Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Brownshirts Return?

I’m sure this story will be all over the blogosphere. Linda Ronstadt, a singer I’ve never much liked, performed a concert at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Here’s the report on what happened:

Singer Linda Ronstadt was thrown out of the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas on the weekend after dedicating a song to liberal film maker Michael Moore and his movie “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a casino spokeswoman said on Monday.

Ronstadt, who had been hired for a one-show engagement Saturday night at the Las Vegas Strip casino, dedicated a performance of “Desperado” to Moore and his controversial documentary, which criticizes President Bush and the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

That dedication angered some Aladdin guests who spilled drinks, tore down posters and demanded their money back, said casino spokeswoman Sara Gorgon.

“We had quite a scene at the box office,” she said…

A statement issued by the Aladdin said Ronstadt had been “escorted out of the hotel” just after her performance and said the performer would “not be welcomed back.”

I’ve read this article several times and the only response that comes to my mind is this: have they lost their fucking minds? Someone dedicating a song to someone whose views you disagree with does not justify or excuse vandalism, nor does it give you a right to demand your money back, you shallow, self-important assholes.

Who the hell did you think you were going to see, for crying out loud? This is Linda Ronstadt, lover of Governor Moonbeam, supporter of every liberal cause for the last 40 years. You paid to see her perform and then you were so shocked to find out she likes Michael Moore that you felt justified in tearing down posters and spilling your drinks? Grow the fuck up and get over yourselves.

And the Aladdin should be ashamed of themselves for catering to these pathetic jerks. They should have charged their rooms for the damage they caused and reminded them that having political views does not give them the right to throw a temper tantrum just because someone dares not to share them.

Comments

  1. #1 Aaron Pohle
    July 20, 2004

    From what I have read it was more than just her political remarks that got her fired. There is another account of the event here (http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/gaming/2004/jul/19/517195568.html).

    I would agree, throwing drinks and vandalizing property is completely unacceptable. However, it sounds like somewhere between a quarter and half of the people at the show walked out. That kind of public reaction is going to serioiusly hurt the already struggling Aladdin, especially if they kept her on.

    They make money by making their customers happy. If the hired entertainer doesn’t do that for any reason, they let that entertainer go. That’s just business.

  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    July 20, 2004

    I don’t have any problem with them deciding that Linda Ronstadt wasn’t a good draw (I would never have walked in to see her, so no need to walk out). And from what I read, it was a one night contract anyway. But if you decide someone isn’t a good draw, you don’t bring them back. You don’t “escort them out of the hotel” because a bunch of idiots decided to vandalize the place.

  3. #3 Aaron Pohle
    July 20, 2004

    True, though with Ronstadt’s comments about wanting it to be her last job and all, I wonder if the problem between her and the Aladdin didn’t go deeper than just that one performance.

    Still, I hope the vandals were, at the very least, charged for that damage they did.

  4. #4 Lynn S
    July 20, 2004

    You are right. However, on the other hand, she was hired to entertain and should have stuck to entertaining in that venue. If she, or any other entertainer, wants to speak at a political rally, talk to the press independently or post something on the Web just like the rest of us that’s perfectly legitimate and within their rights. But when you have been hired by someone, whether it’s to sing or wait tables, the person paying your salary is the boss.

  5. #5 Ed Brayton
    July 20, 2004

    You are right. However, on the other hand, she was hired to entertain and should have stuck to entertaining in that venue. If she, or any other entertainer, wants to speak at a political rally, talk to the press independently or post something on the Web just like the rest of us that’s perfectly legitimate and within their rights. But when you have been hired by someone, whether it’s to sing or wait tables, the person paying your salary is the boss.

    Well like it or not, it’s not at all unusual for performers to advocate for an idea during a show, whether it’s human rights or the rainforests or a free Tibet. And with someone who has long been tied to political causes, anyone who buys a ticket should expect it. I’m not questioning the Aladdin’s right to hire or fire anyone they wish for whatever reason. But that is irrelevant to the point I was making.

  6. #6 Donny
    July 21, 2004

    Indeed. Whay is Ms. Ronstadt being cast as the villain here? Incidentally, I have read elsewhere that the club owner has grossly exaggerated the actual audience reaction in order to come up with grounds to get out of his contract with Ms. Ronstadt.

  7. #7 Ed Brayton
    July 21, 2004

    I don’t have any problem with the hotel/casino not renewing the contract, and the article I read said it was only a one night contract. They don’t have to hire her, they don’t have to keep her on if she’s not drawing well, or if their customers don’t like it for whatever reason. My problem is with the idiots in the audience who took her disagreement with them on political issues as license to vandalize. And the ridiculous PR move of the Aladdin having her removed from the premises just means they are terminally clueless. The people they SHOULD have been removing from the premises are the ones they were instead appeasing.

  8. #8 Steve Reuland
    July 21, 2004

    I have a feeling that the Aladdin did what it did in order to make a political statement of its own. If so, that makes them [i]de facto[/i] McCarthyists.

  9. #9 Liz Ditz
    July 22, 2004

    Hi Ed, it is (as always) more interesting that the hype. Turns out there wasn’t hooliganism, that the prez of the Aladdin made it out to be so, and Aladdin’s in bankrupcy.

    Way too much information here

    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2004/07/linda_ronstadt_.html

    and here

    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2004/07/what_the_.html

    so the brownshirts are actually a scared casino executive.

  10. #10 Ed Brayton
    July 23, 2004

    I’m with the commenter on your blog, Liz, who said that he would have gone to see the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra do Rhapsody in Blue and then left. Rhapsody in Blue is one of my all time favorite pieces of music.

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