There's a reason that story from a few days ago about how L.A.'s Staples Center was going "all-vegetarian" for an upcoming Morrissey show spread like an E. coli outbreak through the blogosphere: It was the kind of piece that wrote itself.
You had one of the world's biggest performers (Morrissey) who's known for being an outspoken proponent of a certain social agenda ("meat is murder") bringing about an unprecedented change (the Staples Center had never gone all-veggie before, even when Sir Paul McCartney requested it) in the near future (the concert's on March 1). Celebrity plus change plus topicality equals link-bait. Throw in a few verses of his songs, maybe mention a hope of a Smiths reunion or the oddness of Morrissey being huge in the Latino teen market for some reason, and you got yourself a solid 350-word blog post.
Except, there was just one little hang-up with the whole story: It wasn't true.
As the Staples Center had to clarify a day after everyone started linking to each other's stories about the upcoming all-veggie show, while the venue will be "adding a variety of vegetarian food items" to the menu that night, they will be placed next to "those already offered at concession stands." Meaning, of course, a whole bunch of meat. You can't be the home of three different sports teams and not serve up some scrumptious carne.
So today, as every music/L.A.-centric/food blogger scrambles to update their original post, everyone's asking the same question: Where did the mix-up happen?
According to Cara Vanderhook, the director of communications for Staples Center:
The original request came through the promoter, however going entirely meatless was never an option as it goes against our philosophy of providing our guests with the greatest number of amenities and food options in an arena setting.
Which is to say the timeline for the mix-up seems to be pretty basic: (1) Morrissey asks for the show to go meat-less; (2) His request is denied; (3) Someone told someone in Morrissey's camp that the all-veggie plan had gone through; (4) That someone leaked the info to their email blast contacts; (5) The writing of the posts commence.
Meaning, today was simply a day for everyone to circle the wagons, admit no responsibility, and try to make everyone happy. Staples quickly retracted the bit about concert-goers not being able to eat meat, but also confirmed that "vendors will feature new Morrissey-specific vegetarian fare, including vegan sushi and sloppy joes and a variety of pastas, salads and wraps." Morrissey's people announced that part of each ticket-sale will be going to the coffers of PETA. And Morrissey, himself, concluded up the whole fiasco with the following perfect summation:
I don't look upon it as a victory for me, but a victory for the animals.
Which, well, I don't really understand. Because we're still getting to eat animal meat at the show, right? That doesn't seem like much of a victory for animals. But, in any case, Staples seems pleased, Morrissey seems pleased, and, most of all, PETA seems pleased. As the Staples Center makes sure to point out at the end of their press release:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) named STAPLES Center as the NBA's "Most Vegetarian-Friendly Arena" following a survey of all 29 arenas and commending the downtown Los Angeles venue for its "awesome vegetarian fare."
So then, everyone's happy. Which marks a different type of historic achievement: The first time ever that particular feeling's been associated, at all, with Morrissey.
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