Today was not his greatest day.
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan’s comments regarding social reformers and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made the rounds on social media after his appearance on conspiracy news channel InfoWars this past week, becoming one of the top trending topics on Facebook.
While never short on opinions, Corgan’s comments were that much more ironic because the very epidemic he warned Americans about — the attack on free speech in America — was on full display following the 30-minute clip.
Headlines like “Billy Corgan Supports Donald Trump Protesters” and “Billy Corgan Slams Bernie Sanders” permeated the Internet on Friday, click-baiting left-wing users to read about how the admitted Libertarian was bashing their political values.
One such article from Someecards even went so far as to claim Corgan was upset because he couldn’t use the “N-Word” for fear of career suicide.
“Billy Corgan—the Smashing Pumpkins frontman who was probably a guy you once respected and kind of liked if you were alive in the 90s…is angry that he can’t say the N-word because of d*** politically correct college students,” author Jaime Lutz surmises, thanks to some screen images that happened to be edited into the broadcast.
“During Corgan’s speech, the screen shows images of Paula Deen and Michael Richards, both of whom were criticized for using the N-word.”
Logically, this author assumes the alt-rock superstar from Smashing Pumpkins doesn’t want to live in a world where he can’t be free to spout racial epithets.
As you would guess, the Facebook comment section lit up in disgust by anyone too lazy to actually see the video. Luckily, most saw it for what it was: an attempt to rile up Internet traffic to that particular web site with no thought given to whether false statements attributed to a celebrity would damage his career at all. Which, if you actually listened to what Corgan spoke about, is exactly what he was afraid of and speaking out against.
“It’s pretty remarkable that I could say one word right now that would destroy my career. I could use the wrong racial epithet or say the wrong thing to you or look down at the wrong part of your body and be castigated and it’s a meme and I’m a horrible person. Every day through the media, through advertising, we see people being degraded, we see people doing all sorts of things that we should be horrified at as a culture. So we’ve normalized all sorts of things, but we live in a world where one word could destroy your life.”
And yes, as some headlines intimated, Billy did voice his thoughts on Bernie Sanders the candidate, calling his tax-heavy proposals “crazy” in that they could possibly “disempower the innovators in the country.” But, he followed every statement with the invitation for thoughtful debate and discussion. He never criticized people outright for having or sharing their beliefs, something that this country is famous for. And, he doesn’t want that to end.
In many ways, Billy Corgan, like Jerry Seinfeld or Chris Rock, who also criticized the PC generation for their assault on free speech, is seeking for a greater middle ground in today’s media and politics, something harder and harder to come by in the black-and-white society we now find ourselves in thanks to Fox News and Twitter.
It’s ironic that the very thing Corgan expressed as a major concern found itself posted across every platform in America. In real time.
What do you think? Is Billy Corgan right to question the assault on free speech?
[Image via InfoWars]