The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95941   Message #1871594
Posted By: GUEST,Tinker in Chicago
29-Oct-06 - 04:19 PM
Thread Name: Les Barker US tour canceled!
Subject: RE: Les Barker US tour canceled!
I had Mr. Barker booked for a house concert, after years of keeping track of his schedule to see when he would be in town. So yes, I'm upset about this, too. But I think we give the folk community too much credit when we conclude that the government is afraid of the influence a British poet might have on the American elections. Face it, Mr. Barker wasn't going to play to tens of thousands of voters in Little Rock, Arkansas. He's not that big over here. (Heck, the government has more reason to ban Bono, but they never have.)

No, I think we're dealing with the big-frog-in-a-small-pond syndrome. Some bureaucratic flunky has precious little power in his or her life, so he or she plays the bully where they can. They'd never have the guts to ban a British ROCK star for any reason, but banning a much lesser known poet does not run the risk of a major societal reaction.

Bottom line is that the government probably doesn't even know Mr. Barker exists, but some small-minded employee had a fight that morning with his or her spouse, and took it out on Les.