pied piper = worst self appellation ever

they have finally wrassled together a quorum, and r. kelly’s trial has begun. for those of you new to his case, this 41-year old man is an r&b singer who has sold 40+ million albums, worldwide. he is also notoriously desirous of sex with young girls (I’ve heard as young as 11 years old), of videotaping these rapes, and his closing salvo of urinating on their faces. he’s a charmer.

so, kelly’s odd, to say the least. and there are unquestionably odd things about the case itself: Kelly is charged with videotaping sex with a minor and not statutory rape, in part because the lead witness against him–the woman who was then a girl–claims she’s not the girl on the tape. also, the judge fell off a ladder, delaying the trial. and later delays followed.

the judge is a mix of searingly wise (he is refusing to let the trial turn into a media circus by heavily controlling the access of reporters to courtroom participants) and insane (he accused the press of sticking gum under the courtroom seats and threatened a DNA test to identify the guilty parties).

but, as i said, kelly is an odd dude. {by “odd” i might mean “criminally insane”.} consider the following: Kelly has called himself the “Pied Piper of R&B” on wax (the 2002 album?). Let’s assume that he meant “a leader of people” and not “a man who lures children away from their parents into “caves” using his musical prowess as a lure.”*

two more bits:

first, Mark Anthony Neal is quoted at some length at the end of the Times piece but he is consistently referred to as “Mr. Neal.” Perhaps this is his stated preference, but shouldn’t the default be “Professor Neal” or “Dr. Neal”? I thought this was kind of a…er…loaded issue, no?

second, the author (whose tone i generally dislike in the piece) writes:

““We increasingly see young teens and even preteens being presented as sexual objects in mainstream media,” said M. Gigi Durham, a University of Iowa professor who wrote “The Lolita Effect” (Overlook), about the sexualization of girls. That would render Mr. Kelly as less of an aberration.”

{Note that the final sentence is in the author’s voice, not Dr. Durham’s.} The idea that the (undocumented) increasing presentation of preteens as sexual objects in the media then makes R. Kelly, who (IMHO) is a freak (in a bad way) “less of an aberration” is a disgusting and irrational transitive “logic”. this is proof positive that the Times editors have completely lost their senses. I mean, criteria. I mean, morality.

* The picture–R. Kelly’s head on a black Ken doll--comes from this blog here. and i suspect it is from elsewhere, but i don’t know who=where.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “pied piper = worst self appellation ever

  1. Please remove the R Ken doll, it’s totally ooking me out.

  2. mom

    Can you imagine what Gigi Durham (a really good feminist comm person) thought when she read the article. She must have exploded.

  3. Jenn Lena

    I hope she didn’t explode. Goodness knows we need more really good feminist comm people.

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