Fallen Idol: Exene Cervenka and the Santa Barbara “Hoax”

by Laurie Henzel

I love the band X. In the ’70s and ’80s, these California punk rock icons inspired many young people like myself, and I’ve always especially admired lead singer Exene Cervenka. But I noticed something distressing over the past few months. She’s calling herself a “Conspiracy Therapist” on Twitter, writing some disturbing tweets, and posting videos like The Blunt Truth about The Trayvon Martin Case. (Which essentially complained that the uproar over that case belittled all the other terrible things happening in the world.) She also posted some Truther videos that seemed very “tea party”-inspired, and stated in interviews that she’s into the idea of open-carrying guns. 

Now, I’m what you’d call a proud lefty liberal, who hates guns and gun culture and the NRA. But I told myself, “Laurie, she’s entitled to her beliefs, even if you think they’re really dumb. Plus, she’s friggin’ EXENE! She’s responsible for some of the best songs EVER!”

But over the weekend, Exene went too far, tweeting that the Santa Barbara shootings were all a hoax, staged to erode our freedoms to carry firearms. And that is some stupid and insulting shit that’s extremely offensive to the families of the men and women killed.

Will I stop listening to and enjoying X? Of course not. But it does taint my image of them, and saddens me that I won’t ever see eye to eye with someone I deeply admired. I guess I’ll have to chalk this up to my old motto: “People are Disappointing.”


Today, May 30th, Exene apologized on Xs FaceBook page for using the word Hoax in her Tweet. You can read it here. or below

“A statement from Exene Cervenka:
I want to apologize for using the word ‘hoax’ in a comment I made on social media. I realize people have died in these violent events and we have all experienced that in our own lives. No one wants anyone else to ever have to go through that.
The point I am always trying to make is that we need to start thinking critically, looking past the headlines at all available information and make an informed opinion. My issue is with the media’s coverage of events that will shape our public policy and laws for generations to come. We all need to be involved in that debate but we cannot contribute unless we have accurate truthful and complete information about what happened at any of these events.
The hatred, rage and intolerance of ones opinions and the threatening language that I have been receiving through the media makes me realize that this is not a path I want to be on. I don’t want to be a source of hatred and rage. I don’t like it being directed at me and I don’t want to create it in anyone’s mind. It was not my intent.
I wasn’t expecting this kind of response to a comment I made, but it has been a wakeup call and has radically altered my own views as to how I want to live in this world. I always try to do what I think is right. I’ve always been very vocal and opinionated, but this experience with the media has not been positive, nor productive.
It’s only through positive energy that things will get better in this country for all of us.”


Photo via Bloodshot Records

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