I haven’t got my RSS system tight, so it took a whole day before I realized the monks at Soc Shrine bellied up to the bar. And here I thought this thing was broke. Their comments, screenshat:
I’m not going to hit all ten. But I got some.
Starting with 10. A: See sidebar. Now I do everything you tell me to do, so we’re square.
7. They want me to look at this NSFW video with rappers I totally don’t care about and determine if it interests me or non-scholars more. Answer: B. Non-scholars are more interested. Evidence found in the comments sections which contain this gem of public discourse.
As you can see, Roger, who goes by the nickname “Tito” and is proud of his “hotmama” makes the entirely reasonable (if banal) observation that music doesn’t come coded by race, and notes the rise of folk music in the 20s as a companion piece to an earlier claim made about the segregation of music by A-A’s (in the 20s) on what were called “race labels”–record companies that exclusively sold music by and to black Americans. (Or so they thought. Some sneaky white folks probably found some and hunkered down with the ol’ crank record player (large as a couch, I should think) and had some of that “guilty pleasure”). Anyway, Roger/Tito neglects to mention that “hillbilly” music was also segregated from the “mainstream” and “white” record industry, thus rendering any simple race-based exclusion argument misleading, if not false.*
Jay Bickford, probably 32 years of age, responds with the somewhat surprising suggestion that Roger/Tito might enjoy the company of sometimes nude actor/director Vincent Gallo, whom Jay knows well enough to call by his nickname “Vince.” Vincent’s also noted for his paintings and musical performances, including some work with industrial music, and some with rap. Although Jay Bickford casts aspersions on “Vince’s” rap bona fides, the truth is that Gallo played in an early hip hop style group with unassailably cool and undoubtedly rap-tastic Jean Michel Basquiat. That band was called GREY, and for the most part is not known for its musical sophistication or beauty (in other words: there are not enough drugs in the world to make it sound nice). Despite Jay’s sarcasm and reproachful tone, he draws the correct conclusion about hip hop: “White kids have been down since day one.”* [You and I know that “Day one” is a mirage because such histories are invented, and thus not usefully anchored in any objective temporal order (or even the subjective one, counting from “within” some sub-set of events), and anyway, you’re smart enough to know that “one”ness is also an invention, since this whole Base 10 system is just a communist plot to control counting and keep America from being great.]
Jay–who was too young to really appreciate the good things about the ’70s–then compliments producer Joe Mansfield on the musical accompaniment to the song, only to then swing wildly from behind his back, questioning the apportionment of credit for Western Swing–a “white” musical style in the country idiom–and poses the question: “were black performers actually the ones who innovated the particular steel guitar styles used by Western Swing artists?” No matter what response he will get, he tells Roger/Tito that his knowledge of musical history is insufficient, and his own is “thorough.” And then jokes that his interlocutor probably doesn’t know how many members were in a band that reports their size in the band name.
Roger/Tito’s mama’s still hot, and he’s hot under the collar. And more than a little incoherent. The thing to pay attention to in his response is that he is “laughing his fucking ass off” at his own ad hominem critique which includes implied critiques of whites and gay men. Ha, ha, ha.
Now, I wonder why I’m not interested in this video? Oh, right. Because these guys who are, are f*ckwads.
My general programmatic guideline is that I tend to be disinterested in music that attracts the specific kind of sexist, homophobic, self-absorbed, defensive, condescending, emoticon-using asshole that we see evidence of, above. That the thread also includes a whole debate over baseball batting averages, penis size (that’s in the lyrics too, so who can blame them?) and–believe it or not–a long discussion of whether garments exist that are designed only to be worn over the lower buttocks.
I even showed the video to a friend–a big hip hop fan–who gave me a look of such utter disinterest that I felt ashamed for having asked. Hell, even Jay Smooth stayed away from this one.
1. Soul Power. When I saw the trailer for this movie, I felt like someone had peeked into my soul and plucked out a folder from my “greatest wishes” Trapper Keeper and made it real. And then I totally forgot the thing existed until you just mentioned it. What lesson can we draw? You need a “New Year’s Eve” style marketing campaign for me to remember you. And no, I won’t be seeing that hunk of steaming garbage no matter how many celebrities are in it…at least not until I’m stuck on an intercontinental flight, or have the flu, or just find the other options less appealing. But Soul Power will make it into the netflix kwaykway. As soon as it is no longer “DVD only.”
*This is a conversation I have participated in, or facilitated, approximately 14,578 times.