Dissent is not allowed

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by MisterMark, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. MisterMark

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    One more example of how scary things have become. I bet if she had said something negative about John Kerry, no one would have left his or her seat.

    Vegas Casino Boots Singer Linda Ronstadt

    LAS VEGAS - Singer Linda Ronstadt (news) not only got booed, she got the boot after lauding filmmaker Michael Moore and his new movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" during a performance at the Aladdin hotel-casino.

    Before singing "Desperado" for an encore Saturday night, the 58-year-old rocker called Moore a "great American patriot" and "someone who is spreading the truth." She also encouraged everybody to see the documentary about President Bush.

    Ronstadt's comments drew loud boos and some of the 4,500 people in attendance stormed out of the theater. People also tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails into the air.

    "It was a very ugly scene," Aladdin President Bill Timmins told The Associated Press. "She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke loose."

    Timmins, who is British and was watching the show, decided Ronstadt had to go — for good. Timmins said he didn't allow Ronstadt back in her luxury suite and she was escorted off the property.

    Ronstadt's antics "spoiled a wonderful evening for our guests and we had to do something about it," Timmins said.

    Timmins said it was the first time he sent a performer packing.

    "As long as I'm here, she's not going to play," Timmins said.
     
  2. mindseye

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    First Whoopi Goldberg, and now Linda Ronstadt.

    Free advertising for your candidate? It's Okay If You're A Republican. . .
     
  3. MisterMark

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    And don't forget about the Dixie Chicks. They dared to say something negative about George Bush. Clear Channel's response was to ban them from all of their radio stations.

    But when (country singer) Toby Keith slams liberals during his concerts, no one seems to mind. Here's a few lines from one of his recent hit songs. It was released at the beginning of the war in Iraq. You can tell that he and GW would get along just fine:

    Oh, Justice will be served and the battle will rage.
    This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage
    You'll be sorry that you messed with the US of A
    'Cuz we'll put a boot in your ass
    It's the American way.
     
  4. ignorant

    ignorant New Member

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    Let's just get it out in the open for what it is: the Conservatives in this country are the single most un-American bloc ever seen in this nation.

    The gutting of inter-branch checks and balances, the acquiescence of both houses allowing Bush the moron to declare a war, and the spectacle of watching the Republicrats and the Demikins rolling over and playing dead sickens me.

    John Kerry may not be the answer...but, one thing is for sure: George Bush and the sick bunch of Nixon administration leftovers and na'er-do-wells are sure as hell the problem.
     
  5. BobLeeSwagger

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    In all fairness, it doesn't say that a large portion of the crowd was upset, only that some of them were. Unless it was billed as "A Night with Michael Moore Fan, Linda Ronstadt", it's safe to say that many in the crowd didn't pay money to hear her political views. As far as I know, she hasn't been outspoken about politics often, so why would the audience want to hear that? I'll bet that if she had praised Bush in a similar way, a different minority of the crowd would have been upset too.

    It's the casino's right to kick out entertainers that greatly upset their customers. And I'm sure that the Aladdin lost some customers who didn't like seeing her get the boot.

    Also, the Reuters version of the story included this:

    Before her concert, Ronstadt had laughingly told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that she hoped that the casino performance would be her last.

    "I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back," she was quoted as telling the newspaper.
     
  6. madame_zora

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    Still, I'm surprised in Vegas, of all places! I'm very disappointed that only one view seems to be okay to speak of in public. Entertainers should be able to speak their minds just like everyone else. I don't see where making a few comments should have gotted her thrown out. It would be different if she stopped the show to give a 30 minute dissertation. I was at a KISS concert (my friend dragged me to it, ugh) and they had some Republican comments to add pro bush, but I didn't get up and leave, even though it reaffirmed the fact that I had no business there. They didn't get booed or ushered off the stage. It's bullshit, plain and simple. This administration sucks, but so do we for letting it happen.
     
  7. MisterMark

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    aloofman, my point is not that the audience didn't have a right to be upset, it was more of an observation of the current political climate. I'm sure that if she had said something negative about Kerry or Michael Moore, she wouldn't have gotten the boot.

    I saw Don Rickles about a year and a half ago. The entire show (including the warm-up act) was full of comments and songs about how wonderful it is to be an American, and how we're "fighting in Iraq to keep our country free". About half of the audience went wild every time comments like that were made. Those of us who didn't agree just sat there quietly - we didn't boo or throw any objects at anyone. Don Rickels even ended his show by screaming into his microphone, "We will win! We will win!"

    Maybe there shouldn't be any political comments made during a concert or show, but it just seems like the folks who get upset about complimenting Michael Moore are very much like GW - they don't even want to consider that there might be a different way of looking at things. It's their way or the highway.
     
  8. BobLeeSwagger

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    I suspect that she used the "current climate" to initiate a publicity stunt.
     
  9. madame_zora

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    Either that, or she's a Democrat!
     
  10. SpeedoGuy

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    I've been thinking about this topic a bit more.

    I've come to the conclusion that its a bit tacky for performers (or anyone, really) to take advantage of an unsuspecting captive audience and foist political commentary on them. To wit, when I go to a music concert, I want music, not rhetoric. On the other hand, when I go to a political debate or rally, then its politics I want, not music. Both sides are guilty of this, of course.

    I can remember a company Christmas party where a mid level supervisor took the microphone during the gift giving exchange and began regaling everyone with partisan political jokes and commentary. Half the audience thought it was just great but the other half sat in silence fuming. The executive was just clueless and the tension grew. My wife, showing more courage than anyone else, deliberately arose during one of the tirades and pointedly left the room. Everyone was stunned then others followed, first in trickles, then en masse. The point was made. The executive later mumbled a psuedo "apology" for his behavior saying he didn't realize there were members of other political beliefes in attendance.

