Opening The Door, Tit-For-Tat, And The Drunk In The “Hamilton” Audience

opening-the-door

All right, all right, maybe this is the final word on the “Hamilton” controversy.

What do we make of this?

A supporter of President-elect Trump reportedly interrupted a Saturday-night performance of “Hamilton” in Chicago with profane shouts at the show’s cast. According to BroadwayWorld, somebody seated in the balcony shouted, “We won! You Lost! Get over it! Fuck you!” during the number “Dear Theodosia,” which is about Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr coming to terms with what being a father meant in the newly formed United States. The audience member was escorted out of the theater by security after a brief altercation.

Rueful thoughts:

  • I was going to make this an ethics quiz, but there was no way I could find to even consider that this conduct was ethical. Even if the cast and production deserved it—and they did—the innocent audience members did not, and the work itself did not deserve to be marred.
  • The fact remains, however, that the production opened the door to this kind of response when it unethically targeted Mike Pence with a post show ambush participated in by the whole cast with the apparent approval and complicity of the author and production staff. They can’t have it both ways. They can’t defy the traditional understanding between audiences and stage productions as it has existed for centuries, and then protest that the rules still apply to their protection and benefit.
  • The Hamilton cast opened the door to this protester (or drunk, as he apparently was) when it disingenuously claimed that its one-way shout out to Mike Pence was just a “conversation”—a unilateral, unconsented to, embarrassing “conversation” in which one party to it was surprised and unprepared and the other was scripted and backed by an audience that had already expressed vocal enmity to the target. You know—a conversation! Did they really think someone wouldn’t accept this invitation and carry on the “conversation” at a time of his own choosing, to the detriment of the show?
  • The traditions of the theater have  successfully prevented this sort of thing except for very rare occasions, but the arrogant children of “Hamilton” decided that they should be stripped away in order to beat up on Mike Pence in front of a partisan crowd. They chose ….poorly.
  • One performance is already a casualty, and there may be more. I hope it was worth it to the production to be able to vent their petty spleens at a polite audience member who came, watched, and applauded, because he dares to disagree with their unassailable political views. I hope all the audience members at the performance disrupted last night realizes that their many hundreds of dollars’ investment was devalued by the arrogance of the actors, who broke rules of conduct of long-standing and are now seeing the results.
  • No, just because a cast has previously abused an audience member is not justification for an audience member to abuse the production. But the fact that tit often follows tat is a useful ethics enforcement mechanism, not the reprisal, but the threat of it. Hamilton foolishly and unethically opened the door, and the predictable occurred.
  • Those advocating that this kind of audience abuse become accepted need to pay attention. Theater cannot survive these proposed rules. What the drunken audience member did was wrong, but the cast was begging for it.

 

91 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Popular Culture, Professions

91 responses to “Opening The Door, Tit-For-Tat, And The Drunk In The “Hamilton” Audience

  1. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Hahaha! Well, audiences in Hamilton’s time weren’t necessarily polite. Sometimes they were QUITE vocal. I’m tempted to buy a ticket just to throw garbage at the cast.

  2. Wayne B

    I predict this is going to be all over YouTube and Twitter with countless complaints about how uncivil and deplorable this guy was. Maybe they could put up some lucite in front of the cast to protect them from rotten tomatoes. No, I guess that wouldn’t work.

  3. Who is going to want to go to a show where the cast, crew and authors are so blatantly unethical as to single out an audience member and publicly chastise him, and where those that oppose the unethical actions of the cast choose to flush their own ethics down a toilet and disrupt a theatrical show in progress.

    Every action has consequences. The show is going to start taking a well deserved hit because of the choice of the cast and crew; but of course the ends justify the means.

    I may never see the show.

  4. Eternal optometrist

    I assume Chris and deery will think this is fine.

  5. Other Bill

    Jack’s focus on live performance protocols throughout this “Hamilton” thing needs to be awarded an Ethics Hero or something.

