While in Austin for the SXSW Festival, musician Billy Corgan met up with conspiracy-theorizing talk show host Alex Jones and touched on, over the course of a lengthy, far-reaching interview, political issues including the Occupy movement, President Obama and feminism.
During the hour-long, "explosive" InfoWars.com interview, Corgan opined on the Obama administration, which he described as going "out of their way to stifle dissent." The "ruling force," he later said he believed, "ultimately wants the least amount of trouble ... to keep people opiated, stupid, uninformed."
"What did Obama say coming in? 'I want to run this great open government.' 'Transparent' was, I believe, the word they used," Corgan told Jones. "Why are we so afraid of that dissent? What is the problem? Isn't that the point of a democracy?"
Continuing on the issue of dissent, Corgan described the Occupy movement as "co-opted."
"I particularly didn't agree with all of the Occupy message," Corgan said. "I think there's certain aspects about it that are troubling, particularly wealth distribution, you know. In my particular instance, you know, I came from a family that didn't have anything. Everything I've earned in life, I've made. Myself. With songs that I wrote. So when somebody starts talking about how I have to give to somebody that didn't do that, that's a deeper conversation."
The Smashing Pumpkins frontman added the caveat that his take on Occupy "doesn't mean I don't have a social concern."
Further, in response to veteran feminist activists Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda's call for talk radio host Rush Limbaugh's firing over the controversial remarks he made about law student Sandra Fluke, Corgan smirked: "It's funny to me how these people pop up in the narrative when there's an agenda."
On his own political affiliation, Corgan said he is "not necessarily one side or the other."
"I've got people in my family who are total right-wing Republicans and some of them are probably even racist, but they at least have a particular opinion that they are coming from that is rooted in their own belief system," he noted.
"It's very weird to me that the left has become the old right," he later described. "I certainly can't identify with that left anymore, because I see that now as the party of be quiet and get in line."
If you're short on time and still want a flavor of the Corgan interview, BuzzFeed trimmed the segment down to a self-admittedly "heavily edited, totally out of context, MSM version."
In a separate interview conducted while at SXSW, Corgan also commented on what he called the staggering number of "poseurs" in the music industry today.
"I was part of a generation that changed the world -- and it was taken over by poseurs," Corgan told Billboard's Brian Solis.
The InfoWars.com interview does not mark Corgan's first foray into decidedly off-beat political commentary. In 2009, he suggested on his blog that the national emergency declared in response to the H1N1 swine flu virus was "propaganda" orchestrated by President Obama, as Mediaite reported.
In addition to his foray into punditry, Corgan is also busy these days with preparing for the upcoming release of the Pumpkins' new album "Oceania," as well as creating his own professional wrestling company and opening a tea house in the north Chicago suburbs.
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