Controversial alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked has found out how to be too controversial for San Francisco: make a statement against gay marriage. The 51-year-old singer was performing a show at Yoshi’s on Sunday when she declared: “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization and Jesus will come back.” The crowd apparently did not agree.
The most ironic thing of the whole affair is that Shocked is known for being, well, shocking. For the majority of her career she has been a far-left bomb-thrower, supporting every liberal cause possible. Within the last decade or so, Shocked became a “born-again Christian” (whatever that means to San Francisco journalists). Interestingly, this didn’t stop Shocked from being a left-wing supporter of sorts; she was arrested during the eviction of Occupy LA in late 2011. She is certainly not a poster-child for right-wing politics.
However, this didn’t stop Yoshi’s from shutting down her performance early, or the majority of the audience at the show from walking out. Shocked had the audacity to question gay marriage and in San Francisco, this is downright heretical. How dare Shocked come to their town and say shocking things? The nerve. They were more than happy to hear her rants for twenty-odd years against the political right, but now that she is questioning an unquestionable dogma of the left, she has quickly become persona non grata. Being shocking is fine, so long as you are being the right kind of shocking.
Proving that the First Amendment has no place in San Francisco, Yoshi’s publicly announced that Shocked is not welcome—ever again. Yoshi’s tweeted (in all caps, just to make it more obvious how indignant they are being): “WE AT YOSHI’S SF DO NOT & WILL NOT EVER TOLERATE THE TYPE OF BIGOTRY & HATRED EXHIBITED LAST NIGHT BY @MShocked SHE WILL NEVER BE BACK.” Would Yoshi’s have been so quick to disinvite Miss Shocked if she had made death threats against anti-abortionists? Don’t waste too much time thinking about it.