Wednesday, July 21, 2004

"You're No Good"

I wonder if that's what the Aladdin Hotel and Casino sang to Linda Ronstadt when they showed her the door on Saturday night.  As she's been in the habit of doing, Ronstadt dedicated the song
"Desperado" to Fahrenheit 9/11 filmmaker, Michael Moore during a weekend concert at the Aladdin.  Then, quite to everyone's surprise, the audience revolted.  Ronstadt was booed off the stage.  Angry patrons stormed into the box office demanding a refund.  Concert posters were torn down and pelted with cocktails.  It was bedlam.  Reportedly, the Aladdin told Ronstadt not to bother going back to her luxury suite.  Instead, they brought her belongings downstairs and told her to hit the road.

Not surprisingly, the supposedly tolerant left was outraged by the Aladdin's actions.  But, hotel execs defended their actions, saying, "Ms Ronstadt was hired to entertain the guests of the Aladdin, not to espouse her political views. In an effort to defuse the situation, Linda Ronstadt was asked to leave the property immediately following her performance."

I say that it's about time!  Of course, entertainers are Americans who have the right to express political views.  The First Amendment guarantees that.  But, contrary to what the likes of Moore are claiming in the wake of this incident, the First Amendment does not guarantee that there will not be an economic price to pay for speaking your mind.  It's about time someone said, "You're bothering us.  You're offending us.  Listening to you is no longer fun.  So, we're not gonna pay to see you sing anymore."

If some people love her comments or don't care about them, then they should continue to spend their money to hear Linda sing.  And, if those same people are mad about the Aladdin's actions, then they should use their economic powers to keep their money out of the Aladdin's pockets.  It's that simple.  But, no one should say that those who choose to keep their money away from an individual who actively opposes all that they believe in is somehow acting a censor or stifling someone else's constitutional rights.  That simply is not so.  The First Amendment is designed to protect the free market of ideas.  This battle between fans, the Aladdin and Ronstadt is a classic example of how competition in the free market of idea ought to work (perhaps aside from the poster tearing).

As for the tolerance of Ms. Ronstadt herself, well, here's what she had to say about performing for people with opposing views, "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."

Yeah, Linda, that makes us even, I guess.  Hope your day isn't wrecked too much by knowing that this Christian has lined your pockets in the past.

In closing, I'd like to end with these words from a Stone Ponies (Linda's '60's band) classic:  Linda, you're no good, you're no good, you're no good.  Baby, you're no good.