Sometime between Randy Rhoads’ death and the time Ozzy Osbourne checked himself into rehab, I had the pleasure of seeing Ozzy live. At the time there were only two albums, Diary of a Madman
and Blizzard of Ozz
. To my 16 year old ears, Randy’s unrelenting guitar riffs were pure awesomeness.
So as a fanboy, it became my duty to defend the controversial Ozzy from the Christian classmates who very earnestly relayed the horrific stories Ozzy's atrocities. This was around the time Ozzy bit the head off of a bat which he thought was a rubber toy. But junior high is a place where rumors get repeated, distorted and amplified.
My classmate told me she heard that Ozzy would not perform until his fans killed every cat that they brought to the concert. It only occurs to me now how absurd that claim was. Who brings cats to a concert? How do you get the cats in?
My point, if it’s not too late to come to a point, is that Ozzy inspired quite a few rumors about himself. Not the least of which was that he was a Satan worshipper. I was in the uncomfortable position of trying to defend Ozzy from obviously stupid rumors and outright lies. Sadly, Ozzy wasn’t helping.
When I saw him in 1983, he came out with a giant cross and then smashed it. So there was that. He wrote a song about the noted occultist Alistair Crowley. He was in a band called Black Sabbath that featured a song called “NIB” (Nativity in Black). And his album covers seemed to suggest he might be besties with the Dark Lord.
But Ozzy said he wasn’t a Satanist. In his song “Rock and Roll Rebel”, he has this lyric, “They say I worship the Devil, they must be stupid or blind.”I was more than willing to give the Ozzman the benefit of the doubt; he said it wasn’t so. But Ozzy, I can see why I others might think you do.
So there is this president who claims he’s not a racist. I believe he’s not racist but once again, I find myself in the difficult spot trying to convince people that despite the calculated image a person is creating for himself, it is not really the case. Why? Because candidate Trump makes cringeworthy statements like, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”
And in regards to an American-born judge of Mexican descent overseeing a class action lawsuit of Trump University he said, “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings – rulings that people can’t even believe.
Trump deliberately played the crude populist to gin up many American’s resentments. He played to some of our lowest motivations in order to win the nomination. When a small, vocal racist contingent took Trump's ascension as their cue, he kept his denunciations muted. Meanwhile other polished GOP candidates like Cruz played the political game of delicately balancing conservative concerns of illegal immigration and denying the Democrats fodder for accusations of racism, Trump blustered through.
It’s now 30 years later and I don’t go fanboy over musicians. I certainly feel no need to defend public figures who cultivate an image and then want to later distance themselves from it. So while I do hope for a productive and successful Republican four years, I will not defend President Trump from problems of his own making.