Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To


There is a delightful and slow-motion shitstorm trickling in on Twitter, where logging on lowers your IQ by 35 points: another one of those dopey petitions has been started to get Dead & Company to cancel their Charlotte show, as Bruce did his Greenboro show. Naturally, people misread things and have begun reporting that the show is already cancelled. I am stopping myself from deliberately adding to the chaos, but only just.

Don’t misconstrue my linking to the petition as an endorsement: TotD maintains a strict “No Petition” policy. A petition is the weakest of sauce; if you want to involved in politics, then run for office or blow up a dam.  Signing some goofbrain’s clipboard outside a supermarket isn’t helping anyone, and especially not on the innertubes, where all petitions are secretly started by 4chan.

Furthermore, petitioning an artist is abhorrent. You can buy your ticket, or you can stay home; you don’t get a vote. TotD will not be signing this petition.

This leaves the question at hand, and I’ll quote:

We call upon members of Dead & Company to stand in solidarity with all those in North Carolina who oppose the discrimination and hate placed into law in the form of HB2 also known as the “bathroom law” We ask that you Please cancel your appearance in Charlotte, NC on June 10th, 2016 to show that you will not tolerate codifying hate and fear of the LGBT community. This law not only affects bathrooms but a host of other issues such as workplace discrimination. Stand against prejudice and bigotry!


Let us take as an assumption that the members of Dead & Company are against the bill in principle (Billy’s impromptu celebration of gay marriage at the Santa Clara show comes to mind). HB2 would not be let backstage, nor would it be added to Oteil’s Instagram feed.

And let us take as a second assumption that had Bruce not cancelled his show, then we would not be here, but whether you agree with his stance or not, Bruce’s action drew a moral line in the sand over this law.

So, here we are: should D&C cancel? Let’s look at the arguments against:

  • “I agree with the law because I don’t want a man in a dress eating my infant daughter in a bathroom.”

That is a stupid argument and I’ll just move on.

  • “Instead of cancelling, Dead & Company should come and spread love and positivity.”


  • “Leave politics out of it.”

North Carolina’s sales tax is 4.75% and applies to concert tickets. The PNC Music Pavilion holds 19,500 and tickets average around $120. (This is a complete estimation based on looking at the Live Nation website for two minutes; if anything, it’s on the low side.) That equals $111,000 in revenue for the county and state governments, and this is of course before you add in the taxes from shirts and posters and food and VIP access and hotel rooms. If my math is off, then please correct me, but I could see a quarter million being collected by North Carolina fairly easily, and that much money is inherently political.

  • “What about other states with bad laws?”

This is an argument for more direct action, not less. Therefore, I support it: there’s a number of states we need to stop coddling.

  • “But I wanted to go.”

Sorry about that.

Having answered the cons, we now examine the pro side of the argument: this law is a hateful sin of a document, designed to shit just a little more on the powerless; and a lie of a thing, cassocked in dread and fevered visions of daughters and wives (never simply “women” which should give you a clue) being attacked in bathrooms by cartoon drag queens.

In reality, transgendered folks get attacked, not the other way around, never the other way around.

And this law makes it just a little bit tougher. It’s the last kick in the ribs to the guy already lying on the sidewalk; the people who passed this law cannot be reasoned with, because no reasonable person would pass this law. Men (and this was mostly done by men) who claim imagined religious persecution to strip others of rights cannot be dealt with: they must be opposed and if withholding business–as Bruce and other such as PayPal have already done–is your only weapon, then that weapon must be deployed.

The law is not about bathrooms. The law is about who gets to be a human being.

That’s my opinion, anyway, for what it’s worth. Feel free to call me an asshole in the Comment Section.


  1. “….the people who passed this law cannot be reasoned with, because no reasonable person would pass this law.”

    You fucking well hit the fucking ball out of the fucking park with this. Well done.


  2. Never gonna call you an asshole I love this blog!! (Only asshole move is posting so much I can’t keep up). But a few posts ago you lead with a gay joke on gayer Mayer. This post defending transgender rights. Just saying lets keep it consistent. Probably too late at night for me to be posting sober cogent thoughts, sorry feel free to mock me.

    • Pretty sure the Mayer post was less a “gay joke” than it was a joke about a typo that made it into the Billboard article TotD was quoting?

  3. Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration act was in some ways similar. A law was passed allowing discrimination for “religious reasons”. The Indiana law was passed March 26, 2015. The nation responded with outrage and by April 2 it had been amended for the better.

    I Assume a similar scenario will play out in North Carolina. The pressure of Paypal, and Bruce and whoever else has responded may force the bigots to retreat.. soon.

    I only have google level knowledge of the situation so I may not be completely accurate, if not and someone has a more complete view please clarify.

  4. Actually, the sales tax cost of a cancellation would be considerably more to state and county governments than by the math in this article.

    The sales tax rate for most counties is 6.75% — with the 4.75% figure in the article being merely the amount going to the state. This makes the $111,000 figure cited in the article short by $46,800 which brings the sales tax loses by ticket sales alone up to over $157,000, raising the writer’s estimate of total losses to state and county government to well over $300,000.

  5. ‘designed to shit just a little more on the powerless’ Well said, I’m with you on this.

  6. While I was unaware that Bryan Adams was still performing, or even breathing, it is good to see him jump on this bandwagon.

  7. the City of Charlotte is the leader in the anti-discrimination fight in NC

    • Thoughts On The Dead

      June 3, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      Good for them. I still believe my argument is a good one. The show will generate over a quarter-million bucks for the state; they should have cancelled.

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