And if you don’t believe me, may I present for your viewing wonder and dumbstruck bemusement the nominations concert, gala, fashion show, celebrity hobnob, unlikely musical fusion, duet rap shindig, and posthumous honorarium for the 54th annual Grammy awards show… show.
Being like fish who don’t know we have swum into a sewer drain, sometimes it takes a foreign eye to point out how unintentionally satirical our culture swamp has become. To say that our entertainment media have become revolving doors for variegated freaks does not do it justice. So let’s draw on some of that famous British wit from people who do not give a shit to get at the surreal essence of our pop crazy culture.
Hadley Freeman of the notoriously left-wing Guardian sticks the switchblade in deep and gives more than a few twists:
Nobody turns to American music award ceremonies to see a true representation of the best music of the year. But do they turn to them to see the worst? Yes, would seem to be the verdict from whatever devilish minds put together Wednesday night’s evil special, “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!”
Other than sadism, there can be no other explanation for the sonic boom of hell that was a live duet featuring that master of subtlety, Ludacris – a singer perhaps best known for a song that features the Shakespearean chorus of “Get back, motherfucker, you don’t know me like that” – and Jason Aldean, an extraordinary young man whose life ambition appears to be to marry the two genres of rap and country music.
If you think that sounds like a marriage that would make Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? look a model of romance, you would be underestimating what it is like to watch a man do hip hop hand gestures while wearing a cowboy hat with Ludacris gurning in the wings. All that was lacking was background imagery of strip malls and the Kardashians for the tableau of American Hell to be complete.
It’s tempting to repost Ms. Freeman’s refreshingly vicious diatribe, but that would be rehashing what is already available elsewhere. But I can ginsu out my favorite passage, which deals brutally but justly with Lady Gag-gag and the eye-poppingly insipid Nicki Minaj:
The show opened and closed – as it surely had to – with performances by Lady Gaga who came dressed as the lovechild of Adam Ant, Marilyn Manson and every bad Alexander McQueen show some of us had ever seen. Yet for all her much flaunted unconventionality (if not originality), Gaga still is not averse to saying such decidedly conventional things as “I want you all to stand up and have a good time!” while flanked by a bunch of buff backing dancers doing synchronised aerobics as though the 80s never ended. But she does deserve credit for sporting make up that appeared to be designed so as to render her noseless. I surely speak for us all when I say that I look forward to Vogue doing a “Get the look” version of that one.
After that, Nicki Minaj, who announced the nominees for Record of the Year, looked downright conventional, not least because she seemed to be a zombie reading an autocue that was written by robots (“If you record music you want to win Record of the Year!”) She served as a double confirmation that just because a woman might dress crazy, she isn’t necessarily all that interesting.
But while Lady Gaga’s first performance was solo, her final one was a duet with Sugarland, a deeply tedious country and western duo. This was a useful reminder of how big C & W is in the States, and why it is hated everywhere else.
All of what the Guardian scribe is, as could be testified to in a court of law, nothing but the truth. But it’s not the whole truth. While we could rubber-neck by CBS on the way to watching some food porn on Bravo, we wouldn’t be able to square the technicolored trainwreck with what is going on in the country at large. So to simply describe the absurdity and to vivisect it with a skilled hand is apt but partly irrelevant. Perhaps to say that the culture is embodying the demented left-wing is a bit more to the point.
We don’t need to delve into a discussion of Marxian dialectics to understand that fusing rap music and country western music is wrong. Both of them are wrong as they are. So while we could point out that it is doubly wrong, that’s somewhat like piling on: Fun but unnecessary.
The main takeaway is that our purported artists are confusing the license to create whatever their minds can concoct with a reason to do so. Conflating something different with doing something good is a trademark of left-wingers, who dominate the culture scene. After all, that’s why they’ve lived in one of the best nations on earth, and have no problem trying to change us to be more like China, Greece, Swaziland, anything, as long as it’s not the United States.
Without the ability to display simple good judgment in politics, we shouldn’t be surprised when leftists fail to do so in the arts either. After all, being rational means picking the best among alternatives, and the left consistently picks the alternative for the sake of being alternative. That’s the irrational essence of multiculturalism, diversity, and moral relativism – the three-headed hydra of “anything but” American exceptionalism.
And God, is it ugly.
But while we allegedly racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, sensible conservative types sit with our jaws on the floor at the stupendously bad taste overwhelming our senses, the youth generation is lapping it up. While we our asking for the Pepto-Bismol, colored approximately the same as Nikki Minaj and Katy Perry’s hair, the young’ns are asking for second servings. Or over 500,000,000 servings, as the case may be, according to some YouTube counts.
That’s why we have to realize the insensibility of pop culture reinforces the insensibility of our politics. If anything can be done and therefore, should be done in the arts, the same should be said of our economy, right? And our government? And so on…