This is what artists do. They speak truth to power. They make people uncomfortable. And when there’s a reaction, they know they’ve done their job.

Something musicians have failed to do, fearful of alienating a potential customer, a corporation that might sponsor their show. But the truth is the interests of corporations and artists are not aligned. Artists are tuning forks, saying what’s right as opposed to what’s expedient. They have the people on their side. And corporations are no match for the public, no way.

So we’ve got a President-elect who uses social media to get his message across… Isn’t it funny that a contrary opinion is now being spread through the same platforms? My inbox and Twitter were ablaze last night after the “Hamilton” kerfuffle. Word spreads fast these days, and the last ones on it are the mainstream media, who go to bed at 11 when we live in a 24/7 world.

Lin-Manuel Miranda clapped, supported his troupe.

Little Steven Van Zandt said there was no place for this at the theatre.

So where is the right place?

Give Trump credit for this, now EVERYWHERE is the right place! Decorum is out the window. Four letter words are de rigueur. You can say what you feel right up front and what the cast of “Hamilton” felt was…

God may be on their side, but Mike Pence is not.

Save me your defenses. That’s not the point. If you voted for the Trump team you won, wallow in it.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t blow back. That doesn’t mean the majority of voters who supported the other side cannot keep you honest.

There’s not that much money in theatre. Not only can you not make as much as a techie or a banker, you can’t make as much as a pop star. You do it for the love of it. Sure, “Hamilton”‘s gonna rake in millions, but the costs involved are staggering. A huge cast and a giant overhead, the unions in New York City charge beaucoup bucks. But at least they’ve still got a union, organized labor seems to have disappeared throughout the rest of the land.

So, when you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.

You don’t want to sue a Broadway actor. You might get a few old “Playbill”s, some photographs from their high school production, but you won’t find hard assets. And it’s those who don’t have to protect anything, who are outside the system, who can speak up for what’s right.

Everybody with a toehold in America is staying quiet. They’re afraid of what they’re gonna lose.

Lin-Manuel Miranda started writing “In The Heights” when he was at Wesleyan. He spend more time writing “Hamilton” than Trump spent preparing for the Presidency. But he and his team have no right to speak up?


So now, not only is “Hamilton” the greatest artwork of the past two years, it’s on the bleeding edge of politics and culture. Funny how a moribund medium can be transformed overnight. Meaning that one act with something to say who can say it well can have an impact in music too. But so far we have no outliers, none with talent.

And believe me, Lin-Manuel Miranda is talented.

Mike Pence wanted to be in the room where it happened. And when you are it’s a rough and tumble environment. Unlike the “New York Times” reporters who didn’t leave Manhattan, Pence ventured into alien territory and saw what people really felt. Good!

“Hamilton” is hip-hop. Not only the sound of the streets, but the sound of the country. Just check the Spotify Top 50 if you doubt me.

And Lin-Manuel Miranda legitimized hip-hop for the haters, the last holdouts, those too good for the urban sound, the lovers of Broadway.

It’s cognitive dissonance. While Disney and the rest of the corporations are bringing their flaccid movies to the Great White Way, Lin-Manuel made something brand new, AND IT RESONATED!

This should give you hope, all you square pegs out there. You don’t have to do it their way, you just have to get it right. And that’s very hard to do, but when you succeed, we’re all ears.

So where do we go from here?

I’ve never seen this kind of pushback right after an election. It demonstrates unrest, the fact that people are pissed. They just want us to lie down and take it?

No way.

Jefferson Airplane said up against the wall.

Country Joe used the F-word.

Seemingly every act was against the Vietnam war, which the administration supported.

We have power folks. We need to speak up. And the fact that the President-elect has his knickers in a twist…

We’re taking one out of the Republicans’ playbook. We won’t back down, we’re working the refs. Every time you do something heinous, we’re gonna call you out. How does it feel?

Trump went to the finest school, Wharton, and it seems he only got juiced in it.

He never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns when they all did tricks for him. He stiffed contractors. Didn’t look out for the little people. Is it any wonder that those on stage have turned the tables?

Nobody ever taught Mike Pence how to live out in the street and now he’s gonna have to get used to it! See how people really feel about a woman’s right to choose, never mind immigration. That gets the biggest applause during “Hamilton,” the line about immigrants. In case you haven’t seen the play, it goes…”Immigrants, WE GET THE JOB DONE!”

Everybody came from somewhere.

I came from the sixties. When money was secondary to identity. when if you didn’t stand for something you stood for nothing at all.

Stand in support of the “Hamilton” cast. Let your freak flag fly. This is our land too, from California to the New York island. We own it and control and are entitled to an opinion about it just like everybody else. Get used to us speaking up. And know that your blowback slides right off us, because sticks and stones may break our bones but words will never hurt us.

But when you’re on the wrong side, words sting.

Sharpen your pencils. Plug in your keyboards. It’s your turn now. To be inspired by “Hamilton,” to reach down deep and reveal your truth so others will resonate.

I can’t wait.

The revolution is finally here.

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