RIP MCA: Yauch challenged Islamophobia and US militarism in the Middle East on MTV in 1998

on 16 Comments

Above is the Beastie Boys receiving a lifetime achievement award from MTV in 1998. Skip to 6:35 to hear what Adam Yauch had to say. Yauch, who was also known as MCA, died today from cancer at age 47.

While we’re on the Beasties, skip to about a minute in the video below to relive a highlight of my high school years:

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16 Responses

  1. slowereastside
    May 4, 2012, 3:33 pm

    M.C. for what I AM and do
    The A is for Adam and the lyrics; true
    So as pray and hope and the message is sent
    And I AM living in the dreams that I have dreamt


  2. David Samel
    May 4, 2012, 3:41 pm

    Never heard of Adam Yauch before but he’s a new hero of mine, and I mourn his untimely passing. That was a great speech, and I wish we heard more of that sort of thing at the Oscars, Grammys, etc. that have such a wide tv audience. I think Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon got so much flak about a decade ago that almost everyone has been scared since. (I recall Almodovar being an exception a few years ago, though I can’t remember precisely what he said.)

    As for your HS years, Adam, this is one time I feel glad to have 20 years on you. My HS years were 67-71, and I don’t need to tell you what music we were listening to.

    • Adam Horowitz
      May 4, 2012, 4:47 pm

      Guess that was before music videos ;)

      • Annie Robbins
        May 4, 2012, 5:10 pm

        yep, before MTV. we had some sweet music tho.

        thanks for this post adam, the beastie boys yum yum

  3. Today in Palestine
    May 4, 2012, 4:33 pm

    Listening to my Beastie Boys play list now, License to Ill will always be my favorite.

  4. Today in Palestine
    May 4, 2012, 4:35 pm

    I know Zionists like to brag about the chosen people’s contributions to the universe, but, I think you had your shining moment with the Beastie Boys.

  5. eljay
    May 4, 2012, 4:49 pm

    >> Skip to 6:35 to hear what Adam Yauch had to say.

    Not a BB fan, but kudos to “MCA” for his words.

  6. Mooser
    May 4, 2012, 5:22 pm

    You’ve got to fight for your right to party! Especially if you’re not invited, I might add.

  7. Siegfried al-Haq
    May 5, 2012, 1:30 am

    Indeed RIP Yauch, the Beasties were to me a sort of soundtrack for me and my friends for several years… They began in the tradition of white appropriations of black innovations (and of course there’s a fascinating Jewish presence in that history, ref. The Jazz Singer) but extended themselves into newer terrains as they went… while they played in Israel in 1995, they seemed distant if not disdainful about Israel overall, I have no recollection of them showing interest in Zionism or its American reflections…

    Of course “Shake your rump” has what could be our own Adam’s personal tagline: “Suckaz they be sayin they can take out Adam Horovitz!”

  8. eGuard
    May 5, 2012, 5:43 am

    This video was from 1998. Was there a specific missile attack by the US in the Middle East he refers to?

    • AlGhorear
      May 5, 2012, 10:05 am

      Clinton destroyed a pharmaceutical company with a cruise missile in Sudan in 1998. Wiki article and also bombed Iraq in 1998. Operation Desert Fox

    • David Samel
      May 5, 2012, 10:51 am

      eGuard, I don’t know the date of the awards show, but I would go with Clinton’s attack on Iraq that, if memory serves, happened on the eve of a major Congressional vote on the Lewinsky scandal. Some commentators, notably Hitchens, accused Clinton of trying to distract attention from the vote, which was put off for a few days. btw, how sad that this incident that killed about 100 people, I think, was huge news at the time; now, after a decade of war, it is so commonplace that no one bats an eye at such casualties. My own view of the timing of Clinton’s bombing run was that it was an irrelevant issue. If the military strike was justified, the Lewinsky scandal should not have delayed or prevented it. On the other hand, if not justifiable, it was just another ho-hum act of mass murder for which presidents enjoy complete and undeserved immunity, and Clinton’s motivation for such murder would be mostly irrelevant. Anyway, I would bet Yauch was talking about Iraq rather than Sudan.

      • David Samel
        May 5, 2012, 11:02 am

        Whoops, I’d lose that bet. Just researched it (doing things backwards) and the bombing of Sudan was in August, the awards show in September, and the bombing of Iraq in December. So it was Sudan, as Ethan Heitner says. My recollection of that bombing is that the Administration initially claimed it was a chemical weapons factory tied to Osama bin Laden, who already was the devil incarnate in 1998. Over the next few weeks, they gradually backtracked to something idiotic, like the pharmaceutical plant was capable of producing precursors to chemical weapons, a rationale that would have justified bombing most kitchens in the US.

  9. Ethan Heitner
    May 5, 2012, 9:52 am

    Clinton sent cruise missiles to destroy a civilian pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, in retaliation for the Kenya embassy bombings, which remains an oft-cited example of pre-9/11 state terrorism perpetrated by the U.S. for those of us who remember. Many, like Chomsky, cite a figure of thousands of deaths caused, not by the strike itself, but by the lack of vital medicines that the plant produced for a very poor nation.

  10. Sumud
    May 5, 2012, 7:12 pm

    OK – “suckers they be saying they can take out Adam Horowitz” !!

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