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R.E.M. to Donald Trump: 'Go F*** Yourself'

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Do politicians never learn?

Or, in the case of our collective crazy racist uncle Donald Trump, are they just so rich they don't give a damn?

In yet the latest example of a presidential candidate using a pop song during their campaign without asking the artist's permission, the walking toupée chose to use R.E.M.'s classic "It's the End of the World" today in a stump speech he gave at an anti-Iran deal rally in Washington, D.C. This is notable, stupid and entertaining for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Trump's advisers almost certainly sat around trying to figure out how to show that he's "with it" and "hip" and what they came up with was an alt-rock radio single from 1987.

Anyway, to precisely no one's surprise, the (disbanded) band fired back within a few hours. First they released this official statement on the R.E.M. Facebook page, which asks -- well, it basically asks if we can please not be petty enough to write this blog post about it:



And we might not have written one, if they had left it at that! But then Michael Stipe -- sweet, Buddhist-leaning, vegetarian Michael Stipe -- followed up with this, via R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills' Twitter account: 

"Go f*** yourselves, the lot of you--you sad, attention grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign. -- Michael Stipe"

That gets you a blog post, Stipey.

This is nothing new in politics, of course, but this makes Trump a repeat offender within a very short, ballsy span of time. In June, after he used "Rockin' in the Free World" during a speech, Neil Young's camp raised objections -- because Young, who's Canadian, is a fan of Bernie Sanders. Sanders picked it up the next week. 

Humble suggestion for The Donald: Maybe give Ted Nugent a call. 

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