This article originally appeared in the 4.2.15 issue of Metroland
demented clown car that is the Republican, Christianista, fascist,
hate-mongering right wing has had its karma chickens come home to roost.
what happens when dark money fills up state legislatures with fake-conservative
stooges, who redistrict the state to insure an anti-democratic stoogist
hegemony for years to come, supported by a distinct minority of uneducated
morons who are whipped into a lather by fake, big-lie “news” outlets controlled
by the same sources of the dark money that put the stooges in office.
The issues that the fake news outlets peddle are
all fear-based and phony, and the morons believe them and cling to their Bibles
and guns and support the stooges who dutifully enslave the morons by quietly stripping
them of their financial well-being in the name of “freedom.”
Welcome to Indiana.
A law called “The Religious
Freedom Restoration Act” which is nothing more than a license to engage in
Signed in a
closed ceremony where Governor Mike Spence, Stooge-In-Chief, refused to
identify the handful of lobbyist-attendees, some of whom were notorious anti-gay
Then we see Pence feigning
outrage that anyone would consider the law as a portal to discrimination,
cowardly playing the victim of “outside hostility”, and lying repeatedly about
the law and its effects.
He even invoked
a visit he made to Selma to try to prove that 1 plus 1 equals 3.
Some have suggested that Pence is just
I won’t give him that benefit of
He is evil.
He is a stooge.
this even more insidious, all of the major Republican presidential candidates
have rushed to his defense, as have all of the right-wing fake news
And much of the mainstream
press has presented the debacle in the sickening light of “false equivalence”
that maybe there are two sides to this story.
There is nothing but
hate, fear and greed cloaked in un-American, un-Christian dogma.
And in that
delightful Southern tradition of shooting yourself in your big ol’ white-trash
foot, the Arkansas legislature rushed through an identical bill, as if to say
(insert pathetic southern accent here) “ain’t no gott-damn libruls gonna tell
us what to do down hee-yah.”
out the Bud Light, Skoal and Crisco and have a party!
amazingly, there’s been push-back.
scheduled for Indiana have been cancelled, huge corporations like Apple and
Wal-Mart have gone public with criticism. Yes, I said Wal-Mart.
State and city governments have banned travel
to Indiana, including New York and Connecticut.
Massachusetts is apparently just watching, with its newly-elected
Republican governor not raising a finger against his Super-bowl betting buddy
Come on, man.
Grow a pair.
You won the bet.
Make it hurt.
there’s Wilco, who canceled a May concert in Indianapolis in protest.
One wonders why more acts haven’t done the
A quick look at Pollstar
shows plenty of shows coming to the hate-state, among them: Weezer, Imagine
Dragons, Rihanna, Passion Pit, Neal Diamond, Chick Corea, Surfjan Stevens, Big
Sean, Arlo Gutrie, Kenny G…
they’ll say something on stage.
The delightful Audra
McDonald, who’s got a couple Indiana shows coming up, slammed Gov. Pence on
twitter (“Some in my band are gay & we have 2
gigs in your state next month. Should we call ahead to make sure the hotel
accepts us all?”) and then announced she’d donate the money she made in Indiana
to the Human Rights Campaign.
wonders what kind of a haircut Wilco is taking by cancelling the gig. They were going to play the 2500 seat Murat
Theater in Indianapolis with tickets priced from $30-$50. So let’s assume a gate of around $100,000,
most of which would go to Wilco. And
then there’s lost merch sales. There was
probably a substantial deposit (often 50% of the guarantee) that will have to
be returned. And the promoter is
out-of-pocket for hall rental, promotional expenses, and the like for which
Wilco will be responsible. Or will they?
is a standard performance contract clause, with the fancy name of the force majeur clause, that excuses each
party from any obligations to the other under certain circumstances that would
render the show “impossible,
infeasible or unsafe.” My favorite circumstance is the performer’s
“inability to perform.” Imagine. The other circumstances include things like acts
of God, civil insurrection (cool!), explosions, fires, bad weather, labor
strikes, and “act(s) or regulation(s) of any public
authority or bureau.”
Could Wilco prevail claim that the passage
of Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act made its performance in
Indianapolis “infeasible” (which means not possible to do easily or conveniently) so it
can invoke the force majeur clause? When
all these other acts are willfully doing their shows? Maybe Wilco should invoke the Indiana
Religious Freedom Restoration Act and say that its religious beliefs make performing
in a state with such a law infeasible.
That’ll show ‘em.
Paul Rapp is a local entertainment attorney
who has no religious beliefs to speak of.