Sunday, November 17, 2013

Joan Jett Jettisoned in Float Flap

Joan Jett drummed off South Dakota Float.
Photo by Mario Gomez.
Several years ago I saw Joan Jett in a production of the Rocky Horror Show on Broadway.  She played Columbia.  She was fantastic and brought her own sense of crazy rock and roll to the part.  I didn't know her politics or whether or not she was a vegetarian.  She was a great performer and I couldn't care less whether she was a Socialist, Tea Party enthusiast, or a Zoroastrian.  I just don't think that entertainers or their opinions are that relevant in the American political scene.  I think most of us feel this way about performers

--but clearly not all of us.

In this day when our personal politics or beliefs get wrapped up in our professions, it is not a surprise to learn that Joan Jett was uninvited to perform on the South Dakota float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade after the South Dakota Cattleman's Association learned that Jett is a vegetarian and did some promos for PETA in the past.  Click here for the story.

Frog legs not on the menu at Joan Jett's Thanksgiving.
Photo by Mario Gomez.

I think that if the Cattleman's Association didn't protest the selection, the parade would have gone off without a hitch and I am certain that Joan Jett would have performed her greatest hits on the float without once mentioning PETA or her advocacy of vegetarianism.  She would have represented South Dakota well and no one would have known or thought about the PETA issue.  It's Thanksgiving after all and not a day for political statements.  South Dakota drew attention to the issue by uninviting Jett.  Indeed, the Cattlemen gave PETA a larger national stage to draw unwelcome attention to South Dakota's meat industry.

Santa is not a vegan since he likes milk and cookies.
Where's the outrage?  Photo by Mario Gomez.
Of course these types of things happen on the political left and right and Joan Jett is hardly the first to get caught up in these types of flaps and the South Dakota Cattleman's Association is not the first group to make a boneheaded mistake to require some form of political correctness from entertainers.

I wonder if Santa supports PETA?

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