many corona viruses (including some of the common cold viruses) don’t create herd immunity. You can get another infection a few months later.
          You can’t count on herd immunity, especially for a new virus passing to man only two years ago. Its dynamics are unpredictable.

          You may have heard that, here in the UK, the virus has mutated, almost doubling its infection rate, with as yet unknown effects on the efficacy of developing vaccines, symptoms, target community.
          A new virus like that could completely evade side-step herd immunity.

          You can’t wait for herd immunity, because it will overload your health services, very likely for months or years. People in hospitals for other diseases will also get infected and vital therapy will become unavailable and people will die of unrelated diseases like cancer.
          If a lot of people get infected the functioning of the economy gets impacted.
          Waiting for herd immunity would usually mean sacrificing a large number of people.

          Are you volunteering? Are you feeling lucky?

          Would you advocate herd immunity for HIV and Ebola as well?

          [Isolate the sick, the weak.]
          You use generic defenses, hoping that they work (because there is no data when an unknown virus strikes as with Covid):
          Distancing, masks, hygiene (clean hands etc), limiting travel, closing down work places: THEN you test for what works using whatever data (laboratory or field) you have.

          [masks]
          Hong Kong lab data strongly indicates that screens of mask material prevent contamination between hamsters (Syrian hamsters can catch Covid19):
          https://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/news/research-medical-benefits/masks-reduce-covid-19-transmission-between-hamsters/
          https://www.criver.com/eureka/syrian-hamsters-starring-role-covid-19-research.

          You claims elsewhere about CS gas are not very relevant: CS gas is an ORGANIC molecule (2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile molar mass 186.6) dissolved in an ORGANIC solvent.
          Covid is an much larger ORGANISM in an aqueous medium (often sticky mucous) in particle form. Even small particles are not likely to pass the mask without colliding with fibres and sticking.

          [Like every other pandemic prior]
          Not true: you don’t get much herd immunity against flu either because it mutates from year to year and antibodies/vaccines protect you for six months or so.
          Spanish flu was a particularly strong strain: after that we have developed flu vaccines.

          Following your advice for flu (herd immunity) we would get some years of average flu outbreaks then every so often massive, virtually undefended, outbreaks as in 1918 killing tens of millions of people.

            1. @David Anderson

              Thanks David,

              take it that the drink has been accepted and appreciated virtually.

              I am wondering if there is a vaccine against libertarians.

              I have been in virtual lockdown near Liverpool since April: I am covering for my father (93) and mother 87 (bedridden after a stroke).
              I am definitely not waiting for herd immunity!!

              We haven’t got the vaccine yet, even though we are at extremely high risk. We’re on the list apparently!

              My father was a vaccine technician for 40+ years (Glaxo and Medical Research Council): worked through the polio epidemic in the 1950’s and later with flu, measles and the purification/isolation of interferon. He is still very lucid about the details.

  14. I suppose candidates for the brighter living musician/superstar/pop entertainers would include:

    Bob Dylan

    and…

    … Wynton…. sadly he wouldn’t really count though, not being really the same category….

    … ummm….

    …..maybe Dylan is the exception that proves a rule?…

  15. For all the haters:
    A surgeon’s spit mAsK DOESN’T WORK for CS gas, try it, dare you genius
    Thus it DOESN’T WORK for biological agents like covid19, that you can’t see or smell, unlike CS gas. That the spit mAsK DOESN’T WORK for.
    Basic econ: Econ pays for food/healthcare. Poor economy = Deaths
    Thus shutdown costs vs benefits is the proper model. Not one model has been correct so far. Not one.
    So all you know it alls don’t know much, and you are killing your own future
    mAsKs DON’T WORK
    Shutdowns DON’T WORK
    Fools

      1. Virus is smaller than CS gas genius, thus it travels right thru the spit mAsK with the oxygen molecule that you are also inhaling
        Show one study that shows the spit mAsK filter Rona while passing oxygen, just one
        Former nuke team leader, tested the mAsKs personally.
        Simple logic, don’t work for CS genius, don’t work for a virus
        Produce a study or debate with simple logic
        Not a smart mouth non sequitur
        Group IQ down since 1970, Opportunity Cost of SJW
        Spit mAsKs DON’T WORK for CS gas or biological agents like covid19
        Never have
        Produce one study or make simple logic debate

          1. Have your epi produce one study that shows virus trapped with oxygen passed
            Show me one that’s a former nuke team leader, who tested the mAsKs for biological agents personally, before mAsK politics
            I’ll wait

        1. I don’t usually use harsh words on others here; but you have crossed a line.

          Dumbass: Viruses are a relatively large complex of proteins and DNA/RNA strands. Any one of those building blocks is larger than a CS molecule (C10H5ClN2). Every individual DNA/RNA nucleotide is larger than CS.

