J’accuse (II of II)

The attitude that most major performers, managers, and string-pullers take with fans about potentially explosive issues - the Total Silence Treatment about changes or events that are less than glowingly positive or fully flattering - can be condescending, patronizing, and, frankly, insulting. “Invest yourselves emotionally, spiritually, and financially in our lives,” performers and artists say, “but don’t expect us to be reciprocally straightforward and honest with you when we don’t want to be.” This duplicity, bordering on hypocrisy, is the most damning indictment of The Code of Silence and the strongest challenge to the underlying ethos that enables the Great Mysteries. If groups and performers and owners want support from fans in and out of season, groups, performers, and owners need to model the integrity of character and strength of conviction they so often sing about, especially in times of trouble or challenge. This is why, no matter one’s opinion about issues of sexuality and identity, Kirk Talley’s candor and openness about his circumstances distinguish him and his situation from other “scandals.” You don’t have to agree with or approve of him to respect him for his insistence on being honest with his fans and upfront about himself (and in this, Talley’s situation sort of shares similarities with the soon-to-be-former governor of New Jersey).

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