General discussion


Open letter to Sir Elton John

By maxwell edison ·
Link to story:

Sir Elton,

With all due respect, you are very, very wrong.

Of course you have a right to voice your opinion, and you have a right to oppose things our US administration is doing. I'm all for that, and I'm all for you in standing up in such a manner.

But in this case, it's a little bit funny that you are accusing the government of doing something that they are not doing. You said that people (entertainers, I presume) are "frightened by the current administration's bullying tactics". Will you please be so kind as to point out the "bullying tactics" employed by the US government to squelch such free speech?

What you and other entertainers don't seem to understand - or admit - is that while you, on one hand, have every right to stand up in protest of anything, on the other hand, people who disagree with you have the same right. You mentioned the Dixie Chicks. The government didn't do anything or say anything in "retaliation" for their statements of a year ago. But other people did. Are you suggesting that I, as a "free speech" advocate who happens to disagree with the Dixie Chicks, doesn't subsequently have the right to stand up in disagreement, boycott their concerts, throw away their CDs, and so on? The US government's not doing it, Sir Elton, but other people are. There's a difference.

The most recent crude remarks by Whoopie Goldberg is another such example. Sure, she certainly has a right to stand up and be heard by spouting off as much disgusting vile as she wants. But other people, and companies, have a right to react to it however they please? If you hire someone who embarrasses you, do you not have a right to fire that person? Does Slim-Fast not have a right to fire Ms. Goldberg because she was becoming an embarrassment to them?

So please, Sir Elton, don't confuse another person's "free speech" with government "bullying tactics". It's people like me who wrote letters to Slim-Fast voicing displeasure over the remarks of Ms. Goldberg. It's people like me who decided to not buy any more Dixie Chick CDs or concert tickets. It's people like me who are now using the old Barbara Streisand records for Frisbees. The government is not doing anything. Just little people like me exercising their own "free speech" in response to others with whom we disagree.

Can you not see the distinction? Or is "Your Song" the only one you can tolerate to hear?

Respectfully Yours,

A Life-Long fan and lover of your music,

Mr. Maxwell Edison

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Remember some don't believe in freedom of speech

by JimHM In reply to Open letter to Sir Elton ...

Remember that some countries and people don't believe in the freedom of speech. Unless you agree with the person speeking - like E. John.

Hey lets boycot his albums - if he ever comes out with another one - like Americans did to the Dixie Chic's -

Americans spoke to the with what they could - their dollars and pennies - and guess what - you don't hear much out of the D.C.s today. If you are going to speek be ready to accept the results of your comments.... We all pay the same price...

Hey E.J. - You have the right to say whatever you want - and you may have the press to broadcast what you say. But the American people can speek with their Dollars and boycott anything you create - are in - or endorse.. Our freedom of Speech!..

God Bless America -

Collapse -

I think we need to be careful...

by mlayton In reply to Open letter to Sir Elton ...

...the quote about the government bullying tactics was put in by the writer of the story, I didn't see anything in the quotes from Elton John that blamed the U.S. Government, or did I miss something?

Collapse -

It was clearly quoted as coming from Elton

by Oz_Media In reply to I think we need to be car ...

But then again, this seems to be an opinion all aroud the world, except in America. Sorta the same as love is blind I suppose. It's hard to realize you are being bullied unless you see it from another perspective anyway.

That plus the fact that this is BBC's artilcle and quotes from Elton is about as accurate as Michael Moore quoting Bush, which is often taken out of context to provide more strength to the comments.

Personally I think, who gives a s**t how he feels?

Collapse -

To clarify for you

by Oz_Media In reply to It was clearly quoted as ...

>Sir Elton said performers could be "frightened by the current administration's bullying tactics".

Yes, this is directly quoted as being said by Sir Elton John.

Collapse -

you missed something

by maxwell edison In reply to I think we need to be car ...

It was a direct quote.

Collapse -

Some Thoughts

by TheChas In reply to Open letter to Sir Elton ...


I basically agree with your comments and sentiments.

However, I can see how Sir Elton could assume that the administration is behind, or supports the suppression of speech that does not support the administrations position.
After all, Bush supporters (if not administration staff) have regularly vilified individuals who have spoken out against members of the Bush administration and their policies.

