During a performance at WPXN’s XPoNential Music Festival, Father John Misty decided he couldn’t bring himself to give the show his audience expected and delivered a sermon against numbness instead. Criticizing his own role in producing a climate where dissenters are satisfied with laughing at a problem rather than working for change, the artist spoke over a misunderstanding, cheering crowd:
I always thought that it was going to look way more sophisticated than this when evil happened. When the collective consciousness was so numb and so fucking sated and so gorged on entertainment… How entertaining should this be right now with a fucking battleship in the background and this shit on TV, how fucking fun should this be? How fucking fun can it be? Can it be real in any sense? Like, I cannot play “Bored in the USA” for you right now. No no no, because guess what? I soft-shoed that shit into existence by going, “No no no, look over here, it’ll never actually be that bad because we’re too smart.” And while we were looking in that direction, stupidity just fucking runs the world because entertainment is stupid! Do you guys realize that?
It’s not one of his most articulate moments, and the long improvisational piece that followed seemed to further indicate this was a very vulnerable expression of total desperation over our country’s state of affairs.