As one of the "kids" myself, I have to agree with Scotty. So many of my peers attempt to rebel by buying a Good Charlotte record, getting their lip pierced, and styling their hair into faux-hawks. Thing is, they don't really know what they're rebelling against, or that even actually rebelling at all. For them, the rebel is just another stereotype to which one subscribes, like the jock, the nerd or the cheerleader. They see punk rock as nasal vocals, a select few chords, and a fashion statement. These same "rebels" and "punks" literally run away when you try to discuss politics with them or stay and prove to be completely ignorant. They wear Che Guevara shirts without even knowing who Che Guevara was, without even being able to spell or pronounce his name. They went to anti-war war protests because everyone was doing it, not because they oppose American imperialism and the doctrine of pre-emption. Basically, the "skaters"/"punks"/"rebels" are the new cool kids, the new cheerleaders/jocks.
That's not to say there are no kids who are aware that punk rock isn't about safety pins on your t-shirt, who are politically aware and involved, and who can recognise a well-marketed but, for lack of a better word, shitty band. I'd like to think of myself as one of them. Now, don't get me wrong; I don't claim to be a punk. But I do go protests and exercise my right to free speech and free information. I do try to buy a record because I love the music, and only for that reason. I try not to look at photographs of the artists I like that aren't in the album packaging and that aren't concert pics, because what a band looks like, especially when they're not "on," really shouldn't matter. I honestly don't give a damn what label a band is on and what stupid stunts they or their label decide to pull. If I like the music, I support it and the band. And I more than like Jack and Meg's music. I have since I first heard it, a month or two after De Stilj
was released. I really don't care that Nissan sponsored their free concert, because that sponsorship didn't change their excellent music (the not at all funny "Jolene" cover included) or their performance.
the rock stars of the past were doing something NEW by having a spontanous free rock show on top of a building, and they were doing it at a time when the media and the corporate world were still reeling from being broadsided by rock and roll.
What new thing would you have them do? Last I heard, people weren't too happy with the new 'planned-out, $90 for a GA ticket through Clear Channel' thing. Better to stick with an old idea that actually pleases your fans and is accessible to all, even those who can barely afford the subway fare to the gig. And if you have to take corporate sponsorship for that to happen, then so be it. It's all in the interest of sharing the music.
I'd also like to add that the whole Nissan thing isn't quite as hypocritical as it may appear; Jack White especially loathes the Big Three auto companies (Ford, GM, & Chrysler), of which Nissan is not a part. And even if it was Ford, I'd find it hilarious. Jack and Meg know exactly how to mock and play the media, and it's wildly entertaining.