Specific thoughts on events of fan protest against the artists positions:

The Dixie Chicks:
I have the least sympathy for the Dixie Chicks. They should have known that their fan base would be solidly in support of President Bush and the war in Iraq.

I do however think it is a show of very poor manners and respect for fellow concert goers for any group to heckle a performer just because they disagree with the performers personal views.

The actions of the radio networks that banned their stations from playing any Dixie Chick recording bother me a lot. This just proves that the concerns voiced over the loosened restrictions on media ownership would result in reduced restricted and controlled information are valid.

I don't mind if individual stations respond to the desires of their local market. It's when a corporate decision is made to "punish" a point of view that does not match theirs that bothers me.

Woopie Goldberg:
I have no sympathy for Slim Fast, or any other company that hires a controversial celebrity as a spokesperson and then is faced with a situation where the star "embarrass them.
If a company does not have the good sense to review the professional, personal, and political history of a spokesperson, they get what they deserve when the celebrity makes a comment that embarrasses the company.
Any company that drops a spokesperson that continues to follow the path that they have been on, shows me that the company does not make informed decisions.
That company does not deserve my business, or investment.

Linda Ronstadt:

What where the people at her Vegas show expecting?
She was anti-war in the 60's and continues to be active in liberal causes.
Walking out in silent protest would have been acceptable behavior.
Trashing the place was not.

Just when did it become acceptable behavior to shout down and show public disrespect for those who's views differ from your own?
A case in point:
For years, politicians and political parties have marched in local parades. Recently, at a local 4th of July parade, a group supporting John Kerry marched in the parade. They were booed and harassed. Letters to the local paper have been in support of the people who booed them.

What has happened to tolerance of opposing views in this country?

For that matter, what has happened to people researching an issue and drawing conclusions from facts?
Just today, there were comments in the newspaper on a proposal to build a new zoo in the area.
1 person complained that the zoo should be built at a different location that had already been rejected because it is in a floodplain.
Another wondered why we could not just expand the present zoo. The primary reason for the proposal for a new zoo is that the residents near the existing zoo do not want to loose a public park that is the only space the zoo can expand into.

We need to get back to some basics here, and teach people to research and think.


Collapse -

Some thoughts

by maxwell edison In reply to Some Thoughts

When supporters of (or members of the Bush administration) "speak out" against those who disagree with them, it's "squelching" freedom of speech. When similar people "spoke out" against the Clinton administration, it was a "vast right-wing conspiracy". What's wrong with this picture?

Moreover, I would challenge anyone to find even one person in the current Bush administration who said anything at all about the Dixie Chicks (or anyone else), except, perhaps, that they were entitled to their own opinion or something similar. They (anyone from the Bush administration) simply did not say anything at all.

And of course Bush supporters have vilified other individuals who have spoken out against members of the Bush administration and their policies, not unlike those who attempt to vilify the Bush administration itself. Is that wrong? I think not. But I do see a double-standard being applied here.

As far as the entertainers who "speak out" against anything, personally speaking, I don't pay mega-bucks to see a concert only to be bombarded with their political views. I'll certainly support anyone's right to speak out against anything, but I don't want to pay them to hear it.

On Slim Fast, a lot of companies make bad marketing decisions. And whether it's Slim Fast with Whoopie Goldberg, or the Florida Orange Growers with Anita Bryant, again, a double-standard is being applied here. Both got fired. Would Whoopie Goldberg support Anita Bryant? Did she? Nope - nor did any other Hollywood Limousine Liberal. In fact, Anita was "vilified" by them. Business is in the business to make money, and if they stumble in that effort, they are certainly entitled to correct their error.

On your comment about those who "shout down and show public disrespect for those who's views differ from your own", the NAACP comes immediately to mind - something the President took a pass on being the target of. Where's the outrage against them?

By the way, good luck with your local zoo. But personally speaking, I believe that any municipal zoo should be paid for by those who enjoy visiting it. I don't want to pay for some other people to gawk at monkeys.

Related Discussions

Related Forums