    What’s a bigger concern for live performers than hecklers? If performers break that invisible, protective barrier between themselves and the audience, who knows what they’ll loose upon themselves? Dumb.

  6. Becky

    Whoa. THIS cast was in Chicago, and had nothing to do with the Pence NYC performance. I agree with all else, except THIS cast seriously didn’t ask for it.

    • deery

      I was going to make the same point. This wasn’t even the same cast, or even the same city. But if the drunk guy wanted to yell at the stage after curtain call, have at it. I doubt anyone would have noticed much, or cared in the least.

    • Nope. “Hamilton” is “Hamilton,’ and “Hamilton,” author and production, broke the rules. Pence isn’t Vice President yet, either.

      • zoebrain

        No, he’s not VP yet. But he is in charge of selecting the cabinet. A normal audience member he’s not, getting preferential seating denied to the general public.

        The cast had very real, very reasonable fears based on his past record. They asked him to govern for all Americans.

        Meanwhile, his associates:

        • They can write their Congressman, send letters to him, organize, etc…like anyone else. Being an actor does not confer the privilege of harassment. And he does not choose the Cabinet in any way. His job is to compile candidates, like HR in a company. DT makes the choices. Does a cast have a right to publicly embarrass anyone whose character they “fear”? I think not.

          • Other Bill

            You have the patience of Job. Or maybe the patients of Jobe (I think he’s a Beverly Hills psychiatrist. Herman Jobe). Do you practice by talking to a 2×4?

          • I think an entire post would be useful, devoted to the incessant mentioning of one or two alt-right think tanks that endorse Trump and the fallacious reasoning needed to pretend like it’s impactful.

            And then focus on the various fringe Left groups that are equally noxious to the American Republic and various fringe advisors that have passing association with various Democrats. Cough Reverend Wright Cough…et al.

        • Cheap shot. Come on, cut it out. Alt-right isn’t part of the Trump Transition., and CNN should be ashamed for that. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/cnns-tapper-furious-about-chyron-on-anti-jewish-remarks-that-ran-during-his-show/

          • crella

            The Atlantic has an article about this group, and their meeting, also linking them to Trump because they ‘support’ him. Has the Atlantic, or CNN, ever covered this group’s meeting before? They were founded 11 years ago, I assume they have regular meetings…but they weren’t covered until now?

            • They were covered. The US has had neo-Nazi nuts for many decades, and they moved online. Focusing on them now is just a new way to try to frighten people and smear the President Elect. Because a wacko group or individual “supports” a candidate does not constitute a ” link.”

              • Imagine if the Communist Party USA endorsed Donald Trump.

                • And that’s just it, each party has fringe nut cases who have passing links of various strength with politicians…some as loose at these Alt Righters who endorse Trump and that’s about it some as tight as being the very Preachers of churches that politicians have actively participated in in the past.

                  • Chris

                    Three years ago, Trump *was* the fringe nutcase who conservatives said didn’t represent their views, and whose actions they couldn’t possibly be held responsible for.

                    That was then. This is now.

                    The Overton window has moved, and will keep moving. Maybe in eight years, Bannon becomes president. Then in sixteen, Richard Spencer. Who knows? If I had told you three years ago Trump would be president you’d think I was crazy. How far do we let the “fringe” invade the mainstream before we’re allowed to say anything about it, Tex?

              • crella

                I recall white supremacy groups being covered in the news over the years, but this past week I’m seeing stories about them on every news site I go to. All I can say is that the press still hasn’t learned anything, even after Hillary’s loss. They don’t think this will blow up in their faces? How many times will they do this before they realize these ham-handed tactics don’t work in the long run? The sheer number of articles I’m seeing is jarring. It’s like they’ve just discovered these people exist…I guess they’ve just discovered a use for them.

                I think every day as I see liberal friends on FB posting about the Klan, the National Policy Institute, and I think ‘You’re just realizing these people exist in the US now!?’ Where has the outrage been, in even the past decade?

