Catching Up with Melissa Etheridge
By Dustin Fitzharris
Who are you saying those words to?
To myself. Oh yeah. My songs are big conversations with myself.
During the last presidential election campaigns, you were an avid supporter of Dennis Kucinich. How do you rate President Obama's performance so far?
The political field has been a real adventure for me. I believed wholeheartedly in 1992 that the difference between a Democrat and a Republican was huge. It was like it was us and it was them. And we are fighting them and we are the good guys and they are the bad guys. When I grew into more of a spiritual being, I started seeing that it is a silly fight that we're having with each other because the truth is neither the Democrats or Republicans are in charge. There is a force so much more powerful that don't care who is president. They are still calling the shots and running the show.
Who is that?
The multinational corporations. That what Dennis Kucinich was outside of, and that's why I was giving my support to him. I was like, 'Look at this guy. He doesn't have a dollar from these people who own our government. If we keep fighting a fight that it's us against them, then we'll never get anywhere.'
Do you think 'don't ask, don't tell' is taking too long to overturn?
Of course. Good God! It's such a funny world how we choose to 'govern' ourselves. That fact that 'don't ask, don't tell' is a law is ridiculous! What are we telling our children -- "if you just don't tell you won't get in trouble?" It's all fear. We need to grow up.
Recently Sarah Palin and you shared the same opinion on the government task force's new recommendations about women not getting mammograms until age 50. She called it a 'dangerous recommendation.'
Yeah! I didn't know she did that.
Besides sharing the belief that the task force is wrong, what do you think of Sarah Palin?
Sarah Palin, I'm sure, is a fine human being. We as a society tell ourselves stories, and I know I believed the rock star story. I believed that you could sell your soul on stage, move people, make albums, and get rich and famous and then you have no troubles. I believed that story. I got to the top of that and saw that there was nothing there. It was all a lie and a joke. There is no place that you can get to. I see women in politics who believe if they play this game -- if they make this choice and that choice and play by the rules -- they will get somewhere. I see it in politicians' eyes all the times. I see it in the eyes of my peers who have been in this business who are super famous, but what does it mean? So, I think Sarah Palin is riding a huge wave, a tidal wave, and she's on the top of it. It's fun for a while, but then it gets a little scary, and I don't know if she's gotten to the scary part yet.
But you've realized there is a deeper meaning than just having fame. What is that deeper meaning?
I could get the whole world to say, 'Yes, you are a good person,' and I still wouldn't believe it if I didn't believe it myself. Look, every night I get up and have thousands of people applaud, and I'm still not happy. That's what the song 'To Be Loved' is about. I'm still waiting to be loved. It's ridiculous to think that anyone who is on top, like Madonna, would have self-esteem issues, but of course, we all do. We struggle with that every day.
Let's talk Adam Lambert. Are you still a fan of his?
I love watching his career. It's like someone else jumped into the game, and I'm like, 'Yes!' American Idol. Ah, that was just a start. He's in a much bigger contest now.