Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Some food for thought: Michelle Shocked

So for the past two days, I have been watching intently over the whole Michelle Shocked debacle which all started on Sunday in San Francisco at Yoshi's. Audio clips from that show has started showing up online recently. I have been keenly interested in this whole hot mess because I am so passionate about equal rights for the LGBT community and I truly despise the anti-gay bigotry with every bone in my body. Michelle's rant this past Sunday really pissed me off but I am not the only person who was pissed off by her rant. Many, many, many people were pissed off. 11 out of 12 clubs that she was set to perform at cancelled her shows in lieu of her ramblings.

I had thought about writing about this topic the day I heard of Michelle's performance but I thought long and hard about it and decided to wait. Why? I figured that Michelle would try to explain her disgusting rant. I was right. Michelle Shocked did finally respond to the heated criticisms of her rant. Like most people, I am like "WTF?!".  That was the most incoherant and ridiculous explaination/apology I have ever read. If anything Michelle should have stopped the show and explained to the audience what she really meant but instead she continued on and the audience made it very clear to her that they weren't going to put up with that crap.

Memo to my musician friends: if you want to be provocative at a show, at least write down what you want to say before the show and rehearse saying it to make sure what you are going to say isn't going to be incendiary and possibly a real career-killer. In other words, think before you speak.  Judging by the look of things online, Michelle Shocked has pretty much sabotaged her own music career (of what little she had left of it).

As angry as I am at Michelle Shocked and want to tear her a new one, I gave this whole debacle a long hard thought for the past two days. I started to wonder if the woman isn't in some shape or form mentally unstable.  I did a little digging around and found out some interesting facts about Michelle Shocked. As it turns out, I was not totally far off from my suspicions. That said, I do not want to give her a free pass completely. I do think her past certainly explains her behavior at Yoshi's and her ridiculous explaination and that people should try to at least understand what she is saying in her response to the whole controversy.

As I end tonight's blog, I can't believe I am going to say this but I do forgive Michelle Shocked for her horrible rant HOWEVER I will NOT forget what she had said. To hold anger against her for life does no good IMHO. Finally, for anyone who thinks that Michelle is being treated unfairly and that she should have the right to free speech, let me just remind you that: A) no government or local law enforcement agency has tried to have Michelle arrested ala Pussy Riot in Russian, and B) the clubs that cancelled Michelle's shows are PRIVATELY owned. The owners and management have the right to see fit whether they want to have Michelle Shocked performing in their venue or not. Hello free market. Michelle should have the right to express herself whether through music or in another ridiculous and bigoted rant but she also has to realize that there are consequences to using such incendiary language as she used on Sunday night. People are becoming are  more accepting of the LGBT community, to use the language that Michelle Shocked used is simply unacceptable but even more so to discriminate against them by hiding behind one's religion.

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