          • Deery

            Steve Bannon, Trump’s executive strategist for his campaign, and new chief political strategist at the White House, is a proud member of the “alt-right.”

            Remember that Bannon told Mother Jones in August that Breitbart is “the platform for the alt-right.”

            https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/15/can-you-name-one-white-nationalist-article-at-breitbart-challenge-accepted/?client=safari

          • Chris

            “Alt-right isn’t part of the Trump Transition”

            Not true. Bannon has proudly called his website, Breitbart, the home of the alt-right.

            • You’re smarter than this, Chris. Whatever Bannon said when back he was promoting his website, Breitbart’s readers are not “part of the Trump transition.” You really seem increasingly unhinged. You know that’s a false statement, but you feel compelled to defend it. That’s pathological.

              • Chris

                I’m smart enough not to believe Bannon’s denials, and to see the danger his views and tactics pose to our country. I understand you are taking a “wait and see” approach to the Trump presidency. I find this unethical and dangerous.

                • It’s unethical to wait and see what happens before condemning conduct that hasn’t occurred yet. Got it. WOW.

                  • deery

                    It’s unethical to wait and see what happens before condemning conduct that hasn’t occurred yet. Got it. WOW.

                    Past conduct is a pretty good indicator of future conduct. Especially when they haven’t renounced the conduct in question. In much the same way I wouldn’t leave kids around an unrepentant pedophile, why should I relax “and see what happens” around white nationalists? We’ve already seen and heard what they believe in. Why shouldn’t we trust them, in their own words, in this matter?

                    • Past conduct is a pretty good indicator of future conduct.

                      Sophistry. Trump has no past conduct as an elected leader. Hillary said that public and private positions are very different. Vice-presidents don’t make policy, and have no power. Past conduct is a pretty good indicator of future conduct. is also called bias. Was Harry Truman a political hack as President? Was Obama transparent? Was Lincoln a white supremacist? Did Jackson shoot people?

                    • Chris

                      “Vice-presidents don’t make policy, and have no power.”

                      If reports of what Trump Jr. told Kasich are true, Pence is basically going to be running the place while Trump focuses on making America great again through tweeting.

                    • Best example of triple hearsay I’ve seen in a long time. You’re right, that’s damning.

                    • Chris

                      Does it seem unlikely to you, Jack? Trump has no political experience. He doesn’t show much interest in learning. He doesn’t want to stay in the White House the whole time, doesn’t want to give up his business dealings, and can’t not tweet. Do you really doubt that Pence is going to be one of the most active and powerful VPs of the modern era? He’ll make Cheney look like Biden.

                    • deery

                      Trump has plenty of conduct as a leader, albeit not an elected one. When doing so, he apparently routinely sexually assaulted women, refused to pay legitimate bills to people who provided him services and goods, discriminated against black people, was very thin-skinned towards the press, and engaged in bullying behavior. I wonder why you think he would act differently just because he is an elected leader now, instead of the head of a billion-dollar company? so far, he is continuing in the exact same vein as been engaging in all along. Irrelevant twitter rants against people who wronged him, calling the press in to berate them and try to bully them into covering him better, abruptly canceling interviews without even bothering to tell his own people, and oh yeah, hiring members of the alt-right to be the brains and face of his White House operations.

                      Sophistry. Trump has no past conduct as an elected leader. Hillary said that public and private positions are very different. Vice-presidents don’t make policy, and have no power. Past conduct is a pretty good indicator of future conduct. is also called bias.

                      No, it isn’t sophistry. It is experience.

                      Was Harry Truman a political hack as President?

                      Some people certainly say so, though that is a matter of opinion.

                      Was Obama transparent?

                      Was he all that transparent before the election?

                      Was Lincoln a white supremacist?

                      Yes, in fact he was. Most of his plans to ship black people back to Africa ended up being unfeasible. But he was no radical abolitionist, believing in the equality of the races, for sure.

