For over 20 years, Ariel Rosenberg, also known by his stage name Ariel Pink, has been embraced in the independent music industry as an enigmatic, imaginative musician who thinks for himself and makes his own way.
But when it was discovered that Rosenberg had been at the rally outside of the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, where former President Donald Trump spoke, preceding what legacy media outlets portrayed as an “insurrection,” Rosenberg—who is pro-Trump—was swiftly banished from his global artist community, dropped from his record label, and exiled because of his own personal worldview.
Now stranded in the limbo between ideologies after having faced the wrath of leftist cancel culture, Rosenberg told The Epoch Times he’s finding “where I fit in this new landscape.”
On having been one of the many who were caught in the storm of propaganda following the events of Jan. 6, Rosenberg compared the leftist rage to pit bulls who have been kept in a cage for four years with a cardboard cutout of Trump in front of them.
With the help of the anti-Trump narratives in the media, Rosenberg said the pit bulls were “foaming at the mouth” by the time they were put into a pandemic situation for a year, before the gate was opened.
“That’s when they ripped Trump and anyone who supported Trump to shreds,” Rosenberg said. “Everyone was abused.”
Rosenberg, a native of Los Angeles, began recording songs in high school on a home multitrack recorder. In 1997, he entered the California Institute of the Arts, where he recorded earlier work that was later picked up and brought him critical praise, which began his career.
“I’m such a huge fan of different types of music. It was how I orientated myself in the world and I was able to get a good grasp on the 20th century through it, so [I] just wanted to make music for me and people like me,” Rosenberg said.
As a fan, Rosenberg had never been turned off by the beliefs and opinions of an artist he’d researched, he said.
“If anything, it makes them more fascinating,” he said. “I get into different artists from different areas from different places. That doesn’t mean I would endorse their beliefs, but their beliefs made them more unique.”
Exiled in Los Angeles
Being one of the few Trump supporters in Hollywood has been what Rosenberg described as “super weird.”
“What does it mean when nobody can openly say they are pro-Trump in this city, in any city, or in any industry?” he asked. “I just think it’s very strange that I find myself so alone in the way I feel politically.”
When at the Trump rally outside the White House on Jan. 6, Rosenberg said he felt less alone.
“It was beautiful to be surrounded by so many patriots being all in one place,” Rosenberg said. “It was refreshing to have a president who is pro-American. People just really love the guy, and I saw that in full effect on Jan. 6.”
Rosenberg said he had always been anti-establishment and felt that both the Republican and Democratic parties were equal in their corruption. But Trump, though running on the Republican ticket, was bringing a new message, he said.
It wasn’t just Trump, however, that caught Rosenberg’s attention. The media that railed suspiciously against Trump left Rosenberg thinking there might be more to the real estate tycoon’s story, he said.
“The most striking thing to me was the campaigning coverage in 2015 when the media unmasked itself as a single-party payola,” Rosenberg said. “It became painfully obvious that the media was in lockstep with the Democratic Party.”
Though he went back to his hotel after Trump was done speaking at the White House, over 200 news articles, mainly those within the music industry, were published in the following days that attempted to connect Rosenberg to the events at the U.S. Capitol, which eventually led to his record label dropping him.
“It’s been a year and a half of trying to crawl out of this dustbin they threw me in,” he said. “Everybody who was in D.C. that day was fair game, and that just goes to the heart of who the media is ethically and what they’re willing to do to get their way.”
‘Self-Anointed Thought Police’
In an article for The Epoch Times titled “The Limits of Appeals to ‘Cancel Culture,'” columnist Josh Hammer says cancel culture is a form of ostracization that seeks to remove a person from “social media, other media, and the public square more broadly—for offending the ever-shifting sensibilities of a self-anointed thought police clerisy.”
Even now, more than a year later, when someone asks Rosenberg to play a festival or participate in any public event, he said he doesn’t get his hopes up, because somewhere in between the invitation and the next day, another person will intervene and say, “No.”
“Then there’s the pathetic walk back,” he said. “It happens every time. I’m used to it now.”
‘A Dark Detour’
The Jan. 6 committee hearings are absurdist theater, Rosenberg said, perpetuating a myth that the Democratic Party is trying to spin about Trump and his supporters by portraying them as domestic terrorists led by a con artist, he added.
“I don’t think they ever really got over Trump winning, so they’re dragging this grandstanding and mockery out,” he said. “I don’t think there’s really one talking point that’s going to survive this.”
Rosenberg said the country has taken a “dark detour” and that it will take wide-scale national humility, and acknowledgment of wrongdoing, to get it back on a brighter path.
“There was a very intentional lever pulled after Trump disrobed the wizard and showed what was going on behind the scenes. Basically, everything changed at that point across the board,” he said. “There was a go-for-broke moment. It’s sinister and evil, and it’s very clear that it’s coordinated.”
Today, Rosenberg said he’s simply grateful for the career he had making music.
“That’s a chapter that’s closed. I don’t know what the next one is,” he said. “I’ll definitely be making music forever. The question is whether it will be shared with an audience.”
Older now and with a family, Rosenberg said he has come to a new stage.
“It’s like going back to that place where it all started and making music with no audience in mind,” Rosenberg said.
Hopeful for the future, he said he believes his best work is ahead of him.
“I never really expected to get famous, but after years of hard work, I got some attention, and it was an amazing experience,” Rosenberg said. “Luckily, it didn’t go to my head completely. I don’t have an urge to be seen anymore. I think I got that out of my system.”
For Rosenberg to move forward, he said he had to make peace with all that’s happened through forgiveness.
“It can be debilitating to have that bad feeling just hanging over me,” Rosenberg said.
It’s difficult for people to overcome anger and accept and forgive each other, he said. But on a national level, the country is going to continue spinning its wheels until there is some atonement, he said.
“We all go down dark paths and make mistakes,” he said.
While Rosenberg said there are deep state “slow-moving creatures” embedded in government who need to be held up to an international trial and sent to jail, he also said it’s the work of the people who have been divided by the fraudulent narratives to find ways back to each other.
“There needs to be something positive like that to happen,” he said. “There needs to be some sanity.”