If Michelle Shocked intended to shock, she did an excellent job of it. The 50-year-old has-been, who maintained a faithful lesbian following up until yesterday, obviously decided to throw in the towel on what was left of her career with Pyrrhic bravado.
Born Karen Michelle Johnston, raised in the Mormon faith and committed to a psychiatric hospital for a time during her teenage years, Ms Shocked may have issues. We presume "Shocked" is her homage to the type of treatments she received while institutionalized, if that's not awfully bold of us.
"Shocked put forward an ambiguous sexuality from the beginning of her career. Her music appealed to many people including lesbians," Wikipedia explains.
Although she was part of the progressive Occupy L.A. movement recently, the divorced Ms Shocked (from journalist Bart Bull) said in a 2008 interview with the gay newspaper, Dallas Voice: “There are some inconvenient truths that I’m now a born again, sanctified, saved-in-the-blood Christian. So much of what’s said and done in the name of that Christianity is appalling. According to my Bible, which I didn’t write [Thanks for clarifying, Michelle ~~ Buddy B], homosexuality is immoral. But homosexuality is no more or less a sin than fornication. And I’m a fornicator with a capital F." Well, Michelle, you're certainly something with a capital F.
However, by 2011, she was quoted as saying onstage: "Who drafted me as a gay icon? You are looking at the world’s greatest homophobe. Ask God what He thinks.” Two nights ago, at Yoshi's nightclub in San Francisco of all places, the audience left in protest of M.S.'s anti-gay rant, in which she felt the need to shout out, "God hates fags," and club management abruptly ended her show. Several venues have cancelled scheduled performances in response to Shocked's unacceptable public remarks. This is what's known as a professional debacle.
There may yet be a burning of the performer's records by angry fans. All 56 copies! Meanwhile, Tweets from appalled concert-goers at Yoshi’s included: “she said gay marriage would cause the end of the world” and “wow, she’s a total bigot and said so on stage. It was unreal. We had to leave. I am so disappointed.”
Yesterday, none other than recording artist Janis Ian, wrote on Facebook:
To people who keep asking me to comment on Michelle Shocked's virulent onstage attack on gay people, here it is: Well, that's too bad. As a performer with 45 years of shows behind me, I've had walk-outs when I sang about interracial couples, and when I sang about AIDS, and walkouts more recently when I sang about gay marriage. I am the first to argue that I have a right to sing and speak about those things on stage, just as the audience has the right to walk out, object to the management, and ask for their money back if they feel deceived.
Our country is in large part founded on the concept of free speech - the right to speak your mind politically and socially. But there is a huge difference between "Free speech" and "Hate speech." It is sad when a talented person chooses to use that talent in the service of their own misplaced rage, and their disappointment in their own life.
I often wonder if people like this die and meet God, who will smack them upside the head and say "Did I really LOOK like I needed your help?!"
And isn't it odd to see someone who was so woman-identified turn a 360 degree like this? Then again, "Hell hath no fury...."
Below, a brilliant anti-gay marriage parody ad that surfaced recently on YouTube. Dedicated to the memory of Michelle Shocked's career. She's now unplugged.