After a performance that became an unexpected psychological experiment—testing the internet’s willingness to encourage or shit on a person’s dreams, according to their empathy for his struggles or distaste for celebrity entitlement—Corey Feldman returned to Today for another concert/morality play. As before, Feldman was surrounded by his halo-sporting Angels, the backing band of young women for whom he’s helping realize their dream of doing stuff for Corey Feldman (provided they don’t get fat). And once again, they sang a song of platitudinous empowerment from Corey’s double-album, Angelic 2 The Core—“Take A Stand,” which follows in the plodding footsteps of “Go 4 It.” But this time, they did it for America.

“We’re doing something new that hasn’t been done before,” Feldman told Today’s Tamron Hall. “But it’s all about innovation and being an artist, and we can’t be afraid to share our art … This song is for America.”

During the performance, Feldman made America’s complicity explicit by whipping out a miniature American flag, waving it around as proudly as his own dramatically loosened ponytail. Was the latter’s emergence from a white hoodie that resembled a sparkly Japanese flag (paired with a complementary Mandarin collar shirt) intended to be a symbol for America fighting back against growing Eastern dominance? Sure. But the lyrics, delivered in tones that varied from falsetto to bluesy, guttural growl, spoke of a more global message:

Steppin’ out the window
Caught inside a dream
Ignorance is blissful
Feelin’ quite serene
Because I choose to ignore
The suffering abroad
Doesn’t mean it’s not happening
Just means I turned it off
If I can stop all the pain
Of the lives that are bein’ lost
And I pray we refrain
From [??] at any cost
We need peace right now
We need love somehow
The world is dark from the clouds
Let the sun shine down
Just get up off the ground and take a stand

Of course, while “Take A Stand” was directed more broadly at a world that should do something about all the … stuff happening … over there, it obviously has a far more personal meaning to Feldman. As Hall acknowledged, Feldman’s last performance garnered a lot of online mockery (“Insanity?” Feldman said pointedly), and while it became “the year’s most-watched Today.com video” for reasons that the show is definitely not exploiting now, Feldman remains steadfast in his convictions, saying he was encouraged by the support he received from musicians like Pink, Kesha, Miley Cyrus, and Paris Jackson, as well as the artists who have come before him:

A friend of mine who actually helped—he’s an investor of mine—named Brian McMullen, he was on the phone with me and I was all depressed and I was crying. And he said, ‘Think of it this way. When Kiss first started, when Eminem first started, when Nirvana first started, they all got hate. People were turning them off at the radio stations. People were walking off the dance floor at the clubs because it didn’t make sense to them at that time. But those all became amazing legends.’

Advertisement

Will Corey Feldman overcome his own knee-jerk backlash to be recognized as another legend, one whose music has the power to unite a fractious America with its messages of peace, love, and paying attention to Corey Feldman? True, already the nation seems to have come together to condemn Feldman for dropping that miniature American flag on the ground. But really, it’s up to history to decide. Only time will tell whether we pass this test, or if Today just has to keep bringing him back until we do.