As if our divided, angry nation had not become inundated with every protest imaginable, clowns are demonstrating against the horror movie “It,” claiming that it presents an unfair portrayal of clowning in in general.
Over the weekend, clowns in costume demonstrated outside a screening of the movie just across the border, in Ontario, and protests in the U.S. are also expected. The film is a remake of a previous movie based on a Stephen King book, featuring the ultimate creepy clown, that is three decades old. But in 2017 the claim is that the box office smash has resulted in “great harm” to professional clowns who want people to see the happy side of clowning.
I raise this rather bizarre story because Michigan is about to be hit with rather inane protests aimed at Kid Rock and Hillary Clinton.
Tonight, at the opening of the Little Caesar’s Arena in downtown Detroit, Kid Rock’s performance will draw protests because the sleazy rocker is viewed as not a proper performer for the debut of a forum financed, in part, by Detroit taxpayers to the tune of $324 million. With dozens of taxpayer-funded stadiums and arenas across the nation, do we really want to travel down this path, with musical acts judged by whether they are worthy of a performance in the people’s house?
If so, a wide array of rockers and rappers could not pass the test based on racism, sexism, misogyny or equality.
Kid Rock’s tawdry image has been well known for two decades yet he has played dozens of past shows in the Detroit area without the slightest hint of public outrage. In January, the announcement that he would perform six shows to inaugurate the new Red Wings/Pistons arena received entirely positive news coverage.
Over the past week, as the Kid engages in narcissistic, foul-mouthed responses to the blowback – his favorite words seem to be “I” and “f—” – he is probably correct about one aspect of this circus: The organized, partisan opposition probably never would have happened if he hadn’t made noises about running for U.S. Senate as a Republican.
Meanwhile, Clinton launched her book tour today in New York City and rabble-rousers have planned protests at each stop, through Dec. 12, including an Oct. 24 event slated for Ann Arbor. This is a situation in which conservatives join with pseudo-socialist Bernie Sanders die-hards to push the idea that Hillary should just go away.
The 2016 vote created the most controversial post-presidential election period in history – or at least since 2000 – so it’s understandable that Hillary wants to have her say, in book form. Even if it covers very old ground, offering nothing particularly enlightening or controversial.
Surely, the reasons for Clinton’s loss and Trump’s win have been covered so thoroughly that the subject has to rank, at least, among the top 10 news story/analyses of the past decade.
While Clinton’s book is reportedly not a whine-fest, she defends her private email server and raises obvious issues such as the DNC hack, Russian interference and the Bernie Sanders’ supporters refusal to get on board. But for anyone to suggest that a former first lady, senator and secretary of state in her position is not entitled to a book tour, and that protesters should try to shut her down, is rather silly.
As Eclectablog has reported, one of the online anti-Hillary groups, masquerading as a collection of loyal “Indivisible” Democrats, was apparently formed earlier this year by David A. Dudenhoefer, chair of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District Republican Committee. Just before that bit of chicanery, Dudenhoefer posted on Facebook that the conservative strategy should be to “infiltrate these groups and, before they gain strength, cause them to implode.”
So, the Clinton obsession continues, on the far-left and the far-right.
As for Kid Rock (real name, Robert Ritchie), it seems that a whole lot more information needs to become public information if he wants to fancy himself as a potential member of “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”
Ritchie has manufactured a multi-million dollar career engaging in self-promotional abilities that seem to rival everyone from Madonna to Donald Trump. As is well known, he grew up as a rich kid in the Macomb County suburbs, in the Romeo area, and managed to shape himself as a faux rapper who evolved into a phony redneck.
His latest song video is a tribute to (take your pick) sleaziness, hillbillies or, forgive me, “trailer trash.” While he is a grandfather, the Kid portrays himself as a white version of the so-called “black thugs” that seem to scare the bejeezus out of traditional Republicans.
His infamous history as a celebrity features a sex tape (two men, four women), a brief marriage to Pamela Anderson (no explanation necessary), and two arrests for assault and battery.
Yet, Ritchie’s liberal critics are way behind the curve, and the scheduled protest outside the new arena only serves to inflate his extraordinary ego.
Full-throated complaints about the massive Confederate flag he displayed routinely onstage should have been voiced long ago. The award the Detroit NAACP granted him cannot be undone.
Still, his popularity within the normally staid leagues of the GOP has legs. Some Republicans have pushed the bar so low for respectable election candidates that the political rodents are having trouble with the 2017 version of the limbo.
In another display of brotherhood with Trump-style hucksterism, he calls himself the “king of Detroit love,” and takes some credit for the jobs and investment created by the 50-block pizzarena project.
Along those same lines, Ritchie now says he will abandon his previous Detroit area charities because they have not shown him sufficient loyalty while he is in the line of fire.
Ritchie’s defenders claim that he has established a track record as a prime philanthropist and booster for the city of Detroit. Yet, it wasn’t reported until Monday that, in presidential fashion, his claims of generosity don’t hold up.
Crain’s Detroit Business reports that in recent years, Ritchie’s two nonprofit foundations, both based in Florida, have donated to two Detroit area charitable organizations, most recently about $15,000 in 2015.
His foundations’ largest gift, by far, was in 2012 to the “Kid Rock Music Lab” created at the Detroit Historical Museum.
To be clear, the issue here is not Kid Rock. It is corporate welfare and the political connections that have benefited Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans, the Illitch family that owns the Red Wings and Tigers, and Tom Gores, owner of the Detroit Pistons, whose team move to Little Caesar’s Arena will lead to the demolition of The Palace of Auburn Hills in Oakland County.
All three of these wealthy forces in the Detroit development world have benefited greatly from taxpayer dollars. And the upcoming deals, a Gores-Gilbert pro soccer stadium and a subsidized luxury high-rise in downtown for Gilbert, have not escaped the notice of the national media who are criticizing the Motor City’s “crony capitalism.”
Rather than the circus that will play out tonight outside of the new arena, with too many clowns (including pro-Kid Rock counter-protesters) engaged in 2017-style masquerading, those with good intentions should have been protesting at the Detroit City Council and the state Capitol many months ago.