By The Progressive on July 21, 2004
Linda Ronstadt Gets the Hook at Aladdin
By Matthew Rothschild

July 21, 2004

On July 17, Linda Ronstadt got the hook at the Aladdin in Las Vegas for having the temerity to dedicate her encore "Desperado" to Michael Moore.

She called Moore a "great American patriot" and "someone who is telling the truth," according to AP.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that she said Moore is "someone who cares about this country deeply and is trying to help."

Ronstadt's comments evidently caused a stir, with many of the almost 5,000 fans getting angry and storming out.

Aladdin President Bill Timmins, who was at the show, was not happy.

"I made the decision to ask Miss Ronstadt to leave the hotel," he told the Las Vegas Sun. "If she wants to talk about her views to a newspaper or in a magazine article, she is free to do so. But on a stage in front of four and a half thousand people is not the place for it."

Timmins banned Ronstadt from playing at the Aladdin again.

Michael Moore dashed off a letter to Timmins. "What country do you live in?" Moore wrote. "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."

Ronstadt followed up her gig at the Aladdin with a show in San Diego on July 18. There she again hailed Moore as "a great American patriot and certainly the man of the hour," according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"Half the crowd heartily applauded her praise for Moore, the other half booed," the paper said. "Dozens of concertgoers angrily streamed toward the exits, while others gave her an ovation."

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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