Michelle Shocked Shows Up at Her Cancelled Gig Wearing a Condom Suit…

This is called a ‘downward spiral,’ and it’s being fueled by mental illness.  The clip, flimed last night by Paul Home, shows Michelle Shocked playing outside her cancelled gig at Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz in what looks like a condom suit.  Her mouth is taped, there are unintelligible signs, and there is no audience.

Shocked’s tour was quickly nixed after the singer spewed a homophobic rant during a San Francisco gig at Yoshi’s.

4 Responses

  1. Visitor

    This is really, really sad, if true.

    I say “if true” because I have become so jaded that I sometimes can’t tell if an artistis has really fallen on hard times or used poor judgement OR it’s alla publicity stuntto get more gigs.

  2. wallow-T

    This is the latest installment in a sad, two-week-long story. Using Google, look for writers Chris Willman, Nicole Sandler and Kristin Rawls, and there is a very sympathetic piece from Lori Selke in SF Weekly.

    The most optimistic spin I could put on it is that, at her Yoshi’s show two weeks ago, Ms. Shocked wanted to do a spoken word riff about not hating the Christians, and it went totally off the rails and she lost the audience. Most walked out and the club management shuttered the show. A 22-minute audio clip is available. As one tweeter put it, you don’t go to the A.M.E. Church to talk about racism and launch into the N___ word.

    In the following days, Ms. Shocked refused to explain or clarify herself — including to the upcoming venues on her tour. Her Twitter behavior got pretty weird. Her behavior fueled the now-widespread belief that this is some sort of break with reality.

    I was a huge, huge fan at the beginning of her career. But, in retrospect, after her religious conversion, the tension between her beliefs and her largely-lesbian audience has been present for over a decade and something like this may have been inevitable.

  3. wallow-T

    I’m going to elaborate. I wasn’t there, but I have probably read most of what has been written on this issue including an awful lot of tweets.

    Michelle Shocked’s audience is (to pick an arbitrary guess) 65% gay, and 100% gay-ally. Whether Ms. Shocked intended to or not, she made a string of remarks at Yoshi’s which can legitimately be interpreted as anti-gay, and definitely anti-gay-marriage. (Her phrasing, taken coldly from a transcript, clearly says that she, and her community, believe that priests will be forced to marry gay people at gunpoint, but I hope that she was trying to characterize the views of others in her religious community, while not disowning that community. Really sloppy sentence structure and verbal dynamite.) Certainly a good part of the Yoshi’s audience took this as an anti-gay message, and as Shocked’s crowd in San Francisco was substantially a gay crowd, this was received as a kick in the teeth FROM SOMEONE WHO THE CROWD LIKED ENOUGH TO BUY TICKETS TO THE SHOW. Many people who have followed her for decades.

    Michelle Shocked seems to now be uncomfortable with having been seen as a “gay icon” for the last 25+ years. (See the Kristin Rawls piece at XOJANE, and the Margaret Cho pieces at Huffington Post and XOJANE.) Her Twitter header changed today from “The most sophisticated hillbilly you ever met” to “Gay Icon. Moi?” It is POSSIBLE that she has now moved to a desire to save the souls of her audience.

    From the protest at Santa Cruz, Michelle Shocked seems to think this is all about her, and that she is being unfairly judged and blacklisted by all the venues who cancelled her tour in about 24 hours. But really it is about her relationships — with her audience, and her business relationships with the venues.

    The manager of her Los Angeles venue said on the record that he had tried to reach Ms. Shocked without success, and as far as he knew no other venue had been able to communicate with her.

    As for the audience, Shocked was given days to try to explain herself in Twitter and in 2 interviews (Nicole Sandler and SPIN), and very little that she expressed was clear. She dodged questions and the interviews are trainwrecks. Since she seems to have been unhappy with her market position as a gay icon for some years, I speculate that she does not realize that she has terminated the bond with her audience in a way that is probably unrecoverable.

  4. Humperdinker

    Show audio.

    So it’s not too late. You can jump into this Jesus gang anytime you want. But, um, I was in a prayer meeting yesterday, and you’ve gotta appreciate how scared, how scared folks on that side of the equation are. I mean, from their vantage point — and I really shouldn’t say ‘their,’ because it’s mine, too — we are nearly at the end of time. And from our vantage point, we’re gonna be, uhhh, I think maybe Chinese water torture is gonna be the means, the method — once Prop 8 gets, uh, instated, and once, um, preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals, I’m pretty sure that that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back