You know Elton John -- biggest pop superstar of the mid-1970s, liberal and openly gay (OK, it did take a while) entertainer, a guy who's raised at least $175 million for his Elton John AIDS Foundation and millions more for other efforts to fight the illness, a tireless fighter for gay and lesbian causes.
You also know radio's Rush Limbaugh, the very un-gay-friendly right-winger who's been known to spread misinformation about AIDS, who once aired a song about gay Rep. Barney Frank called "Banking Queen," and made numerous other politically incorrect or worse remarks about homosexuals during his long toxic career over the airwaves.
So when Limbaugh got married for the fourth -- count 'em, four! -- time this weekend down in Florida, it makes perfect sense that the musical entertainment was...Elton John.
How much does it cost to veer from the yellow brick road? A cool $1 million, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Blogs that trumpet progressive causes have been reacting with shock and disappointed awe to the reports throughout the day. Typical is the response of the Village Voice's Michael Musto, a longtime proponent of gay rights:
Our out gay pal--who does so much for our cause when he's thinking, um, straight--pocketed a cool million to help validate the twisted family values of a man who's done even more to (bleep) with gay rights than he's done to help Mexican production of OxyContin.
Why, Elton, why?
Wasn't it enough that you duetted with verbal gay basher Eminem at the Grammys that time, making it OK for him to keep making a lucrative sport out of kicking us in the groin and calling it poetry?
Please stop pocketing blood money to further the devil's cause.
Can't you just auction off some wigs?
A couple of caveats. First, the furor is based on a lone report from the Palm Beach paper, leaving open the possibility that it never really happened (no footage or pictures have surfaced), although presumably Sir Elton would have issued a swift denial if the report is erroneous.
Secondly, it's quite possible -- perhaps likely, given his track record -- that the Artist Formerly Known as Reginald Dwight is donating all of his so-called "blood money" either to his AIDS Foundation or another progressive cause, and if so, there are some who would revel in the irony. And it wouldn't even be the first time. It's been reported that animal rights activist Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders (who was in West Philly recently outside a McDonald's protesting, um, meat) donates the considerable royalties she receives for Limbaugh's use as theme music of "My City Was Gone" to PETA and related causes.
Still, all this raises the question: What exactly would Elton John perform at Limbaugh's wedding, anyway? Last night, the question echoed across Twitter, with some of the suggestions for altered titles including "Goodbye Yellow Brick Pill," "Bennie and the Percocets," and "Someone Changed My Wife Tonight." (Feel free to add your own in the comments). Of course, the singer wouldn't even have to change the words to one of his greatest hits: "Honky Cat."
- Rush Limbaugh