[Marxism] Linda Ronstadt and "That Bad Eartha"
Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Tue Jul 20 20:09:25 MDT 2004
The singer Linda Ronstadt was not just booed - she also got the boot
after praising the filmmaker Michael Mooreand his new movie "Fahrenheit
9/11" during a performance in Las Vegas. Before singing "Desperado" for
an encore, Ronstadt called Moore a "great American patriot" and
"someone who is spreading the truth." She also encouraged the audience
at the Aladdin Casino to see the documentary about President George W.
Bush. Some of the 4,500 people in attendance stormed out of the
theater. People also tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails
into the air. "It was a very ugly scene," said the Aladdin president,
Bill Timmins. "She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke
loose." Timmins, who is British and was watching the show, said that he
had not allowed Ronstadt back in her luxury suite afterward and that
she had been escorted off the property. Moore released a letter that he
intends to send to Timmins, saying: "For you to throw Linda Ronstadt
off the premises because she dared to say a few words in support of me
and my film, is simply stupid and un-American."
In the middle of a successful career, Eartha Kitt risked it all,
speaking out in the "belly of the beast"--well, actually in front of
Lady Bird Johnson at a White House luncheon in 1968. There was some
criticism of Joseph Hansen, a long-time leader of the SWP, when he put
her album cover "That Bad Eartha" on the front of Intercontinental
Press. But I think Kitt would have loved it. I'm sure that Kitt as
Helen of Troy and Catwoman [deja vu again] would have sizzled.
After winning a scholarship to the Katherine Dunham Dance School, she
began to tour with the group and achieved her first professional
success. As a member of the troupe, the sixteen year old Kitt toured in
Mexico, Europe and South America as well as the U.S. Choosing to stay
in Paris, she began to sing in nightclubs. Subsequently, Kitt became
known as a singer and actress as well as a dancer. In 1950 she began
her acting career as Helen of Troy in an Orson Welles production
entitled Time Runs. In 1952 she starred in a Broadway musical, New
Faces of 1952. She recorded a number of successful songs in the early
1950s as well. Kitt continued to act in both theater and on film, and
to perform in nightclubs.Unwilling to contribute to the discrimination
rampant in American society, Kitt decided that she would not perform
before segregated audiences and included that requirement in her
contracts. She appeared in several films, including St. Louis Blues in
1958 and Anna Lucasta in 1959. In the 1960s she played the role of
Catwoman on the Batman television show. Kitt had seemingly achieved the
American dream, and was a success in show business.
Her career took a different turn after she spoke out against the
Vietnam War at a White House luncheon in 1968 in the presence of Lady
Bird Johnson. As a result of her outspoken anti-war position, she was
blackballed and was unable to find work in the U.S., with the exception
of a few talk shows. Contracts were lost or cancelled. The CIA
developed a file containing personal and professional information.
Eartha moved to Europe, where she lived and worked for the next ten
years, struggling financially and ignored by many friends. Kitt has
said she would have spoken out even if she had known the consequences.
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