Minimum Gauge: Iowa Government Official Forced to Resign Over Tupac Love?

Plus, sheep and birds are sources of problems at music festivals on both sides of the Atlantic and Live Nation and Metallica get busted for giving priority seats to ticket resale sites

Jul 23, 2019 at 9:42 am

click to enlarge Tupac mural in Rio de Janeiro - Photo: marycsalome (CC-by-2.0)
Photo: marycsalome (CC-by-2.0)
Tupac mural in Rio de Janeiro

Jerry Foxhoven, the head of Iowa’s Department of Human Services, was recently forced to resign from his job the day after he sent a mass email to over 4,000 fellow government employees that included an uplifting quote from rapper Tupac Shakur: “Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead.” The self-described (to NPR) “66-year-old white guy from the Midwest who likes Rap music” is now wondering if his affinity for Shakur is why he was let go. Perhaps “affinity” isn’t a strong enough word. According to reports, besides the regular motivational quotes via email, Foxhoven played the late rapper’s music in the office on ‘”Tupac Fridays”; celebrated Tupac’s birthdays by bringing “themed” baked goods into work; and issued reading assignments of Shakur’s writings to a class he taught at Drake University. In a statement, a spokesperson for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds would only say she “wanted to go in a new direction.”

WARM: Animals and Music Fests

A few animals have caused some problems for a pair of summer music festivals on two different continents. Organizers of Chicago’s Mamby on the Beach featuring artists like Brockhampton, T-Pain and Flying Lotus recently announced the cancelation of its August event, in large part due to the beach festival’s intrusion on land that is home to a few Great Lakes Piping Plovers, wading “shorebirds” that are a federally protected species. Two birds had been nesting at the fest site and three babies have hatched, the first such hatchlings in the area in more than 60 years. Meanwhile, the just-wrapped Latitude music festival in the UK isn’t in danger of being shuttered, but some fans and animal rights organizations aren’t too happy about the sheep roaming fest grounds that were dyed bright pink as a marketing stunt. The festival said the dye was “all natural,” but PETA said the process of being submerged in dye and then being forced to carouse alongside “rowdy, drunk festivalgoers” and loud music amounted to cruelty.

COLD: Pre-Sale Resale

If you’ve always been suspicious about how so many choice concert tickets seem to quickly end up on resale sites at inflated prices while fans waiting in virtual lines get stuck with nosebleed seats, you may have been on to something. After a leaked phone recording proved the practice was in play, Live Nation has admitted that a few big touring acts including Metallica (the only artists named so far) have directed the concert promoters to give resale sites first dibs on prime tickets in order to help the performers’ reap higher proceeds from sales.