RE: [Harp-L] Political Blues

Let's start with the notion that many people consider it impolite to discuss
politics, religion or money outside the appropriate context for those
conversations.  Whether or not dinner or a social gathering such as drinks
at a club is the appropriate context depends upon your upbringing, social
class and for that matter part of the country I suppose.  Frankly, some
conversations and subjects are just bad manners out of context.  I think
Harp L is probably one of those places so this is my last post on this
matter and I will delete without reading any further emails I get on the


Let's continue with the notion that the nation is about evenly divided
between left and right.  While the right, particularly the religious right,
is expected to keep its mouth shut and be silent in the culture, the left
operates on the notion that they have the right the impose their political
views upon anyone they can communicate with at any time they get the
opportunity.  Unfortunately, about half of the country more or less
disagrees and while they may not walk out in the middle of number like I
will, they don't forget and don't come back.


While you have a God given constitutional right to free expression, you have
neither a God given nor a constitutional right to an audience.  Nothing
requires me or anyone else to spend our money to hear our political,
religious or social views insulted.   You may have the right to say
something but you do not have the right to make people listen to it.  When
you cross the line into political speech you risk ticking off some of your
audience and losing them.  Ideas and speech have consequences and one of the
consequences of your speech may be that people like me refuse to come to
your shows.


You may say fine, didn't want them in my audience anyway.  But, be careful
about that because sometimes those audience members, and I confess I am one
of them, will make darn sure that the restaurant or club owner knows that
the entertainment is making business decisions for him, that I didn't
appreciate the show and that I won't be back when that guy is on the stage.
At that point you are risking not only your continued livelihood but the
venue owners as well.  As a businessman OUTSIDE of the music industry, I can
tell you that endangering the bottom line so that you can feel "edgy" or
"relevant" is an insult to your host unless you have asked them in advance
and they agree with your viewpoint and are willing to bet their bottom line
that more people will agree with you than disagree.  Unless you are so
"special" that the venue owner will put up with you, he is likely to go
looking for talent that won't embarrass him or endanger his bottom line.


I don't care if a good musician has a shrine to Mao in his bedroom and sends
all of his earnings to the Fidel Castro Victory Fund so long as he keeps it
to himself.   I don't go looking for these fights.  But, if he or she shoves
it in my face, that's another matter altogether and they just became another
person that I don't willingly socialize with much less pay to be around.
It's called freedom of association, the constitutional balance to freedom of


Bill Kumpe

Tulsa, OK

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