                      Did Jackson shoot people?

                      Nope, just killing a few thousand Native Americans as a direct result of his discriminatory policies. Probably doesn’t count.

                    • Was Harry Truman a political hack as President?

                      Some people certainly say so, though that is a matter of opinion.

                      Nobody says he was a political hack. Some say he was an overrated President

                      Was Obama transparent?

                      Was he all that transparent before the election?

                      He promised to be, and everyone believed him

                      Was Lincoln a white supremacist?

                      Yes, in fact he was. Most of his plans to ship black people back to Africa ended up being unfeasible. But he was no radical abolitionist, believing in the equality of the races, for sure.

                      Nothing he did or said as President, however, reflected his biases. So the answer is NO. We’re talking conduct, remember.

                      Did Jackson shoot people?

                      Nope, just killing a few thousand Native Americans as a direct result of his discriminatory policies. Probably doesn’t count.

                      Not responsive. He didn’t shoot people.

                    • Trump was a CEO, not a leader.

                      he apparently routinely sexually assaulted women

                      Not proven, just alleged.

                      Refused to pay legitimate bills to people who provided him services and goods

                      All a matter of dispute.

                      Discriminated against black people

                      In one real estate setting, long ago. No evidence of such since, and not as a leader.

                      was very thin-skinned towards the press

                      Boy, that’s stretching! Also thin-skinned: Lincoln, Teddy, Truman, Clinton, Obama. Not Bush. Lincoln was so thin-skinned, he imprisoned editors and shut down papers. , and engaged in bullying behavior.

                      I wonder why you think he would act differently just because he is an elected leader now, instead of the head of a billion-dollar company?

                      Because I’ve studied Presidencies for about half a century, and Presidents routinely behave differently in the office than what their previous career would suggest.

                    • Chris

                      “Trump was a CEO, not a leader.”

                      Is this a joke? CEOs are leaders of their company.

                    • Political leaders and business leaders are apples and bananas. No comparison.

                    • Chris

                      “Political leaders and business leaders are apples and bananas. No comparison.”

                      Has anyone told Trump this?

                    • deery

                      Was Lincoln a white supremacist?

                      Yes, in fact he was. Most of his plans to ship black people back to Africa ended up being unfeasible. But he was no radical abolitionist, believing in the equality of the races, for sure.

                      Nothing he did or said as President, however, reflected his biases. So the answer is NO. We’re talking conduct, remember.

                      We are talking about what someone said when it comes to Obama, and we are talking about what someone did, when it comes to Lincoln? A dizzying array of shifting goalposts. Plus, you are completely wrong about Lincoln.

                      In May 1862, Union General David Hunter issued an order declaring all slaves in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina to be free. Lincoln promptly revoked the order. An irate Congress responded by passing, in July, a second Confiscation Act that declared “forever free” all slaves whose owners were in rebellion, whether or not the slaves were used for military purposes. Lincoln refused to sign the Act until it was amended, stating he thought it an unconditional bill of attainder. Although he did not veto the amended law, Lincoln expressed his dissatisfaction with it. Furthermore, he did not faithfully enforce either of the Confiscation Acts.39

                      …………………………

                      In spite of the pressing demands imposed by the war, Lincoln soon took time to implement his long-standing plan for resettling blacks outside the United States.

                      http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v13/v13n5p-4_morgan.html

                      As for Jackson, I don’t think the method of killing matters quite as much as the fact that he killed people before he became president, and continued to do so, quite happily, on a much larger scale after he became President.

                • deery

                  When did Steve Bannon deny being part of the alt-right?

                  Whatever Bannon said when back he was promoting his website, Breitbart’s readers are not “part of the Trump transition.”

                  Breitbart’s readers may not be part of the transition, but the head of Breitbart is. That’s worse.

