Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Billy Corgan is scared of the “hashtag generation” going after his free speech


Billy Corgan built a successful music career on being an angsty rock ‘n’ roll boy, and in recent years he has leveraged that angst into a website about cars or something, a producing gig with TNA Wrestling, and a memoir that may or may not cover the entirety of human history. Despite all that success, though, Corgan is still just a rat in a cage. He has fears and anxieties like any other normal person does, and he recently appeared on a popular radio show to discuss them with a guy who knows all about fears and anxieties (because he constantly invents them): High-profile conspiracy theorist/asshole Sandy Hook truther Alex Jones.

Corgan was on the show to promote a vaguely defined documentary he’s working on about the history of America, explaining that he interviewed a bunch of people across the country who all expressed the surprising idea that America is still the best. From there, Corgan somehow got onto evil tech corporations who are cutting deals with “Communists and Fascists” to spread their influence across the globe and snuff out freedom, an assertion that Jones (of course) quickly accepts and then uses as a segue to bring up an article that Corgan sent him about how President Obama’s administration refused to stop people from pirating The Expendables 3 for some reason. Obviously, it all comes back around to those evil tech companies, which have become so powerful that they’re somehow profiting from illegal downloads and/or the continued collapse of democracy around the world.

In case it’s not clear, the conversation is largely bananas. Corgan moseys around whatever his point is, Jones tosses in meaningless phrases that only he truly understands, and it all builds to the reveal of who the true enemies of freedom are: “social justice warriors.” Pitchfork somehow managed to unpack this part of the discussion, which kicked off with Jones alleging that young people lash out at everyone because they’re just looking to get offended, saying:

…There’s little arrogant 20-year-olds spitting in their faces screaming at ‘em, ‘You hate me ‘cause I’m a tranny,’ and it’s just this made-up thing in their head when we don’t hate them–I mean–how do you transcend this?


How would Jones “transcend” that attitude? He’d “punch them in the nose.” This is when Corgan jumped in, revealing that he’s “horrified” that these young people—who he dubs the “hashtag generation”—will someday go after him for saying “the wrong thing on the wrong day.” Of course, the idea of simply being a good enough person to not say the wrong thing at all doesn’t occur to Corgan or Jones, because that notion conflicts with their argument that people are only being offended because they want to be. They think the onus is on the person being offended, not the person doing the offending.

After that, Jones compared these young people to “a dumb Klan guy” since they’ll “spit on somebody…because they just wanna hate somebody,” which—in his mind—is exactly the same as a Klan member murdering somebody just because he’s black. Corgan, rather than just allowing that to lay there on the airwaves like the pile of offensive absurdity that it is, decided to make the comparison even more literal. He acknowledges that these members of his hashtag generation think they’re doing the right thing, but if you go back to “Selma [in] 1932” and find a “Klan member spitting in some person of color’s face,” then that Klan guy probably also thought he was doing the right thing. Ergo, these “social justice warriors” are as bad as the Klan, and Billy Corgan is as oppressed as a black guy in the ‘30s. Hopefully the fascist tech companies or easily offended young people don’t take him to task for saying that!

You can see a clip of Corgan’s discussion with Jones below.

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