Malaka Of The Week: Roger Waters

Roger Waters strikes a messianic pose.

Roger Waters is an arrogant asshole. He’s always been an arrogant asshole. He’ll always be an arrogant asshole. And that is why Roger Waters is malaka of the week.

I was reconciled to Roger Waters’ epic malakatude decades ago. I loved Pink Floyd at their peak but always found Waters insufferable, which is why I sided with David Gilmour over the breakup. The band’s music took a didactic and self-righteous turn with The Wall followed by the nearly unlistenable The Final Cut.

If Waters wants more credit for Pink Floyd’s music from 1969-1985, he should take the fall for its collapse instead of blaming his former bandmates. I wish he would STFU, but he’s incapable of doing so. Besides, Roger knows best.

There’s a new front in Malaka Roger’s long-standing war with David Gilmour: the war in Ukraine. It resulted in one of Politico’s best headlines ever, Wish You Weren’t Here: Pink Floyd Goes to War Over Ukraine.

Waters gives boilerplate leftist reasons for his position on that war. It’s personal for David Gilmour:

Gilmour told the Guardian that “the practicalities of having an extended Ukrainian family is part of this. My grandchildren are half-Ukrainian, my daughter-in-law Janina is Ukrainian — her grandmother was in Kharkiv until three weeks ago. She’s very old, disabled, in a wheelchair and has a carer, and Janina and her family managed to get her all the way across Ukraine to the Polish border and now they’ve managed to get her to Sweden.”

In contrast, the article shows Waters as muddled and inconsistent on the Ukraine war and other issues:

Earlier this month, Waters gave an explosive interview to CNN in which he described U.S. President Joe Biden as a “war criminal” who is “fueling the fire in the Ukraine” (note use of the outdated “the Ukraine”); and slammed NATO for “pushing right up to the Russian border.” Oh, and for good measure, he said that “Taiwan is part of China.”


Sticking with Russia for a moment, Waters has been inconsistent on the subject these past few months. A week before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, he told an interviewer on Kremlin mouthpiece RT that talk of an invasion was “bullshit … anybody with an IQ above room temperature knows [an invasion] is nonsense.” By early March, he was writing on Facebook that he was “disgusted” by Vladimir Putin’s invasion, which he dubbed a “criminal mistake” and the “act of a gangster.” In the same social media post, he said that Western governments were “fueling the fire … by pouring arms into Ukraine.” A couple of weeks later, Waters used a podcast — also featuring the musician Brian Eno and former Greek Cabinet minister Yanis Varoufakis — to condemn “propaganda to demonize Russia.”

That article was dated 8/22/2022, which was before Waters’ epistolary exchange with Ukrainian first lady, Olena Zelenska. It can be found on his Facebook page: here and here. Like all arrogant assholes, Malaka Roger knows best. He lectured Ms. Zelenska on what her husband should do, which is to follow Roger’s orders. Roger knows best.

Malaka Roger thinks Ukraine should give up the fight and trade land for peace. He’s a bit fuzzy on who is to blame for the war. One day it’s Putin, the next it’s Ukrainian nationalists who have captured President Zelensky, the next it’s President Biden and NATO for having the temerity to exist on the same planet as Roger Waters. Roger knows best.

Let me get this straight, Roger. Ukraine is winning the war and you want them to surrender and sue Putin for peace? Do you really think the Ukrainian people would find that acceptable after all they’ve been through? Do you think Ukraine should forgive and forget Russian war crimes? I forgot: Roger knows best.

It’s ironic that someone who is so vengeful and vindictive in his own life expects Ukraine and Russia to sit at the peace table, sing Kumbaya, and live happily ever after. Roger should try doing so with David Gilmour, but we know he won’t. Gilmour has a nasty habit of thinking for himself and not following Roger’s orders. Roger knows best?

I must confess to not having followed Roger Waters’ malakatude on the Ukraine war until my old friend Meredith denounced him on social media. I find Roger so annoying that I usually tune him out but I’m glad she led me into this thicket of know-it-all-ism and malakatude. It’s classic arrogant assholery, Roger Waters-style.

Roger does not know best. He just thinks he does. He’s still an arrogant asshole. And that is why Roger Waters is malaka of the week.

The last word goes to Pink Floyd with a new song that samples Andriy Khlyvnyuk, frontman of Ukrainian rock band BoomBox. The proceeds go to humanitarian relief efforts.