Chinese Democracy: Axl Rose and Tibet

Neither the Chinese Democracy involving a change in political process in a vast Asian country nor the Chinese Democracy involving the most expensive never-released album seems to be forthcoming. Yet non-change is presently newsworthy.

The Guns n Roses “forthcoming” album, Chinese Democracy, has been a joke for years. According to a 2006 New York Times article , as of two years ago, Geffen Records had spent $13 million:

ranking [Guns n Roses’/ Axl Rose’s] unfinished masterpiece as probably the most expensive recording never released…. the singer who cast himself as a master of predatory Hollywood in the hit song “Welcome to the Jungle” has come to be known instead as the keeper of the industry’s most notorious white elephant.

So since Geffen has not made any money from this album who wants to use this as a PR stunt? Dr. Pepper, of course!

According to Consumerist, Dr. Pepper is offering everyone in the U.S. a free drink — if Axl Rose finally releases Chinese Democracy this year. Except for Slash and Buckethead.

OT: Slash and Buckethead as equal non-members of GnR? No way! That’s like calling Courtney Love and Mike Patton equal members of Faith No More.

Rose says neither he nor Geffen are working with Dr Pepper. While funny, this PR stunt seems wrong –Dr. Pepper gets to promote itself in a way that will not lead to any expense on their part, by picking on others.

Dr. Pepper Democracy seems very different from music fans making fun of the same situation because they aren’t making money or advertising themselves — just pointing out one of the most ridiculous points in music industry history (for others, see KISS solo albums, lowball sale of Motown,etc)

On a much more serious note, as someone who has been watching/listening to a great deal of media over the last few days due to illness, I’ve been shocked by the lack of coverage of the recent Tibet riots and their implications for the upcoming Beijing Olympics and for the world economy.

Generally, if it bleeds, it leads … but not if it is outside of the U.S. So where has there been actual discussion of Tibet — the only U.S. sources have been NPR, Macneal, and major newspapers (with blurbs), with no network news reporting.

Considering that international news sources (BBC tv and radio, KBC, etc) are spending time discussing -our- presidential election, it’s beyond sad…into depressing that important world events are being ignored — and continuing to allow Americans to remain isolated from the world.

Did you know that the U.S. and French government have implied that they will not be condemning the actions of China in Tibet and will not be pulling out of the Beijing games because of the overall economic power of China? This is important to know regardless of where one is on the political spectrum — from free-market isolationist to bleeding-heart interventionist.

But unless you get at least some of your news from NPR or international sources, you won’t even know what you are missing.

EDIT: Chinese Democracy (the album) has finally been released on November 23, 2008.


One thought on “Chinese Democracy: Axl Rose and Tibet

  1. “That’s like calling Courtney Love and Mike Patton equal members of Faith No More.”

    You are so getting a drink on me for that line.

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