Political correctness is something that stage performers are often insulated from, at least in their acts.
Stand up comedy may be the most prevalent example, comics often toe the lines of decency in order to expose some of the deeper, darker truths about the world at large. Bill Hicks, George Carlin, and others were masters of this, and have left us with incredible ways of questioning the world around us.
Music is similar. Bands often espouse fantastical or controversial ideas in their lyrics in the name of entertainment.
In both cases, very little of this offensiveness is literal. It resides above the underlying form of the performer and his instrument, dwelling within the realm of performance – a state in which we should be suspending reality for dramatic effect.
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You see, this whole nonsense about being offended at entertainers derives from being unable to separate the actor from the movie, or the singer from the song, and completely tears away at the artistic nature of the endeavor.
And the knife used by the the offended is getting sharper as time progresses, leaving some legacy acts with undue criticism.
Just weeks after it was removed from an Illinois state fair performance lineup over accusations their name is racist, southern country rock band Confederate Railroad has once again been barred from performing at another upcoming fair – this one in New York.
The band was scheduled to grace the stage at the Ulster County Fair in New Paltz, N.Y., on Aug. 1, however, a spokesperson for the fair said the band’s performance in Hudson Valley has been canceled.
“The Ulster County Fair must be an event that everyone can enjoy while representing the values of all members of our community,” rep for Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday. “Any showcasing of a symbol of division and racism runs counter to that principle and will be vigorously opposed by my administration.”
Confederate Railroad has been making music since 1987. Their name is derived from the story of “The General”, a locomotive famously stolen by Union troops during the Civil War. The steam train currently resides in a museum near the band’s hometown of Marietta, Georgia.
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