The Protest Survey: Big Black Delta’s Jonathan Bates

On the Election and the Most Overrated and Underrated Political Issues of Our Time

Oct 31, 2012 Issue #42 - The Protest Issue Bookmark and Share


In conjunction with our Protest Issue we asked several artists the same set of politically-themed questions. These answers were provided by Big Black Delta, the Los Angeles-based project of former Mellowdrone frontman Jonathan Bates.

What, in your opinion, is the most pressing U.S. political or social issue? 

Banking and credit reform. Campaign funding and PAC reform.  Separation of church and state.

What, in your opinion, is the most pressing worldwide political or social issue? 

Besides universal human rights violations, the homogenization of world currencies to a single, non-gold-based currency (i.e., the euro) which ties every national economy together.  Countries end up paying for others’ mismanagement.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. presidential election is shaping up so far?  

This is the saddest, most factually incorrect campaign in recent history.

Does openly supporting a political candidate (i.e., Obama) represent a tacit endorsement of all of that politician’s positions (drone strikes, indefinite detention of terror suspects, etc.)?

Of course not.

Do artists have a responsibility to use their work or public platform to positively influence voters and push for change?


What is the most overrated political or social issue of our time? 

The fact we’re still discussing women’s health rights and gay marriage STUNS me. We’ve found the Higgs Boson (or a form of it), figured out quantum levitation, mapped the human gene, grow body parts in laboratories, made taco shells out of Doritos… and they’re trying to tell grown women what they can do with their vaginas? Really?

What is the most underrated political or social issue of our time?  

Access to drinking water. You think oil causes wars? Just wait.

Does a single piece of art (a song, a film, etc.) have the power to change people's minds and create societal change? 

At the right intersection of variables, anything can cause something to tip.

What are your thoughts on the state of U.S. political coverage (i.e., television and print media)?

It’s like watching a Paul Verhoeven movie. Starship Troopers is looking more like a documentary everyday.

Where do you get your news in this day and age?

Internet. It’s the only way to get multiple points of view on a matter so that I can better form my own opinion.

Do you have anything else to say about the current state of politics or the state of the world?

I’ll be in my bunk.



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