Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Video: Michelle Shocked on Piers Morgan [full video]

This is just the very beginning of the interview (it's all they've put up so far).

Hard to understand why he didn't play what followed immediately after the audio of the Yoshi's show he did play:
If someone would be so gracious as to please tweet out, 'Michelle Shocked just said from stage "God hates faggots".' Would you do it now?
That came right after what Morgan aired. Why not play that?

Anyway, she defends her words by saying the audience "requested reality." As I said here, she has apparently given "reality" a new meaning. And that makes all this the audience's fault.

• More video and commentary here.

Update: Full video:

For what it's worth, her last line, "The apple tree's got some strange fruit Even Adam would not try," is from her own song, "Peachfuzz," which has the line, "...called them fags 'cause that's what they was." I don't know exactly what the song means, just wanted to note that.


  1. More dancing, equivocation and control-mongering as far as I can tell. No, MS is not a homophobe and she doesn't hate gay people. She just hates what they do in bed, because her Bronze-Age Guide to Hygiene says it's a capital offense.

    Rich Juswiak over at Gawker charitably observes, "I think the truth-versus-reality thing means that while the truth is that gay people are no less deserving of rights than anyone else, the reality is that not everyone agrees with it." Good guess, but I can just as easily imagine that MS' "truth" is the Bible and the beliefs of her Pentacostalist church, while her "reality" is the supposedly sinful and defiant state of a world which doesn't hew to her religious beliefs.

    There is no way this woman can support marriage equality and believe that homosexuality is a condemning sin in the eyes of her god at the same time, unless, as she hissed at her audience, she is one of those hypocrites hiding behind a cross.

  2. I'm sorry to have to turn on word verification - I've got so many spammers it's unbelievable. (More than 1,500 spam comments in a few weeks?!!)

  3. About "Peachfuzz" … The "fags" line is literally a reference to cigarettes, but the double-entendre is intentional. It's used in reference to a male character, Gameboy, who is flirting with a young man nicknamed "Peachfuzz" by lighting his cigarettes. Not a negative song in my opinion; just observations on human nature. The whole quatrain goes:

    The apple tree's got some strange fruit
    Even Adam would not try
    But human nature is living proof
    Beauty's in the beholder's eye.

  4. Seems quite positive regarding the characters, really.

  5. (I'm a straight male who has followed Michelle since the first UK import release of "Texas Campfire.")

    After following this story intently since it hit, I have come to the conclusion that Michelle's rant at Yoshi's was an artwork gone very, very wrong. The keys for me is "Chinese water torture" and "priests forced to marry gays at gunpoint," that's so over the top it has to be artistic exaggeration. I now believe she was trying to create some sort of message about "don't be afraid of the Christians, they're afraid of you."

    However. As one tweeter expressed it, you don't go to a black church to talk about racism and launch into the N___ word.

    More however. If Ms. Shocked had come out with something approximating the Piers Morgan interview in the 24 hours after the Yoshi's show, she might have been able to recover something. Instead, she played incoherent word games and displayed streaks of fearful paranoia.

    Even more however. Buried in the tweets and the blog comments are anecdotes, and rumors of anecdotes, of incidents of bad behavior which have not been talked about openly for years. My SPECULATION is that the speed with which Ms. Shocked's gigs were cancelled was only partly due to gay-rights solidarity, and had more to due with venue owners and folks behind the scenes knowing that Ms. Shocked has long been just a few hairs-breadths away from a bad episode.

    The Piers Morgan interview is the first time in two weeks that Ms. Shocked has come close to what most people would regard as acceptable conduct. In particular, I think the Santa Cruz "white condom suit" protest justified the actions of every venue manager who cancelled.

    So, I am willing to exonerate Ms. Shocked from the charge of homophobia. As Pete Anderson said in Chris Willman's wrapup in the Hollywood Reporter, look at her entire career for two+ decades. Look at the "Peachfuzz" song, for example.

    But: the tension between Ms. Shocked's fundamentalist religious conversion and her large gay audience, which I felt the last time I saw her in person in the mid-2000s, has exploded and can no longer be waved away. As Margaret Cho led me to understand: Michelle Shocked can never again be regarded as "safe" by gay audiences.

    I hope she can make a living teaching music.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I took the Chinese water torture" remark differently - I think she was nervous, very nervous, about what she was about to say, and the Chinese water torture was something about how stammeringly she was getting to the point. (Whether the torture was hers or her audiences - who knows.)

      And she cannot "fix" her Yoshi's remarks by saying she supports the LGBT community and gay marriage. Forget even the very weird 'If someone would be so gracious as to please tweet out, 'Michelle Shocked just said from stage "God hates faggots"' - she made more than clear right before that that she believes the "end times" stuff regarding gays. I mean you'd agree with that, right? She can't then say she support gay marriage. I mean she can - but it makes little sense without retracting the "end times" claim.

  6. Same Anonymous as before:

    Richard Thompson was once asked if all those breakup songs were autobiographical, and with a twinkle in his eye he referred to having once written a song narrated from the viewpoint of a serial killer.

    I lean towards a literary interpretation, that Ms. Shocked was adopting a persona and sketching a character. I think the request "If someone would be so gracious as to please tweet out..." was dripping in irony as she may have begun to realize that she was pushing her audience in a bad direction.

    But I'll also recognize that there is a glaring clash between (what we know of) Ms. Shocked's fundamentalism, and a live-and-let-live attitude. "Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin" is not much of a reassurance if one considers sexuality as an innate part of one's being. The "Love The Sinner" Christian love, most of us sinners would prefer to forego in favor of tolerance.

    (Thanks for the soapbox. I really need to let this go.)

  7. That assumes this happened in a vacuum. I'm sure you've seen that she's been heading this way for a while, in her own personal life, and personal coments to people.

    And it's pretty obvious to me that she knew before she started that she was going to make the "If someone would be so gracious..." remark. It came out of exactly nowhere. If the audience had been chiding her - okay. They weren't. It came out of nowhere - as she had to have planned. Given that, it really seem inexcusable. If ithad been an angry response to getting shit - I'd be backing her up.

    1. Yeah, I agree. It was planned so she could become the instant baddie and a martyr instead of trying to make a case for her consuming cult affiliation.