          Go troll somewhere else.

  16. Makes a welcome change to find a couple of celebrities not cowed by the woke lefty agenda. This scamdemic is a travesty, good on you Van and Eric!!

  17. This is nothing new. Genius musicians and artists in the past have been racist and ignorant. Wagner was anti-semite, Carl Orff was a white supremacist. I still like Carmina Burana, Wagner was always a bit much for me.
    Shakespeare wouldn’t have survived professionally in today’s cancel culture, for that matter, but he was probably a racist and anti-semite.

    1. Affirmative Action is a gaslight for racist sexist misandry in education and employment.
      Every group has their racists
      Leftists like to write narratives
      Selective Service Office is Misandry
      Gender gap only when to advantage, yet the Sod Floor of Arlington is never mentioned along side the glass ceiling
      Only when you are able to judge things Objectively and use simple logic rules will you have understanding
      HBCUs racist as F
      Group IQ down since 1970, the Opportunity Cost of SJW
      You can’t beat the basic Relationship Laws of the universe with infinite ignorance
      The mAsKs DON’T WORK
      Shutdowns DON’T WORK

  18. Kudos to Eric and Van! Two celebs who haven’t sold their souls to be in good graces of the insanely radical left.

      1. Simple econ class. Econ pays for food/healthcare. Poor economy = Deaths
        IQ determines outcomes. Poor IQ = Deaths
        Drs are not Economists. Have you seen the price of healthcare?
        Thus you must plot opposite sloping regression lines to meet in the middle, least amount of objective negatives to the population.
        You can’t beat the basic Relationship Laws of the universe with infinite ignorance, it doesn’t work that way
        So if you want the best health outcomes for all, the current course is not it
        Further that surgeon’s spit mAsK DOESN’T WORK for CS gas or biological agents like covid19. Never have
        Ask yourself why you are being lied to

  19. So now libs dont like singers with opinions, well sure they do as long as it fits thier libtard ideals, as a libertarian that isolates and masks up, screw you

    1. Libertarian here, combat troop. Isolate smart, but that surgeon’s spit mAsK DOESN’T WORK for CS gas, and it won’t work for biological agents like covid19.
      Lost job International SALT Treaty, former nuke team leader, trained in Nuclear Biological and Chemical weapons of war –
      Spit mAsKs DON’T WORK for a variety of reasons
      Wear one if you wish
      It just symbolizes you are a tool of the corporate cabal media
      If you like liberty, take the mAsK off
      It doesn’t work, it is a mute device

      1. COVID is transmitted on discharged water droplets from your mouth and nose. Masks are proven to stop these droplets. Proven. To. Work.

          1. No, not just spit
            Airborne aerosols are increased by mAsK, thus contamination of area is wider and longer
            Doesn’t work CS gas, infected person aerosols covid19 via breathing. mAsK spreads larger area.
            Certificate Of Vaccination IDentify 19
            It was mandated vaccine with name to generate cash

        1. It is transmitted airborne aerosols, that the mAsK actually increases
          Like fuel injection works superior to carburator

          1. Did you even bother to watch the video I provided you?!? It clearly shows a mask preventing aerosols escaping.

            1. If it prevents aerosols escaping, it also reduces oxygen, and that’s critical to your health
              So you must breathe more, producing finer aerosols that escape…
              That contaminates the area more, and for longer, as those escaped aerosols are finer
              And those finer aerosols go thru the other mAsK wearer easier
              Have you passed a simple logic class?
              Produce one study that stops rona like biological agents but passes oxygen
              The filter component is key
              mAsK must create a seal including the eyes
              Must have the proper filters
              Must have valve system to prevent cross contamination inhale/exhale
              Simply don’t work any other way
              Why surgeons have super bugs living in their noses, spit mAsK DOESN’T WORK for biological agents

              1. “If it prevents aerosols escaping, it also reduces oxygen, and that’s critical to your health”

                Okey Dokey then. :>(

    1. All Equal now, oddballs too

      Interesting to note the first Dr that advocated hand washing prior to seeing a patient was ridiculed into insanity

      Genius

      1. In fact, Dr Ignatz Semmelweiss was not driven to madness, his opponents lured him into visiting an asylum where he was, after a fight, locked up. He died 2 weeks later from his injuries .

