Saturday, April 14, 2007

Absurdities: Imus used as an excuse to talk about rap. Via Ted Rall

Rall reports, on the link that the title of this post leads to, that Imus' comment has been used as grist to look at gangster rap culture. I read about this in the mainstream media but I didn't think that people were actually taking it seriously, or that anyone on the left at least, was taking it seriously. But what Rall terms, appropriately, the "soft-left" has seemingly glommed onto the concept. The idea appears to be this: Imus' co-host, who originally called the players 'Hos', got the term from rap culture, then Imus repeated the term and added his own little flourish, the spirit of which supposedly came from rap culture, therefore....because two middle aged white guys used a term that comes from rap....rap culture is to blame for Imus' outburst.
Rall posts an e-mail from "Beliefnet" on the subject:

"Don Imus Controversy
With Imus Gone, Let's Clean Up Rap
“Imus got what he deserved, but the root of the problem is our vulgar culture. As a black woman and a child of God, I ask, Why don't Christians stand up to rap artists?”
Poll: Should Imus Have Been Fired? | Discuss
His Apology: Accept It | Not Enough
Talk Radio Is the Real Culprit
“It's time to stop handling these rappers with kid gloves and letting them run free every time they cry "I'm innocent." Young minds are at stake every time they turn on the television and see a man disrespecting a woman, sliding a credit card down the crack of her backside--thanks, Nelly--or just allowing women to exploit themselves in a music video for a crummy paycheck. (Yes, the women agree to be in these videos by their own free will, but when will they decide they don't want them to sell themselves to the highest bidder anymore?) Young ears are being flooded with the poisonous lyrics of today's rap music. Stop conveying the message that it could ever be appropriate to call a woman a "'ho" or a "b*tch"--regardless of what you personally know about them. It's not okay, ever--whether you're an African American rapper or a white talk-radio shock jock. “

Stop the presses! Rap culture can be misogynistic! Well, I never! Who'd of thought?

Not to make gratuitous comparisons involving things I've posted but, umm, if you look at the "Straight Outta' Compton" video I posted a few days ago you'll hear them say the phrase "And if you're in the front row I'm gonna call you a bitch or a dirty ass ho. You'll probably get mad like a bitch is supposed to...". Posting it doesn't mean I agree with those sentiments, but the big thing is that the song was released in '89. 1989. In other words, 18 years ago.

We've already been down this path during times when the Republicans had hegemony and were happy to accomodate calls for censorship, with Democratic wife Tipper Gore leading the way with a totally unofficial collection of influential wives of politicians that, nevertheless, succeeded in pressuring the music industry to put Parental Advisory stickers on their merchandise.

It would be better if they spent their ire on hosts that call for the killing of liberals, or as Rall suggests in his new cartoon focussing also on Guantanamo Bay.

I can't think of a more irrelevant thing to get upset over.

Plus, this whole thing about people exploiting themselves, contained in the Beliefnet e-mail, is a really transparent wolf in sheep's clothing. To me it's no more tasteful for people to demand that people stop 'exploiting themselves' than it is to demand Christianity be taught in the classroom in order to counter godless liberal 'bias'.

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