FAIL: Motown Scam Artists, Musicians Unions, Iron Fences

Photo illustrations by John Seaborn Gray
Unions Are Basically Legalized Mafia: Sarah Chang, a gorgeous and talented young violinist, tried to perform a recital in Detroit this week. Unfortunately for her, the classical music unions happen to be on strike in Detroit. Chang was probably not even aware of this fact, but she became very aware of it indeed when the hate mail started pouring in.

Classical unions don't fuck around. These folks harassed her via her cell phone, email address, and social media pages (like Twitter and Facebook) all for the heinous crime of being about to play a gig as part of her tour. We can't see how playing said gig would have affected the Detroit musicians at all, but that didn't stop them from calling her a scab and saying she should hang herself.

Needless to say, Chang opted to skip Detroit. Yeah, we don't blame her. Yo-Yo Ma better keep his ass away too, unless he wants a cello case full of fish. It's an old-school message, Mr. Ma. Don't defy the five families. Uh, unions. We meant "unions."

Vigilant Bar Worker Foils Criminal Mastermind: With America's economy having completely collapsed, people are turning to new and innovative panhandling methods. One imaginative entrepreneur, Alan Young, has been claiming to be various Motown artists and writers while asking for handouts. Knowing what we know of the record industry, a Motown great reduced to wandering the streets and begging for spare change actually seems kind of plausible, so it's no surprise his scam worked most of the time. Also, his city of choice was San Francisco, which explains why he didn't try to impersonate any members of the Grateful Dead or Phish.

Some Motown fan caught on and turned Young in, though, so it seems like his songwriter-impersonating days are over. Unless he gets all fit and pumped up in jail, in which case Carl Weathers had better keep on eye on this guy when he gets out.

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