Saturday, 7 December 2013

Seeing red



Should he have gone?

Dame Elton John played the first of two concerts in Russia last night, the first major artist to do so since Putin's anti-"gay propaganda" laws were introduced earlier this year.

Apparently from the stage in Moscow's Crocus City Hall he:
  • Said "I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating.”
  • Dedicated the concert to Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23-year-old man tortured and murdered in the southern city of Volgograd earlier this year.
  • Called for "renouncing all discrimination, including that based on non-traditional sexual orientation".
  • Told the audience "Music is a very powerful thing. It brings people together irrespective of their age, their race, their sexuality, or their religion. It does not discriminate. Look around you tonight. You see men, women, young and old, gay and straight. Thousands of Russian people enjoying the music. We’re all here together in harmony and harmony is what makes a happy family and a strong society. The spirit we share tonight is what builds a future of equality, love and compassion for my children and for your children. Please don’t leave it behind when you leave tonight."
But is it enough?

Let's see if he says more and does more to highlight the despicable behaviour of the Russian government when he takes to the stage again tonight in the Volga city of Kazan...

I am not going to end with an Elton song. Instead, let's hear again from a band who have actually issued a direct challenge to Putin and his state-sponsored thugs - it's Yelle and Red Flag:



I feel like we are moving back in time
The world seems upside down
We’re crashing to the ground, yeah

Although I know some battles have been won
We’ve got a way to go
Until we win the war

Ain’t gonna stop until I get there
Ain’t gonna rest until I get fair
Ain’t gonna stop, ain’t gonna stop, ain’t gonna stop
I have a dream, have a dream dream dream

Ain’t gonna rest till I get respect
Can’t let history repeat itself
Ain’t gonna stop, ain’t gonna stop, ain’t gonna stop
I have a dream, have a dream dream dream

People shutting people out, I see a red flag
People taking people’s rights, I see a red flag
See a red flag, see a red flag, gotta stand up for my brothers and my sisters
When they take away your freedom, it’s a red flag
When they take what makes you human, it’s a red flag
It’s a red flag, it’s a red flag, gotta stand up for my brothers and my sisters

This is about you
This is about me
This is about us all
Not one community

You’re no authority on what is right or wrong
When you make somebody weaker, it doesn’t make you strong
What if someone tried to take away your rights?
Told you who you can love, who you can marry, how to live your life?
Freedom shouldn’t come with a price - pricetag
Time to raise your voice, raise your head, raise a red flag

Ain’t gonna stop until I get there
Ain’t gonna rest until I get fair
Ain’t gonna stop, ain’t gonna stop, ain’t gonna stop
No, no, no

Ain’t gonna rest till I get respect
Can’t let history repeat itself
Ain’t gonna stop, ain’t gonna stop, ain’t gonna stop
I have a dream

People shutting people out, I see a red flag
People taking people’s rights, I see a red flag
See a red flag, see a red flag, gotta stand up for my brothers and my sisters
When they take away your freedom, it’s a red flag
When they take what makes you human, it’s a red flag
It’s a red flag, it’s a red flag, gotta stand up for my brothers and my sisters

There’s blood in the streets
And fear in the air
Won’t let ‘em convince us
That we shouldn’t care
‘Cause we know what’s wrong
And we’ll stand together
Let’s make a change that lasts forever

People shutting people out, I see a red flag
People taking people’s rights, I see a red flag
See a red flag, see a red flag, gotta stand up for my brothers and my sisters
When they take away your freedom, it’s a red flag
When they take what makes you human, it’s a red flag
It’s a red flag, it’s a red flag, gotta stand up for my brothers and my sisters


More on Russia's wretched gay rights situation and our stand against it.

6 comments:

  1. It's a tough one, is it better to avoid countries while they have these laws in place and vote with our feet and $ or is it better to be inside, like Madonna and Elton and pissing on the fires that Putin is lighting? x

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    Replies
    1. Madge and GaGa chose, like Elton, to speak out from a stage in Russia. Cher refuses to go there at all.

      It is difficult indeed to work out who makes the most impact. But all noise is good noise, as long as the Russian regime gains no kudos (nor income) from such standpoints. Jx

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  2. and good on Paul O'Grady saying on his chat show last week how he had no time for Russia or Putin with his homo-erotic poses with horses and his shirt off - I think that might be the first time a lot of ITV tea-time viewers have heard anything about the situation over there.

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    Replies
    1. Shame that ITV tea-time viewers should be so fucking uneducated, really. Jx

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  3. The less I say about Elton John, the better! But I do think that going to Russia and speaking out on stage can be a very positive thing. Madonna and Gaga did exactly what they wanted by turning the spotlight on what is going on in Russia. The media was filled with stories that would have never been written if not for their willingness to go there and stick their necks out (with threats of lawsuits hanging over them).

    I also think that taking a stand like Cher has can be very effective. Going to Russia and NOT speak out is what I would consider the only really wrong thing in this situation...

    That Xelle song and video is of course one of the very best statements so far on the matter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a constant conundrum - just today, Serena is warning us of how bad the situation really is, and on the other hand Claire Balding is heading off as if it were business as usual to be a commentator on the Sochi Winter Olympics. Who's winning the argument? Jx

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