Extroverted Introvert (chemicallyme) wrote,
Extroverted Introvert
chemicallyme

Mikey Way goes AWOL (Acceptable Wedding Organised Leave)

So, the news has been out for a day now, and I am sure you have already all heard about it. Seriously, with the amount of chatter concerning the subject on the internet I would be surprised if anyone with an internet connection hadn't stumbled across it. Mikey Way, the loveable bassist of My Chemical Romance, has decided to take some time off. But not just for any old reason - but to spend time - a honeymoon - with his new bride Alicia.

And for some reason, too many fans are begrudging him this. I am fed up reading about how unprofessional, selfish, inconsiderate and spineless Mikey Way 'supposedly is'. Imagine seeing this is you are Mikey, his friends, his family or even his new wife. Imagine seeing this if you had given so much time, and so much of yourself to a fandom which is now begrudging you a little time to be a new husband.

Imagine it being you, in your current position - but as a new spouse. What would you think?

You wouldn't like it. You wouldn't see it as rational.

I hate the fact that I want/feel the need to systematically go through this just to try to make something which is obviously natural, normal and acceptable even more overtly natural, normal and acceptable to the many who fail to see it. Many people who hate MCR are talking about the spontaneous combustion of the fandom over an issue that is so small, it shouldn’t even be discussed. I agree with them. This is the worlds easiest issue – someone wants some time off work – yet it is being inflated into something else. And because of this stupid escalation of the craziness, the fans, like me, who were willing to simply let it slide, need to try and qualify why they think its okay. Well, you want qualification…. Prepare to meet my inner nerd.

AND THIS IS WHY....

There have been many 'arguments' (I really wish to use this term loosely) raised as to why Mikey should NEVER have chosen this course of action. I wish, not just to play Devils Advocate, but to tell it as it is, and address every single one of them.

1) Unprofessionalism
The main argument being raised is that by leaving the current tour, where there are still shows being played thus requiring a replacement bassist, that Mikey is being unprofessional. That he is failing his commitments - many even saying his contractual obligations - to the fans, to the organisers, to the band.

First thing is first - look at your own job. (providing you are not a casual worker - under the casual system the casual worker agrees to waive employment leave rights and entitlements in exchange for a higher income). Do you get entitlements? Of course you do - it is legislated that workers are entitled to:
* Annual Leave
* Sick Leave (this often encompasses a family member being sick)
* Paid Holiday Leave
* Personal leave
* And in some progressive states family leave, maternity/paternity leave)
Mikey may be a bassist in a band, but as that is his occupation he is also a worker. Who is his employer then? The fans - hell no. His record label? Maybe. The tour promoters? Maybe. Himself? Maybe - the fact is I don't know how such an arrangement would work as he would likely have signed contracts with the record label and tour promoters. And if people think that MCR would not have guaranteed in their contracts that they were able to leave the tour for extenuating or other circumstances, then they are looking at this too simplistically. This just isnt a fan/band relationship - its one of employment, this is how Mikey makes a living. As such, he is more than entitled under legislation (regardless of which state he is in) and under contract law, to take leave.

It must then be disappointing the fans (and I do agree some fans will be disappointed) that is making Mikey's move to be seen as unprofessional. Here probably lies the strongest argument, but still one that I believe fails. As a fan do I have a right to command Mikey to play? Are they marionettes simply because I paid for a ticket to see MCR, not 4 + replacement? Simple answer is no. MCR have played before without one member (most recently in Australia and New Zealand, and then in the UK, when Frank took ill) and it has never been seen as unprofessional. True illness is not something that can be predicted, whereas this was. But to me sick leave and personal leave still come under the same heading. And as a human being, what right do I have to force another one into something; to deny them the pleasures that come with life, love and marriage?

Yes you paid for a ticket - but I guarantee you, you will see an amazing show. Only you and your frame of mind can make it a terrible experience, as I know for a fact (I seen many Australian shows, and NZ shows without Frank) that even without one member, its still gonna be one of the best shows of your life.

2) That Mikey knew that the tour was coming, and as such should have planned around it.
The argument here goes that the tour has long been planned. It came as no surprise to Mikey, to Alisha or to the band. As such arrangements should have been made to allow time in between shows to allow Mikey and Alicia to have their honeymoon OR that they should have held off to the end of the tour to have their honeymoon

Did they know the tour was coming - yes. Yes they did. However the wedding had long been planned for the time in which it took place. So, it is merely just unfortunate that both coincided. Unfortunate or poor planning? Well, this can be argued either way but note this - MCR have added show after show in order to please the fans. They have extended tours in order to see that their ever extending fan base gets the chance to see them perform. Even if time had been designated off, who says it would not have had been filled due to pressures from fans, tour companies, record companies etc.

Life is uncertain. We never know what is around the corner. Isnt this one of the messages of The Black Parade? To embrace life in the here and now, as we don't know what is coming? Let them enjoyment their moment, do not have them delay it.... we never know what is around the corner. And if someone is sick, they and their loved ones know this more than you can think. Trust me.

3) That rock bands have unlimited amounts of time off.

Unlike ‘normal jobs’ which have a limited amount of time off, it is argued that bands get heaps of time off and as such Mikey had a lot of time in which to get married and have his honeymoon, and as such should have taken it during this time. This also ties in with point two (see that point I will try not to repeat my arguments).

This argument fails in itself. Rock stars do not have unlimited amounts of time off, and even when they do have months on end off it is not ‘off’ the way we take a break. Often time off is to relax from the demanding schedule they had when they were working (they work harder during the ‘course of their employment’ than many people – every minute is accounted for, scheduled, and pencilled into obligations and tasks (interviews, meet and greets, press, shows etc). Further in their time off, they are often in fact still working – writing new lyrics, writing new music, interviews, contracts etc.

And also again, who are we to dictate when a person is to take holidays, get married or other life events. Everyone has the right to self-determination and autonomy – just because someone is in the public eye, doesn’t mean they have less of a claim on these rights.


4) That the fans are in essense paying for Mikey and Alicia’s honeymoon, and he is flipping them off by not even showing up.

I really really hate this argument. It’s the exact same with taxes. People get angry that their taxes are spent on things they do not want – childcare, maternity leave, welfare etc etc – but fail to realise that the small amount they pay cannot go into everything that taxes do in fact pay for. Your tax dollar does not stretch so far that you get an absolute right to say how it should be spent… the way it needs to be looked at is the things you are happy for taxes to be used for – roads, hospitals, veterans pensions – is where your tax dollar goes. The people who are willing for the money to go elsewhere – the areas you detest – pay for those, and thus the system balances out.

Same with MCR. Your ticket money/CD money goes to everything you want – the venue, the roadies, the travel costs – and other peoples money goes to the things that you do not want – the replacement.

Also, look at it this way – HE WORKS AND EARNT THAT MONEY BY PLAYING HIS HEART OUT FOR YOU…. ACCEPT IT.


**

 

In conclusion, people are making too big a deal out of something that is so simple, and should have just been a passing issue. The fact that I felt compelled to write this, even if just for my own personal benefit, shows the stupidity of the situation.

Someone wants to spend time with a new wife.

Someone has entitlements as a worker.

Someone has worked their arse off for us as fans.

Someone deserves it.

 

Congratulations on your marriage Mikey. I wish you and Alicia all the happiness in the world. You both deserve it, and you both deserve this time together – you earned it - with blood, sweat, tears.

Best wishes for ever and ever.

 

Sharon.

 

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