          1. Hey, man, ’bout time you got outta your mom’s basement and gave her laptop back.

            And put your pants on as well.

  20. Disappointing. Read this as I was listening to Clapton’s version of Love in Vain from Me and Mr Johnson. A fantastic piece of vinyl, or CD/digital, if you go that way.
    I’ve heard he has some fairly odious views but I try not to pay attention to celebrity commentary.

  21. Unfortunately most people have blind faith in Government and science! Point in Fact…. So in 2020 where is all of the influenza deaths!
    Wait until the Benford Equation is applied to this Covid 19…
    One word….FRAUD

      1. Ok.

        “Kelly Brogan is an American author of books on alternative medicine and a promoter of discredited medical hypotheses.”

        You lost, Stevie. So sad. 😀

  22. I have no problem separating the music from the person. I still jam Michael Jackson even if I think he was guilty (I even still listen to PYT – pretty young thing).

  23. Love how millionaire rockstars act like they speak for the common man, total BS. We wear seat belts when we drive, stop at red lights, don’t smoke in public places, wear condoms for safe sex so if wearing a mask in public is a small inconvenience to keep you and those around you safe so be it!! Nobody likes too but it’s called being a HUMAN BEING AND CARING FOR OTHERS AND THE WORLD!! Clapton an morrison are over the hill forgotten rockers who will do anything to keep their names public but what they are preaching is wrong especially in UK where covid is spiking again. They should be preaching social distancing and mask wearing. Screw them!! MASKS DO SAVE LIVES AND IS PROVEN TO REDUCE THE RISK OF GETTING AND SPREADING Covid!! what will their follow up song be the vaccinations should be frowned on?

    1. “who will do anything to keep their names public”

      I suspect it’s the loss of income from concerts that motivates them.

  24. Not only is it odious to thwart science like this and suggest anyone that doesn’t is a coward but it’s also pretty pathetic to liken this to slavery. The millionaires have no idea what really hard work even is. Go work in a steel mill in the open hearth for a week and think long and hard what it would be like to do that for no money and under threat of death for long hours with little food.

  25. LOVE IT and I am surprised that so few spoke up. Agreed that safety mechanisms are needed, but at least here in the USA, many private businesses (Target, Walmart, etc) had already put masks and distancing measures in place BEFORE government mandates. Small donut shops and other delis had put in plexiglass and barriers outside of govt mandates. It’s not the government’s place to shut down businesses and take away people’s livelihoods, and it’s also against our constitutional rights of freedom of assembly (and also association with others.) Other countries which did not shut down or had very limited shutdowns have lower rates of transmission than we do. CA had the strictest shutdown and then had the highest spikes in cases afterwards.

    I’ve said this before, restricting the movement of young healthy people who were least likely to die actually meant over the long term that older people had a statistically higher chance of contracting the virus, because it prevented herd immunity among those least at risk. Those at risk should of course be allowed to VOLUNTARILY self quarantine/distance. In 1969 we had the Hong Kong Flu, and yet we had the moon landing, the launch of PBS, and WOODSTOCK! None of that would have happened had we shut down.

    One of the reasons for the shutdown was simply that hospitals were not FINANCIALLY PREPARED for the influx of patients, and this is the same reason why European schools had reopened and American schools had not. We’re supposed to believe in science and the EMPIRICAL METHOD. Are there any studies which have compared the results of open policies vs shutdown policies? ONLY ONE THAT I KNOW OF https://mises.org/wire/theres-still-no-evidence-either-lockdowns-or-masks-are-game-changers

    And anyway, let’s say hypothetically that there WAS a preponderance of evidence that lockdowns showed a marked reduction in transmission. At what point and at what time would the violation of our rights mean that the “cure was worse than the disease?” That’s the question and the dilemma.

    1. The only previous pandemic you can fairly compare this one to is the 1918 flu. Anything else wasn’t close. So, yeah, no problem!

      Before the 1918 flu, you have to go back to the Native Americans getting small pox, et al., or back to Europe in the Middle Ages.

      Total deaths from COVID-19 are going to be north of 500,000 in the USA alone. We have more deaths per month than the flu typically generates in a year.

