According to the website Buzzfeed, Michelle Shocked has now issued two “open letters” about remarks she made during her March 17 concert in San Francisco. You can read them here. The first open letter says (according to Buzzfeed—the statements aren’t on Shocked’s website):
“I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that. I believe intolerance comes from fear, and these folks are genuinely scared.”
“And to those fans who are disappointed by what they’ve heard or think I said, I’m very sorry: I don’t always express myself as clearly as I should.”
In her second statement, Shocked says (again, according to Buzzfeed) that she will neither “endorse” nor “disavow” fundamentalist Christians:
“I’m accused of believing that ‘God hates fags’ and that the repeal of Prop 8 will usher in the End Times. Well, if I caused such an absurdity, I am damn sorry. To be clear: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of any so-called faith preaching intolerance of anyone.
“That means upholding my punk rock values in the most evangelical enclaves and, in this case, speaking up for the most fearful of fundamentalists in, well, a San Francisco music hall full of Michelle Shocked fans.
“As an artist in this time of unbearable culture wars, I understand: this means trouble, and this is neither the first nor last time trouble has come my way. And that’s fine by me.”
On her Twitter feed, Shocked is now accusing reporters of spreading “gossip,” though of course, she waited two days to clarify her comments, wouldn’t respond to interview requests, and kept the controversy alive by re-tweeting inflammatory comments.
So, did some people in the audience at Shocked’s March 17 badly distort her comments? It seems possible.
I’m left to wonder, was this all just a stunt? She explicitly says it wasn’t (“I’m really not that clever”).
Maybe I’m the one who’s too cynical, but when she says, “this means trouble … (and) that’s fine by me,” I get a funny feeling like we’ve all been played.
UPDATE: Gawker has what it says is audio of her March 17 remarks, and whatever she’s trying to say is as clear as mud.
Gawker calls the audio “morbidly fascinating.” I’m not sure about that. It’s disjointed, it’s rambling, it’s bizarre and while I guess it is morbid, none of it is fascinating … it sounds like someone having an emotional train wreck. It’s just sad and having heard the audio, I’m kind of sorry I’ve written so much about the whole incident.