      • Oh I see! The theory is that Hamilton made up its own rules only for ONE NIGHT, in one city, and one production, because this ONE man allows an exception to be made to the universal rule that ticket buyers are not to be mistreated, even if they cheat on their spouse and kick their dogs. . but Mike Pence doesn’t deserve that courtesy, according to the political science geniuses rapping in “Hamilton.” No consequences though! They get to break the rules and limit it as they see fit.

        Too bad it doesn’t work that way.. I have no sympathy. None. If every production of Hamilton anywhere forever is disrupted, Linn Manuel-Miranda opened the door. It’s a conversation! Ok, let the conversations commence, like real conversations, on both sides. Too bad a great show used to be going on, but hey, this was the cast’s idea, and they can live with the results.

        Morons. Arrogant, smug morons. And people are making excuses for them!

        • THE Bill

          I would like to say that I think that the incident in NY stems a great deal from the attitude and belief among some theater artists that the audience is there to sit quietly, respond properly in all the right places and then clap wildly at the end. That the transfer of information and ideas is a one way street from the cast and crew to the audience and that the audience needs to sit their quietly and listen. They don’t acknowledge that the audience is as much a part of the performance as the cast is and they get to respond and think how they wish not as the cast desires them to do so.

          • That’s right, Bill. I also suspect—don’t you?—that a lot of the cheering for the “Hamilton” cast comes from people who never set foot in a theater. You and I are in the same Facebook community, and I’m embarrassed for the biased nonsense being “liked” there.

            • THE Bill

              That’s why I very rarely if ever discuss politics on Facebook. Most people are only posting things to have their beliefs confirmed not to discuss anything.

              • Other Bill

                I avoid facebook like the plague.

                I think the most reprehensible thing on the video clip of the “Hamilton” incident is the behavior of the majority of the audience. The sneering and hooting and hollering as if they’re junior high school girls at a pep rally is depressing. What is wrong with these people?

            • Chris

              “I also suspect—don’t you?—that a lot of the cheering for the “Hamilton” cast comes from people who never set foot in a theater.”

              Why would you think this? The “Hamilton” cast and crew are themselves long-time theater professionals. If it doesn’t take a theater novice to *do* something like this, why would it take a theater novice to support it? The most vocal supporters are most likely fans of “Hamilton” who are biased in their favor, and fans of musical theater more generally.

              My actor and director friends who have commented on the issue all support the cast and crew’s decision.

              You keep asserting an appeal to authority by bringing up your own experience in theater, but that doesn’t work when we’re talking about decisions made by the cast, crew and creator of the biggest show on Broadway. You have a professional disagreement with them. You don’t know more about theater than they do.

              • Other Bill

                “My actor and director friends who have commented on the issue all support the cast and crew’s decision.”

                Of course they do. They’re all theater people, 97 percent leftist, some massive percent gay (and therefore leftist) and they’re all overly dramatic by nature, running around after an election as if they are chickens with their heads cut off or Henny Penny saying the sky is falling. So what, Chris? What does that prove?

                • Chris

                  “So what, Chris. What does that prove?”

                  Why can’t you read? This is now the fourth time in the past two days someone has completely failed to follow a conversation, and made me re-summarize the entire preceding conversation for them.

                  Why don’t you go back and read the portion of Jack’s comments I quoted before responding so that you can see exactly what my comments were intended to prove, you lazy ass.

                  • Other Bill

                    Oh Chris. Stop accusing someone who disagrees with what you say of not understanding what you’re saying. It’s childish. You might as well just stamp your feet, clench your fists and scream.

                  • I think his question is fully appropriate, since your assertion “My actor and director friends who have commented on the issue all support the cast and crew’s decision.” does not oppose Jack’s guess that “a lot of the cheering for the “Hamilton” cast comes from people who never set foot in a theater.”

                    Draw out the Euler diagrams and you’ll see why Other Bill is confused why you think you made a point.

                    (because you didn’t)

                • THE Bill

                  “some massive percent gay (and therefore leftist) ”

                  You would be surprised how wrong you are. Most gay people O know are only members of the democratic party because the republican party demonizes them and wants to deny them equal rights . Almost all the gay people I know who are my age are moderates if not conservative in their political beliefs not leftist.

