| Her gig cancelled after tirade, Michelle Shocked plays outside in protest!

Her Gig Canceled After Tirade, Michelle Shocked Plays Outside in Protest ~ LARRY ROHTER, New York Times.

Michelle Shocked outside Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Thomas Vincent Mendoza/Associated Press. Michelle Shocked outside Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz, Calif.

After the punk-folk singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked made remarks critical of homosexuality and same-sex marriage while performing in San Francisco two weekends ago, clubs around the country responded bycanceling bookings they had made with her. But that hasn’t stopped her: Thursday night she turned up outside one such club with her face covered and her mouth taped shut to protest the way she is being treated.

The site of the sit-in staged by Ms. Shocked, who in the past has acknowledged being involved in lesbian relationships but now describes herself as a born-again Christian, was Moe’s Alley, in the university town and hippie haven of Santa Cruz, Calif., south of San Francisco. Seated outside the club with a mask across her mouth that read “Silenced by Fear,” she did not comment about the backlash against her onstage outburst, but instead pointed to a series of posters that had been placed above her head.

Her scheduled performance was canceled after she made anti-gay remarks at a show in San Francisco.
Thomas Vincent Mendoza/Associated PressHer scheduled performance was canceled after she made anti-gay remarks at a show in San Francisco.

“Does speech really scare you that much?” one inquired. Another asked “Is it possible Michelle Shocked was a target of fear-mongering in the name of a protection racket?” The most prominent reflected directly on the recent controversy: “What would you say to Michelle Shocked if you had waited to hear her side of the story vs. what was reported? Were you there?”

Dressed in a disposable safety suit, on the back of which was written “Gimme Wit Not Spit,” Ms. Shocked, 51, sat on the ground outside the club and strummed an acoustic guitar. Rather than engage spectators in conversation, she pointed to another sign, which invited people to use a marker and write their comments on her all-white outfit.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Shocked, who was raised in a religiously conservative household and is reported to have spent some time as a teenager in a psychiatric hospital, issued a Twitter message advising followers of what she planned to do. “It’s an art project,” she wrote. “’My Summer Vacation.’ I want your autograph. Bring Sharpie.”

At one point, the owner of Moe’s Alley, Bill Welch, came out to talk to Ms. Shocked. But he later told The Associated Press that he neither planned to rehire her nor take further steps against her. “We will not be bashing Michelle Shocked,” he said. “Rather we will celebrate music, diversity and send some healing Santa Cruz energy her way.”


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