by: Heather Copeland
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about the recent controversy between up-and-comer Dalton Domino and a patron of his recent show at Hoot’s Pub in Amarillo. Much ado about smoking was made by the patron and the controversy sparked a trending hashtag on Twitter #LETDALTONSMOKE. To summarize the patron attended a show with a friend who has severe asthma. She claimed to have attended this show in particular because the venue recently became smoke free. During his set Dalton began smoking on stage. The patron and her posse quickly left the venue and received a refund at the door. The patron later posted on Domino’s Facebook page that the smoking rules applied to him as well and if he couldn’t follow the rules he shouldn’t play there. A week later Domino responded to the patron with, “Go Fuck Yourself.” The comments quickly escalated from there with Dalton calling the complaining patron every name under the sun. He went as far as posting a response video giving her the finger while pretending to masturbate. That video was actually some of the least of the offensive tirades posted by Domino himself.
Those of you in the music business probably feel one of two ways about this. You either agree that for the sake of his career he should have kept his mouth shut and just let it be or that he’s just a guy who has a right to say whatever the hell his artistic mind conjures up. After all, this is ‘MERICA, the land of the free and the home of the brave! And what about the point of view from the fans – the guys and gals who stand hours on end in the rain to see an artist like Domino light up the stage.
I fall into the latter. I’ve stood on top of a couch in my flip flops surrounded by 40,000 of my closest friends, 3 days post-surgery, to see artists just like Domino. I’ve straddled the fence about this exchange between Domino and the complaining patron and can tell you that artistic freedom of expression had not a damn thing to do with this exchange. Dalton claims he didn’t ask to be a role model and therefore is exempt from giving two shits about politely replying to her. In almost every instance I would defend an artist to the death. God knows that riding around in a van living on gas station burritos for weeks at a time certainly takes a toll on a person. But in this case, I can’t even imagine fathoming a defense for this artist. Now before you go all post-apocalyptic, fuck you, on me – hear me out.
We currently live in a society full of complaining ass holes who bitch, moan and cry foul at every drop of the hat over the most trivial things. I’m so sick of listening to these whiny bitches who cry foul. If you want to change the world and the society we live in stop bitching on social media and actually do something. Protect the innocent, vote, enact legislation and for God’s sake if all you can do is bitch and moan please take a seat. Now I know most of you are saying AMEN… but that is exactly what this lady did… bitched and moaned. She made no change, just bitched and moaned on social media for attention. But here’s where you’re wrong; she affected the bottom line of this artist and his band and potentially the venue. By leaving the venue and requesting (and receiving) a refund she affected the bottom line, even if it was a meager sum. She did what she felt was right and stood her ground. She has the same rights as Domino but chose to exercise her free speech in a manner that the Neanderthal Domino could only dream of being classy enough to choose.
Like minded fans quickly jumped on the band-wagon to defend Domino by calling the patron, “pussy”, “inbred bitch” and a slew of other filthy words. One fan even implied she deserved to be raped by a cock so large it would shut her up. I’m all for freedom of speech and a strong back-bone but when did we become a society so ill equipped to debate that we resort to fear mongering and insulting hate speech? Oh right, I forgot, this is ‘MERICA. To put it in Dalton’s own words from his song “Corners”, “I blamed it on the devil when it was me this entire time.” You’re right Domino, it was you this entire time. The ironic hindsight here certainly 20/20.