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    a series of aluminum tubes..., 2007-04-11 15:43:41 | Main | This is kinda interesting: R..., 2007-04-12 17:24:01

    imus should buy a drum machine and try rhyming once in a while:

    I wouldn't comment but the topic of judging womens' performance on the basis of how pretty their smiles are came up lately, in the context of some throwbacks from the 50s. What Imus just did was the same thing, with some gratuitous racist shit on top for good measure.

    The obvious comeback? Rappers totally get away with the same thing!

    I'm going to first suggest that the difference between the #1 rap song right now and what Imus and his pals said is that one is art ("holding a mirror up to reality") and has a beat you can dance to, while the other is a nationally syndicated political talk show and something you might trace the cracks in the floorboards to as it drives you slowly and surely insane, and that this distinction might dislocate A from the morally linear universe of B.

    The national prominence of both should probably be accepted as anecdotal evidence of the sick state of our political culture in the face of numerous, superior alternatives, but that obvious distinction still sticks out: one is fiction and the other is hot air.

    But let's go ahead and accept some basis for comparison. The argument, not only assuming comparable cultural artifacts, also predicates itself on the assumption that rappers expressing similar values in their art get a free pass in our society. Spike Lee, who was the specific point of reference for further insults thrown at the players by Imus' executive producer, is conveniently involved. The argument that gansta rappers [we need some shorthand for the specific artists in question, excepting, i.e., their particularly laudible hits] don't receive criticism for their violent misogyny becomes particularly ironic considering Lee is on the record that "gangsta rap is a 21st century form of a minstrel show, and the sad thing is, a lot of those guys don't even know it." That's not much of a free pass. Or consider the liberal political establishment and the mountain of criticism they dumped on the whole cultural genre of hip-hop music, much of it utterly unfairly. People have completely forgotten Al Gore's cultural jihad in the 80s and have no idea that it remains a hot topic among a certain "new" breed of Democrat. You know, the same Democrats that routinely turn up on Imus In The Morning.

    So a few women-hating violence-worshiping rappers with warning labels plastered on their records and pushed to the top of the charts by hordes of suburban white kids simply aren't a useful point of comparison for a nationally syndicated talk show with an audience of supposedly grown adults. If we do insist on using it as such it puts the talk show in an even worse light: Imus is just starting to enjoy some of the same heat the hip-hop community has been taking for decades.

    Which brings up another distinction: without overt censorship you can't really take the soapbox away from a commercially successful rap artist. [ed: you could be boycotting it, but that beat is so catchy...] Imus is at the mercy of both his high profile guests and his advertisers, and what he said ought to be offensive enough for him to lose the support of both. He can always go back to putting out records, where he can be as bad as he wants to be.

    In the meantime if this blog is going to go all cultural-critic and we're going to rag on the gangsta rap in our sideshow to the Imus Is A Misogynist Racist Pig Affair it might be fair - as they're, you know, Really Similar Things - to open up the floor on all this fucking vater-country swing on CMT. Nashville has been glorying in military conquest and wading in blood for the past six years and my honky redneck self can't sit his ass down for a grainbelt back home without the jukebox driving me into the pits of despair. That's supposed to be Conway Twitty's job.


:: posted by buermann @ 2007-04-11 17:53:55 CST | link





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