                  • Bill is quite correct. Gays are about as politically diverse as the rest of us. They just tend to resent being called perverts and unfit to work, raise families, etc. Go figure.

                  • Other Bill

                    I’ve heard that most gays are actually very conservative and want to have families, etc. from one of my piano teachers (of the three, one gay and one lesbian). [“There are three kinds of pianists. Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists and bad pianists.” — V. Horowitz] Frankly, i’m dubious. Jim, the gay piano teacher, spent all his time over the last year showing me the latest New Yorker and all its articles and cartoons lambasting Trump. What ever happened to the Log Cabin Republicans? Have they been run out by the Evangelicals? Again, I’m dubious but I’ll defer to you who are in the theater industry.

                    • Other Bill

                      I’ve been going over my gay acquaintances (to very close friends) in my head and haven’t been able to come up with any that aren’t lefties on most everything. And sure the sample size is doubtless insignificant (ten, fifteen?) but being gay or lesbian just seems to be to lead to being concerned about various communities and social justice and redistribution and generally progressive concerns or being Unitarians, etc. I just don’t see any gay or lesbian people that are moderates or conservatives when it comes to policy or even economic issues.

              • I think this because any objective, regular audience member would understand how wrong this is. The would realize how much they would resent it if this was done to them. Theater community types, in contrast, are frantically anti-Pence and Trump, politically naive, mostly young, and have an unrealistic and expanded view of their own wisdom and importance. I know this, because I have fought this very battle before, many times. Why does Alec Baldwin think he has standing to use his appearances based on his talent to get disproportionate attention for his half-baked political confusions? Why does Scott Baio? Why does Susan Sarandon? Kanye West? Beyonce? Colin Kaepernick? Sure, they think it’s great for a cast to bully Pence.

                • Chris

                  “I think this because any objective, regular audience member would understand how wrong this is.”

                  So all those who love theater and disagree with you aren’t “objective, regular audience members.”

                  “Theater community types, in contrast, are frantically anti-Pence and Trump, politically naive, mostly young, and have an unrealistic and expanded view of their own wisdom and importance.”

                  Perhaps, but you said the support was coming from those who have “never set foot in a theater,” which is absurd. If what you really meant was that the support *is* coming from the theater community, but that most people involved in theater are stupid, then you should have said so; that’s a completely different, and less easily disprovable, argument.

                  • Please don’t put words in my mouth, Chris. I really detest it. No, those who are regular theater goers and understand what theater ethics are will tend to agree with me. Those who love theater and don’t are biased, misguided and wrong….like the ones who booed Pence. They are assholes. And that is the group mostly applauding what the cast did.

                    • Chris

                      No, those who are regular theater goers and understand what theater ethics are will tend to agree with me.

                      Again, that’s a completely different argument from ““I also suspect—don’t you?—that a lot of the cheering for the “Hamilton” cast comes from people who never set foot in a theater.”

                      Those who love theater and don’t are biased, misguided and wrong….like the ones who booed Pence. They are assholes.

                      But it was “putting words in your mouth” to say you called them stupid?

                    • 1. It is not a different argument. It is exactly the same argument. The word is ignorance, not stupid.
                      2. Yes. I didn’t say they were stupid, and the specific audience I referenced indeed acted like assholes, unless you think Pence consented to be booed by buying a ticket.

                    • deery

                      Jack is making a classic “no true Scotsman” argument. “Those who attend theater and understand ethics will agree with me. Those who attend theater and do not agree with me are assholes.” There is no real logic there, so it is pointless to continue belaboring the point.

                    • It isn’t a No True Scotsman argument. It would have been if his assertion had been, “Regular theater goers will tend to agree with me, if they disagree, they aren’t really theater goers.” He didn’t say that.

