Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Steven Van Zandt's Reaction to the Hamilton/Pence Incident

While two weeks ago seems like forever in Internet-time, this is one issue I just wanted to share my two-cents on.  I promised more complaining after the election, so bear with me on this.


Here was Steven Van Zandt's reaction to the cast of Hamilton sharing a personalized message to Vice President-elect Mike Pence after the performance of a show.  Now, Little Stevie's entitled to his opinion, just like anyone else.  His point about letting art speak for itself is valid, but where I disagree with him is when he calls it "inappropriate", a "mistake", and says that they owe an apology.  In my opinion, there is no wrong way to do a peaceful protest, mainly because there is no right way to do one.  Cancel your show?  You get criticized.  Silently kneel during an anthem?  You get criticized.  Read a short message at the end of a show?  You get criticized.  I'd be open to changing my mind if I could find an example of a peaceful protest that was met with universal acclaim and succeeded in its goals.

As long as the message is peaceful and civil, there is room for it in the national dialogue, regardless whether it is part of an artistic performance or not.  With threats to the first amendment becoming more and more routine, I respectfully disagree with Stevie's opinion and hope other artists do not hesitate to share their thoughts and feelings.