Cohntemplations: When Ryan Met Rotten

Robert A. Cohn

By Bob the Blogger, Robert A. Cohn Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Well, after being dragged “kicking and screaming into the world of the Intenet and email, which some are already pronouncing as “dead,” I am accepting the offer to do a periodic “Bob the Blogger” or “Cohntemplations” Blog. 

Let me know what you think, whether you agree with me or not: I never thought I would live to see the day when I would like an entertainer who proudly goes by the name Johnny “Rotten” over MEG RYAN, one of my all-time favorite actresses. But a July 15 JTA item reports that Johnny “Rotten” Lydon, the former Sex Pistols front man will NOT cancel his Aug. 31 show in Tel Aviv, despite getting hate mail. In his announcement last Tuesday on BBC 6 Music News, Lydon said he would not let “the political powers that be” dictate his audience.


JTA says that Lydon said he would ignore the hate mail and “stir up trouble musically.” Lydon’s courageous and principled stance comes in the aftermath of several high profile entertainers canceling their appearances in Israel, including Meg Ryan, who had been slated to attend the Israel Film Festival. Also canceling appearances and concerts were Elvis Costello, Carlos Santana, The Pixies, The Klaxons, The Gorillaz, Dvendra Banhart and Gil Scott-Heron. An earlier report that Dustin Hoffman, one of the greatest of all Jewish actors had canceled proved to be false.

Meg Ryan, the darling of “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” is one of the most adorable and endearing movie stars of the past quarter century. It hurts a lot that she canceled, while Johnny Rotten has the backbone NOT to cave in to what has become an artistic boycott of Israel. Ironically, at the very Israel Film Festival which Ryan is declining to attend, will be several controversial films which are critical of various Israeli actions and policies towards the Palestinians.

Meg Ryan, I am deeply disappointed in you, and Johnny Rotten, I tip my hat to you for your courage in the face of what seems to be an organized attempt by some elements of the entertainment world to boycott Israel artistically.

Until next time, this is “Bob the Blogger” signing off.