Texas Rainmaker

Elton John has said:

“[S]tars are scared to speak out against war in Iraq because of “bullying tactics” used by the US government to hinder free speech.

Another liberal claiming the U.S. government is stifling free speech, yet amazingly, I read the story in the press.  Let me ask you a question.  If the U.S. government is censoring criticism, why is it I keep reading about it in major newspapers, hearing it on major networks and seeing it on signs and magazines all over the place?  I keep hearing this same old, tired argument, but the fact I keep hearing it renders it completely untrue.

“There’s an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious,” he told New York magazine, Interview.   … “There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn’t say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American,” he told the magazine.

Perhaps it because people see you for your entertainment value and don’t care to hear your thoughts, rants or vitriol about politics or their President, specifically.  Why don’t you Hollywood elitists understand this concept?  The fallacy being created is that a consumers’ right to not continue supporting an entertainers products or services somehow equates to the government jailing people for openly criticizing policies or politicians.  Maybe you guys ought to learn the meaning of censorship before continuing this idiotic rhetoric.  Maybe I misunderstand the Constitution, but I don’t remember reading the clause about guaranteed support and profits for entertainers who alienate their fan base.  Was there an Amendment I missed that said entertainers are allowed to say anything they want without fear of losing fans or support?  Is there some court decision that paves the way for entertainers to be guaranteed record sales or radio play even if it’s against the consumer’s wishes?

The singer said things were different in the 1960s.

“People like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on.

You’re right, things were different in the 60s.  More people were freely committing adultery, using drugs recreationally and basically abandoning all sense of morality and respect for authority.  Thank God things are different now.  But the change is among the people and thus, if you want to continue to have success in the entertainment industry, you’ve got to be responsible for your actions and words, because those fans make a choice to support you - and can just as easily make the choice not to. 

“That’s not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts - or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter,” he said.

He voiced concern that it appeared acceptable to speak out if you were pro-Bush, using the example of country singer Toby Keith, but not if you were critical of the President, as in the case of country rock band, the Dixie Chicks.

Well, take it up with your fans.  If there was a big enough fan base to support anti-war concerts, etc., I promise you they’d be happening.  We live in a world where profit reigns.  If there’s profit to be made in something, you can bet someone will take advantage of it.  If there’s no gain to be made, it means consumers don’t want it.  It doesn’t mean you’re being censored.
 
Freedom isn’t just the right to express displeasure with your President, it’s also the right to choose what concerts you want to attend or CDs you want to buy.  If you’re going to claim that fans should be forced to support entertainers they disagree with, then you might want to re-check who’s lost their freedom.  Will you extend this concept to the requirement that I have to buy and Elton John CD that contains songs I don’t like, as well?  Afterall, you seem to equate my non-purchase, or even my opinion that I dislike what you’ve put out, with censorship.
 
When Hollywood learns to understand that theirs is a business that depends on support from consumers who have choices, and that the ultimate say on who they support is the fans’ and not the entertainers’, then we can put this fallacy of censorship to rest, once and for all.
 
But hey, I guess that’s why they call it the blues. 

Posted by TexasRainmaker |
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