                      He said that regular theater goers *who understand ethics* will tend to agree with me, if they disagree, they are assholes…

                      Notice he added further conditions to be met.

                      If anything, I think he’s redundant even mentioning theatergoers at all. Saying “If they are ethical…” would sufficed.

                    • Chris

                      “The people cheering this incident have never set foot in a theater” is the same argument as “The people cheering this incident are theater community people who are biased and wrong?”

                      If you say so.

      • Do you really think that if TACT and Signature had had competing productions of the same show you would think the same? I’ll bet plenty of the cast members agreed with what the NYC cast had done, but literally none of them had a say in the happenings in NYC. Everybody in NYC agreed to do it (according to what I’ve read)- so fair game, in your view. But Chicago probably heard about it the same way the rest of us did. And deery’s ‘after the curtain call’ timing seems a lot more tit/tat equal. BUT, drunken idiots aren’t known for being fair and equitable.

  7. Chris

    I don’t think the cast of a show delivering a message of hope to an incoming VP sitting in the audience after the show “opens the door” to hecklers. I think one would have to be very petty to think that one justifies the other. I know that’s not what you’re arguing, but I think the former is so clearly different from the latter that it doesn’t warrant a comparison.

    The audience member was disrupting free speech. The “Hamilton” cast was exercising it. Big difference.

    • Chris

      (And yes, I think the same of liberal students who try and shout down paid conservative speakers on college campuses. That’s not valid protest, and there is no free speech right to walk into someone’s venue and start shouting others down. The “Hamilton” cast was within their rights, the heckler wasn’t.)

      • Other Bill

        What’s a bigger concern for live performers than hecklers? If performers break that invisible, protective barrier between themselves and the audience, who knows what they’ll loose upon themselves? Dumb.

      • “The “Hamilton” cast was within their rights”

        Methinks you have no clue how parallel to a contract that the purchase of a ticket to see Hamilton is. I also think you have no clue how many unspoken but understood clauses are in that contract. And your reasons proves that given you don’t realize how the Hamilton cast violated their half of the contract.

        • Chris

          “Methinks you have no clue how parallel to a contract that the purchase of a ticket to see Hamilton is. I also think you have no clue how many unspoken but understood clauses are in that contract. And your reasons proves that given you don’t realize how the Hamilton cast violated their half of the contract.”

          So clue me in. Do the audience members who paid to see the show have legal recourse? Can they sue to get their money back? For something that happened *after* the show? How does this “contract” work, exactly?

          • It’s really easy, so I’ll point out the main reason to keep you from being any more confused than you already are:

            I pay for a ticket to have an enjoyable evening in which I can reasonably assume to not be harassed on the way into the venue, during the show, and on my way out.

            Do you need that in crayon?

            • Chris

              You’re still operating on the premises that Pence was harassed, when he wasn’t, and that an incoming vice president can ever reasonably assume he will not be criticized in public, which he can’t.

              Try finger-painting.

              • If finger painting will help you understand the elementary more easily, then yes, I’ll switch to that medium.

                Jack, and others have demonstrated how Pence’s treatment was unethical. Your insistence that it was ethical has been spin, rationalization and diversion. Repeating yourself only makes you look sillier.

                The last drivel about “an incoming vice president…blah blah blah” is an intentional (read dishonest) misconstruction of the arguments presented. It’s been made plain here that public figures definitely should expect MORE public engagement in the public sphere on public topics, “but that the public figure still has EVERY REASON to expect those engagements to still follow civil and mannerly protocols”

                The overly general statement of “public figures should reasonable expect not to be criticized in public” has never been advanced by anyone here. For crying out loud that general of a statement implies one would think radio hosts don’t get to criticize public figures on the air.

                Bad Form. You don’t get to get away with it either.

                • Chris

                  The last drivel about “an incoming vice president…blah blah blah” is an intentional (read dishonest) misconstruction of the arguments presented. It’s been made plain here that public figures definitely should expect MORE public engagement in the public sphere on public topics, “but that the public figure still has EVERY REASON to expect those engagements to still follow civil and mannerly protocols”

                  And I don’t agree that the speech was uncivil or ill-mannered. Out of the ordinary? Sure. That doesn’t make it wrong.