    SG
     
  11. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Las Vegas has the reputation for being a fun town - a place people go to so that they may be entertained, pampered and maybe win a little money.

    Folks who go there might save for years to be able to do it. Whether they travel to the Diamond in the Desert by car, bus or plane each vacationer has stars in his or her eyes and the desire to be spoiled and served.

    They want to leave the TV and its news, sports, weather and politics in Podunkville. In Vegas they want to play. They want to eat and drink. They want to gamble. They want to see and hear musical heroes and great stage acts.

    Nothing could be more shattering to a such a dream than to suddenly be ambushed with an irrelavent political statement by an entertainer that has brought the outside world into their playground.

    What Ronstadt did was wrong. She compounded the insult with more negative rhetoric about her audience.

    That's like drinking hemlock. Her career may very well be nearly over.

    Heard anything about the Dixie Chicks' success lately?
     
  12. KinkGuy

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    You mean, other than the sold out concert tour and multi-platinum album?
     
  13. BobLeeSwagger

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    The thing that cracked me up about the Dixie Chicks is that they seemed surprised by it. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there will be quite a few Republicans at a country music concert. Talk about not knowing your audience!

    A girl I dated in college was a big Indigo Girls fan and went to a concert in the mid-90s. She was a big fan, so I figured she would have a good time, but the next day I found out she did not. It turns out that almost half the concert was their personal tribute to some Native American cause, with ceremonial dances and songs that weren't sung by the Indigo Girls at all. They just stood on the side of the stage and cheered. She was so pissed. "I bought a ticket to see the Indigo Girls, not a pow-wow!" she said.
     
  14. KinkGuy

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    Except the comments were made on stage in London, where we are less than popular lately. Probably not all that many registered Republicans in the audience. ;)
     
  15. mindseye

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    I don't think it's fair to Ronstadt to claim that what she did was wrong.

    Having attended literally hundreds of concerts in my life, I feel qualified to say that -- except for performances of classical music, some religious performances, and certain types of "performance art" -- it's typical and even expected for a performer to pause between songs and banter with the audience a bit. Anyone who came to the show and didn't expect Ronstadt not to speak between songs had an inappropriate expectation of the event.

    This isn't surprising at all. No one goes to hear Toby Keith or Lee Greenwood (or Peter, Paul, and Mary; or Pete Seeger; or Bob Dylan; or the late Bob Marley or Johnny Cash) without expecting the performer to sing and talk about what they believe in. To have different expectations of Ronstadt is unfair. In fact, Ronstadt has dedicated the song Desperado to Michael Moore on *every* performance of her current tour, not just the one at the Aladdin. If Aladdin didn't know this, they simply don't vet their artists well.

    Aladdin might not have known what to expect of Ronstadt, but their audience did: Other eyewitnesses at the Aladdin don't report that "bedlam broke loose" like Bill Timmins did. Timmins was first out of the gate with the story, so that's the story that the media ran with, but since then, other eyewitnesses have said that while the reaction to Ronstadt's dedication was mixed, it was also subdued. Apparently, Ronstadt's comments didn't shock the audience enough to incite a riot -- they might have been taken aback by the remarks, but they're savvy enough to expect singers to talk between songs.

    Personally, I think Bill Timmins is making much ado over nothing. It's hard to imagine how her comments could cause a completely different reaction at this performance than at any other performance on her tour. That is, unless Timmins is exaggerating what happened in order to grab media attention and make an anti-Moore statement -- which I think is much closer to what actually happened.

    Nonetheless, I support unreservedly the right of people to choose what music they will listen to. And I support the right of Aladdin not to book her again.

    As for Pecker's swipe at the Dixie Chicks, they've been on hiatus while two of their three members had children. Martie Macguire delievered twin girls back in April, and lead singer Natalie Maines delivered a baby boy just last night.
     
  16. MisterMark

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    This is from the San Diego Union Tribune's story about Linda Ronstadt from a few days ago.

    Reviewing her performance, George Varga, the newspaper's music critic, remarked: "Those who complain that Ronstadt should just sing, rather than express her opinions, forget that all art has a responsibility to inspire and provoke, not just soothe and entertain."

    I completely agree with this statement.
     
  17. madame_zora

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    Absolutely! Like Mindseye, I too am a veteran of literally hundreds of concerts, and it is commonplace and even expected that they will talk about whatever is on their minds at the moment between songs. Usually, the audience enjoys the chance to get to know them on a more personal level, but there are times when an artist will say something that turns out to be "not too well received". I secretly suspect that this incident was blown out of proportion too, as I can't imagine that particular venue being so different from the rest either, I have heard some ostentatious things said before at shows, even some that caused people to leave, but never stampeding out the door!

    Although, maybe this is a comment of the changing face of Vegas. What used to be a den of iniquity for the wealthy Hollywood jet-set, seedy and overpriveldged Mafia and wannabees is now an escape haven for the middle class family! There are childrens' attractions there now and the manner of dress has declined from "formal wear" to jeans and t-shirts, even at night. Many of the shows are family-friendly, and as Pecker pointed out, middle class people save up all year for their big outing to Vegas, and they expect to be catered to! Let's face it, they've already opened their minds enough to accept gambling and prostitution for a few days, you can't really expect them to accept free speech as well.
     
  18. jonb

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    Well, the problem is, Fox News has convinced America that Bush is a good president, and Fox Network has convinced America that art is best when following a formula.
     
  19. KinkGuy

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    Art????????????????????????/ :blink: :lol:
     
  20. jonb

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    Yeah, "art". In the way spam is a "short story".
     
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