Thursday, July 02, 2009


I watched the BET Awards show because I was interested to hear the Michael Jackson tribute. Michael was a troubled boy, and a troubled man -- he was also a musical genius. His videos changed the face of American music videos. He was a consummate entertainer. He was also odd, eccentric and allegedly "strange" around children. Abused in childhood, stuck in childhood, obsessed with cosmetic surgery, he as a product of Hollywood -- and in some ways a product of the twisted energy of fans. He is reported to have been canny and clever in the business world, no shrinking violet there -- but in his personal life, there are some who say he was manipulative, others who say he was charming and genuine. Odds are they are all right.

Do you remember the movie "Rose"? It was a thinly veiled depiction of Janis Joplin's life. Rose actually dies on stage. It is a comment on her life. It becomes the "perfect" ending for a life lived in the intrusive spotlight. Die onstage. Fans roar.

Michael Jackson was never a man, always a commodity. Could he have stepped back from fame? I'm not sure he knew where that was. In any case, his death, like his life, made me sad.

The BET Awards chose to only depict him as a musical genius. I think that is OK. It may have made more sense for a separate event to take place, but that as it is, they worked hard to show his life and music in its purest form. After all, memorial services rarely trot out any negative sides of the departed.

So at this event, how do they precede the very moving remarks by Janet Jackson?

With one of the single most vulgar raps I have ever heard. In it Lil Wayne says repeatedly that he "wants to fuc* every girl in the world" while underage girls are dancing on stage. Here are the lyrics.

What the hell is BET thinking?

This isn't about Michael. This shouldn't precede Janet.

This shouldn't even be on the air, or in a recording.

How can any woman (let alone any man) sit still for such insulting, anti-woman, entirely sexist GARBAGE being sung? What does this say to our kids? What does it role model?

This isn't about sexuality, or love -- this is about the sexual abuse of women as chattel.

Michael Jackson would have been appalled.

I am contacting BET here. Feel free to join me.


Blogger Jayne said...

As I scrolled down those lyrics, I felt just plain sadness. Sadness that someone can actually SING that in public and get applause. Speaks volumes about our society today... So very sad.

8:27 AM  

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