    • “I don’t think the cast of a show delivering a message of hope”

      Just as a heads up, anyone credible reading such a blatant misrepresentation as that will assume nothing following has any validity. But, I’ll go ahead and address it as though it does.

      “I think one would have to be very petty to think that one justifies the other.”

      Did Jack say it justifies the behavior? Or did he say that Hamilton’s conduct *opened the door* for equally unethical behavior. If you’d think about it, you’d realize this is 2nd Cousins to the Naked Teacher Principle.

      “The audience member was disrupting free speech. The “Hamilton” cast was exercising it.”

      I’ll let Jack dissect that. I can’t wait.

      • Chris

        “I think one would have to be very petty to think that one justifies the other.”

        “Did Jack say it justifies the behavior?”

        No, which is why I said right after the part you quoted that I knew Jack wasn’t making that argument.

        Please stop making me re-summarize the preceding argument to you. It’s exhausting.

  8. Just to add another slippery side to this slope: very few people buy tickets with cash any more, so the theaters pretty much know who’s in every seat. It’s not difficult to foresee a performance where everyone from Michigan zip codes are spotted and harangued for their backwardness, or the cast made available for hire to lecture specific audience members about their personal shortcomings.

    • Absolutely. And they too will deserve it, according to the actors.

    • Chris

      “It’s not difficult to foresee a performance where everyone from Michigan zip codes are spotted and harangued for their backwardness, or the cast made available for hire to lecture specific audience members about their personal shortcomings.”

      Yes, that’s exactly the same as expressing hope and concern to incoming Vice Presidents.

      • “Yes, that’s exactly the same as expressing hope and concern to incoming Vice Presidents.”

        Too bad that isn’t what happened either.

        • Other Bill

          Chris, I have to ask you this. Are you terrified of Pence because you’re gay and you think the U.S. Government has the capability to force you into “conversion therapy” or otherwise deny you basic rights? You’re so torqued up all the time, I can see no other explanation. Thanks.

          • Chris

            Certainly you understand that it is possible to care about people other than oneself. Take that into consideration when thinking of alternate explanations.

            • Other Bill

              Sure. But self interest is the kryptonite of motivators. And I’m fine with that. It’s when we try to fool ourselves into thinking concern for others should dictate social structures that we get into trouble. When people are sent to Siberia or the jungles of Cambodia to learn to care about others, things get screwed up. It’s why capitalism is better than communism. Capitalism devolves into people looking out for themselves first. Communism devolves into people looking out for themselves first but with a totalitarian, corrosive veneer of purported interest in the well being of others.

  9. I’m just desperately trying to find a legitimate and mitigating explanation for why so many people can’t get the obvious in this episode. It’s obvious that nothing can justify how Pence was treated, or should be, The unflattering assumption is that this is one more “I don’t like this person, so I don’t have to treat him decently” rationalization-fest. The actors I know, I understand: they are politically unsophisticated; the theater is an echo chamber, they have an exalted view of their own status, and they almost all knee-jerk liberals for whom the gay marriage issue,in which Pence is a villain, is akin to the holy grail. So they are doubly biased, and pretty hopeless to reason with. Non-theater types, however, should see easily that every audience member should be able to see show without being treated like this, and celebrities shouldn’t be treated any differently. They don’t, and I do think it’s part of the Trump election hysteria that is losing Democrats and progressives respect by the minute.

    Those were mighty thin values, if a corrupt candidate like Clinton losing can erase them so easily.

    • Other Bill

      Agreed. I’m even more struck by the speed, vehemence and facility with which your observations are dismissed out of hand. Amazing. It’s my question to Chris. When did concern for others or whatever other motivating factor that is at play here render so many people so viciously nasty?

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