      HIV/AIDS in the United States – 700,000 as of 2018
      1918 Flu – 675,000
      COVID-19 pandemic in the United States – 300,000+ as of 15 December, 2020
      1957–1958 influenza pandemic – 116,000
      1968 Hong Kong flu – 100,000

      Hong Kong flu was just 3X a “normal” flu year. We’ve tripled that toll, in less than a year (about 0.8 year), even with all the prevention measures. What would it look like if we had followed Trump’s lead across the board? And effing holocaust.

      “One of the reasons for the shutdown was simply that hospitals were not FINANCIALLY PREPARED for the influx of patients” Maybe you should visit one of the busy hospitals or listen to some interviews with the staff.

      1. The deaths are mainly in the elderly and those with co-morbidities. Not to be cold about it, but these are people who would be vulnerable to the regular flu season. In addition, especially in this country the “accounting” methods for Covid might be flawed. Hospitals have a financial incentive to list Covid as a death because they get funding. Therefore sometimes people who die from chronic heart disease but happen to have Covid are listed as dying from Covid. I believe that some of this definitely accounts for some of the larger disparities in death rates between countries. Don’t get me wrong, I never said this was not to be taken seriously!!! I just believe based on info from trusted sources that the shutdown is causing more problems than the disease, and that the lingering economic effects will result in more human tolls than the flu. We should understand that human livelihood is as much intertwined with economic circumstances as it is with imminent health threats.

        1. “Don’t get me wrong, I never said this was not to be taken seriously!!!”

          Who do you think you’re kidding? You did just that right now. Hospitals are over capacity. We have 339,000 dead so far. And you just attributed this to the victims of the pandemic and financial motives of hospitals.

        2. I think you are mostly right but there have been some apparently healthy people that have been taken young by this disease. I suppose they could have had co-morbidities that are unknown or that they simply haven’t shared with others. If not, then it seems like if you have the wrong DNA, you are its victim. Of course, that’s true to some extent with all disease but I wonder if it is a particularly large factor with this one.

          1. By “affect” it seems that you mean 10% fatality per year “for something to be considered serious”.
            That means in 5 years without measures (47% fatality) you are considering a halving of the population as the limit of “for something to be considered serious”.

            The UK had less than a million fatalities in WWII which is a lot less than 0.5% per year.

            The link you gave was for U.S. fatalities up to 16th March 2020 when the effects of the virus were not very well known.

            It is not known what the fatality rate might be without lockdown.
            Using lockdown also gave the health services of each country time to “kit up” without overloading and also time to understand the disease.

            The fatality rate is likely to increase after health services hit overload. People also die of other causes due to overloaded health care services.

            Once a virus new to humans spreads to a significant degree, it has more chance of mutating because the number of infected hosts is increased. It could then increase lethality in other age groups, or develop a different pattern of symptoms and transmission.

            “Affecting” the population also includes “non-fatalities” such as long-haul Covid (approx 2% of infections), which may permanently damage health, availability for work, contagiosity, overload health services.

            Overspending at the beginning may save money in the long term.
            It could ruin the economy if you underspend.
            How are you supposed to know?
            You can make prudent choices or “live dangerously” and do nothing.

        3. “Hospitals have a financial incentive to list Covid as a death because they get funding.” Would you explain? Serious question; people keep saying this, but at least the first part of the year wouldn’t deaths have been under-reported and the co-morbidities listed as the cause? And what kind of funding do hospitals get for COVID cases?

  26. It’s disappointing, of course, to hear such stuff, but, as others have suggested, celebrity status does not provide immunity from stupidity (and frequently quite the opposite, in fact). What is more alarming, to me, is that such acclaimed masters of their craft could admit to writing these dreadful lyrics.
    Can we put it all down to an early onset of senility? To somehow keep our childhood naivety in tact?

  27. Just because one can strum on a guitar or turn out a good lyric (If I’ve correctly identified the skills to go with the names), doesn’t make one competent to comment on infection vectors and their control. Odd that.
    Is there an actual virologist, bacteriologist etc who is musically competent? The last microbiologist I knew well enough could sing almost as badly as me – a definite challenge – before he disappeared into Grimbledon Down, somewhere on the Plains of Englandshire.

    1. Since you’re calling us all stupid, right back at you. All the data show that masking up and following lockdown rules reduces the death rate and incidence of the disease. What do you think just caused the latest spike?.
      YOU are the stupid one, and also antiscience in your apparent ignorance of the data. And I don’t let stupid people post here more than once.

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