I have several Linda Ronstadt tapes. I've always thought that she had a terrific voice. She once did a tape (this was pre-CD) of standards from the 40's that I love. It's unusual for me to like every song on a tape, but this is a great tape. I'll have to dig it out from whatever black hole it's fallen into. I haven't heard anything she's done recently, as a singer, she's been flying under my radar. I remember the days when she was California Governor Jerry Brown's girlfriend. It was rather amusing listening to the pundits talk about her roller skating around the governor's mansion. She's back in the news after making a mistake that Hollywood seems to be making a lot lately. She thinks that the people in her audience paid to hear her political views.
When I buy a ticket to a concert or any other entertainment venue, I don't want to hear what the entertainer thinks about politics. I don't care what they think of the President, the war in Iraq, the UN, Michael Moore's latest work of fiction, or, to tell the truth, whether they prefer Pepsi or Coke. I want to be entertained. I want to hear Linda sing and that's all I want to hear.
Linda said "It's a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I'd rather not know." You know what Linda? It clouds my enjoyment when you talk politics. I'd also rather not know.
Michael Moore chimed in about First Amendment rights. He needs to read the Constitution. There is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees free speech or freedom from retaliation. It simply states that Congress shall pass no law abridging freedom of speech. That's it.
I know that entertainers are people with opinions and passions every bit as important as mine. And yes, they have the right to express that opinion. But you know what? When I buy that ticket, I bought that time, and the time was supposed to be used to entertain me. When they are talking about politics, and especially when their politics disagree with mine, they are not entertaining me. And that's what I paid for. I don't blame people for walking out. I don't blame the Aladdin management for giving her the boot. Once again, a performer forgot that they face consequences for what they say or do. Freedom of speech without retaliation is not guaranteed anywhere except in our minds. The Aladdin management did what they felt was best for their business. They have the right to do so.
Politicians should politic, performers should perform. We have a separation of church and state. How about a separation of politics and the arts?