Roger Waters spoke before the UN Security Council on February 8th at the invitation of the Russian Federation, where he put on a funny voice for his impression of a diplomat, enacted a lengthy conversation with his dead mother, and claimed to represent the concerns of four billion people in the “voiceless majority” whom, he suggested, held Presidents Biden, Putin, and Zelenskyy equally responsible for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Appearing over a video conference, the former Pink Floyd frontman began by laying out his goal, which was “to express what I believe to be the feelings of countless of our brothers and sisters all over the world, both here in New York and across the seas. I shall invite them into these hallowed halls to have their say.”
Beginning under the assumption that everyone in the UN Security Council was quite happy with the war and the many profits he said it would produce, he endeavored to remind them of the “dire and often deadly circumstances” of life in Ukraine, a life he then compared to being homeless in New York and suffering under the “neoliberal capitalist ship we call life in the city.” Believing that the war was a triumph of profits over empathy, he implored the United Nations member states to “put ourselves in others shoes.”
“The voiceless majority is concerned that your wars — yes, your wars — that these perpetual wars are not of our choosing,” he said. “The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation was illegal. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Also, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not unprovoked, so I also condemn the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms.”
In between digressions on capitalism and sweeping pronouncements about the collusions of the global ruling elite, Waters was also sidetracked by the settling of personal scores. “I read in the paper this morning, some anonymous diplomat quoted as saying, ‘Roger Waters to address the security council? Whatever next, Mr. Bean? Ha, ha, ha,'” he said in a posh, gravely voice, explaining, “You know what they’re like. Anyway. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Bean is an ineffectual character from an English comedy show on television. So it’s a penny to a pound the anonymous diplomat is an Englishman. ‘Ha, ha,'” he laughed in the voice. Without furger segue, he continued, “Anyway, I think it’s time to introduce my mother, Mary Duncan Waters.
“She was a big influence on me,” he added. “She was a school teacher. I say ‘was,’ she’s been dead for 15 years.” After pausing to note that his father died in World War II, he went on a long tangent about a conversation his mother had with him when he was 13, going so far as to recount several lines of dialogue.