Sep 25, 2009

kanye west is a douchebag...but he isn't dangerous

Let’s gain some perspective, people. Kanye is a douchebag. Yes. That is indisputable. He is also a genius. Which may or may not be disputed. But, in the scheme of things, he is a douchebag but he isn’t actually dangerous.

Here’s what he did. He interrupted an acceptance speech. At the VMAs. Which give you a sense of their musical claim to legitimacy upfront by being predicated on the notion that MTV actually somehow still plays videos on a regular basis.

And yet somehow this has resulted in a reaction that puzzles me. Genuine furor by some. People saying they’ll boycott his music. Acting as though he went on stage, stole Taylor Swift’s favorite beloved pet kitten from her hands and ate it in front of her with glee. No, he took her microphone, he took her moment, he took it too far. But he did not, actually, in the grand scheme of things actually hurt anyone or anything, other than Taylor Swift’s feelings.

He interrupted a speech. At the VMAs.

Not at a health-care debate – the very notion of which is both comic and tragic to me, given that it has taken over 3 months for me to get health insurance again, despite working full-time and applying to the very same health insurance company that I have been covered under for the last 8-odd years – but, no, reform can totally wait while congressmen scream YOU LIE! at our nation’s president and, oh, BTW, Iraq has a better health-care system than us.

He did not beat Taylor Swift unconscious before her scheduled performance, send out a message to his fans that they would see Taylor’s “true colors” soon, receive no more punishment than community service for a brutal physical assault, compare being dissed by Oprah to “a slap in the face” after being a perpetrator of domestic violence and say, oh, yes, maybe I finally should seek some professional help and counseling several months after he nearly choked a young woman to death and left her unconscious on the side of the road.

He is not a drug-addicted pedophile who was canonized into sainthood – or, at least, martyrdom, during the opening ceremonies of the VMAs because he “never had a childhood” – which, yeah, meanwhile, I’m so sure that Paris, Blanket and Prince had the father of the fucking year because nothing says good parenting skills quite like daddy Demerol-dripping himself into a Neely O’Hara haze. He is not a statutory rapist. He is not the perpetrator of some weird freaky incestuous fucked-up beyond belief family dynamic. He did not run over some little kid and proceed to smoke crack and release a sex tape with McSteamy.

He is a douchebag. But he isn’t actually dangerous.

Acting as though Kanye West is a MONSTER who must QUICKLY BE STOPPED before HE HURTS EVERYONE AGAIN is granting far too much legitimacy to a silly awards show and, frankly, takes away from all the genuinely horrible things going on for which legitimate moral outrage is not only the appropriate but also the necessary response. Things like women being denied heath insurance because companies consider domestic violence a “pre-existing condition.” Or that, in this day and age, there are millions of Americans in loving, stable relationships who can’t be granted the same rights as others simply by virtue of the fact that their partner happens to be of the same-sex. That hate crimes are far too common – that discrimination is still persistent – that despite me thinking, in my wildest dreams somehow, that our society by now would’ve progressed into a more loving, caring, understanding place, I’ve had to deal with intolerant idiots using homophobic language in my vicinity TWICE in one week.
In 2009. In Los Angeles, CA.

If you need something to be angry about, you needn’t look far. And if you need someone to direct this anger towards, I can suggest plenty of people besides Kanye West.

Because he is a douchebag. But he isn’t actually dangerous.

* - I realize this is several days late and many dollars short, but I've been busy.

** - This post wouldn't have been possible without several friends and their linkage to other things, so thanks to all.

Sep 6, 2009

britbot: unplugged and unhinged.

Sorry to the Greecies and my FB friends for posting this for the THIRD time today (though I keep my real life/FB life far from this blog, so never the twain shall meet...), but for those of you wondering what it would take to revive the blog after a brief coma, it is this HORROR. Or WHORE. Whichever. Either way, listen to the YouTube, ye followers, and despair:

Britney "performs" Alanis's "You Oughta Know" at her most recent stop on the Circus.

I've said it before, I'll say it again - here I thought admitting to having Dave Coulier's dick in her mouth on the regular would be most humilating thing Alanis would have to endure in her lifetime. Thanks, Miss Spears!

Here's the thing - why I gave up on Britney. (And I own "Circus", without shame, because man, that is one catchy-produced album) - she doesn't care. She is just going through the motions. Playing at the part. Nothing seems to penetrate her...cooterfunk? Weave?

(Apologies to Joss Whedon for using your lyrics like that.)

But she is clearly not attached to what she's singing. What she's doing. She isn't connecting with the songs. With the audience. With reality. And if she isn't connecting - if she doesn't care? Why on earth would I - or anyone in their right mind, for that matter? (yes, I know the words "right mind" and "britney post" are normally like oil and water) - pay an ungodly sum to watch this...half-assedness? Seriously, ticket prices are EXPENSIVE, YO. For anything. Given the venues she performs in (massive stadiums) and the evil evil corporations she's in bed with (Ticketmaster, Livenation, Whoever), those ticket prices be even more expensive, yo.

Here's a better idea that will save you some cash. If you're an Angeleno and like karaoke - or even if you don't like karaoke, but like cheap drinks and cool people - go to Bar 107's Karaoke Wednesdays. It is a BLAST. Word of warning: they have a GONG and will USE IT. Seriously. Miss Cooterfunk Red Bull Federline up there would have been gonged in a second. And they have 3 judges of wisdom/doom, just like on American Idol. But holy cats, I have seen some motherfracking BAD-ASS SINGERS up there. People who just get up and feel the song and OWN IT. A former Top Cheftestant? Bad-ass. Owned it. This random chick doing "Uninvited?" Owned it like she was Alanis herself.


Before you think I'm just being mean and snarky, please note that she, legally, does not. She doesn't. The law took her children and the ability to make REALLY HARD DECISIONS like, oh, how to handle her bazillion dollars out of her hands. Legally, factually, I am correct in saying she DOESN'T OWN ANYTHING.

And that's the thing. I believe my singing in public should be confined to the car but if there's one thing I've learned from my adventures in karaoke - it's that you might not have the best voice. You might not be the best looking. But an audience will forgive you so much if you just FEEL IT. And own it.

Britney either can't feel any connection to music anymore or just doesn't. Either way, we should no longer feel any sort of obligation to connect to her. No matter how good she looked in that cheerleader's outfit a million years ago.

The sad thing is that I was feeling Alanis was in a really good place right now, culturally. I mean, I don't check in on Alanis that often - she never returns my calls. And yeah, losing your mans to ScarJo has got to blow. But I have been just loving her to death this season on Weeds. I am still not sure she can act that well or has a huge range - this, Dogma and SATC seem like minor variations on the same "type" - but she commanded the screen well enough to make me hope she continues to be a regular on next season. Which is more than I can say for half of Weeds's guest stars.

To bring it all together (yes, I know, after this ramble, that will be hard) - take one listen to Alanis tackle Sting's "King of Pain" from her Unplugged Album.

"Did you know karaoke is Japanese for 'empty orchestra'? Isn't that hauntingly beautiful?" - HIMYM