Twitter has been the center of a great deal of activity in the Duran Duran fandom lately and has been since both John and Simon have decided to grace us mere fans with their presence over there. In most cases, the topics discussed or brought up are usually light-hearted. Just tonight, for example, John was over on twitter answering questions from fans. Some of these questions regarded what tv shows he likes, what book he is reading, his opinion on giving fans hugs, etc. Yet, in the last week, we have all seen more serious discussions take place as well.
It all started last week, when John decided to retweet a statement from Jane Fonda regarding last weekend’s terrible shooting in Arizona. While John didn’t add to the retweet, his opinion on a certain politician was clear by his choice in sharing this statement with his thousands of followers. Well, that did not go over very well among some people from what I saw. These people claimed that John shouldn’t have done that and that he should stay out of politics. John attempted to have a discussion and the people who disagreed did give him reasons that he should keep his mouth closed when it comes to issues like this. Then, John disappeared off of twitter for a couple of days until he returned with a related question regarding gun control. This time, instead of retweeting a strong opinion, he asked for people’s opinions about this issue. This time, at least, publicly, there seemed to be less people all upset. Did his approach make all the difference? I don’t know. To me, it doesn’t matter. He should have the right to say what he thinks about politics or whatever, really.
John Taylor, like any person, should have the right to voice his opinions. While I can understand people’s desire to keep things like politics and music separate and I think that, too, sometimes, they have to understand that there is John, the bass player for Duran Duran, and John, the person. He didn’t come out and say that “Duran Duran believes so and so is guilty of blah.” He didn’t say that. He gave HIS personal opinion. Now, of course, there are many people who might disagree with his thoughts on the matter. That’s everyone’s right, too. They could have told him that, respectfully. It seems to me based on his discussion on gun control that he is perfectly willing and even interested in having those types of discussions. Yet, instead I heard about insults directed at John or written about him. Horribly offensive insults. Is that anyway to be respectful of someone you supposedly like and respect? I don’t think so.
Now, some people might just think that this is easy for me to say since I completely agree with him on both his original retweet and on his opinion on gun control. Yes, I admit that it feels good to know that someone I have admired for a long time thinks like me, at least on these issues, especially since I’m pretty involved, politically, outside of my job and this job—I mean this fandom! Nonetheless, there are other things that I could have issues with. I’ll give an example. I’m a vegetarian and have been for almost 17 years. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, most members of the band eat meat, wear leather, wear fur, etc. Does this upset me? Not really. I wish that they wouldn’t but I feel strongly that I need to let others live how they want to unless it is hurting me or others. Thus, there are a few things that they could do that would upset me so much that I wouldn’t be able to be a fan anymore, like if I found out that one of them beat his wife or girlfriend, for instance. Beyond those few things, they should be allowed to do what they want, have their own thoughts and be able to voice them. The answer for the people annoyed with John Taylor’s decision to say what he thinks is to stop following him. Stop reading what he writes. Stop paying attention. After all, you can’t really control someone else but you can control yourself even as a fan.