Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm not finished

You know, I don't think I even came close to fully describing what makes me ill about Pitchfork's "B.O.B." write-up.

Working backwards, with the same quotes I used last time. The whole "painted black" thing. Regardless of the insanity of implying that Obama is Good For The Blacks, what, exactly, was the writer (Stuart Berman--which, by the way, is this the same Stuart Berman who's associated with Broken Social Scene? Because that would be hilariously perfect) trying to claim about the flag on Stankonia's cover? Is it that it somehow predicted Obama? Or maybe a plea for a Black president? Or what? Because to me it's always been black-as-in-mourning. As in, look at the death the American Empire has caused. "Burn, motherfucker, burn, American dream". And the "joyous denouement" of the song--which is not, personally, how I hear the end--what? What the hell is Stuart saying? "Oh boy," thought Big Boi and André 3000. "One of these days, they might let us have a Black man in the White House. Let's make some joyous music to indicate how we will feel on that magical day." Come on.

And the middle quote, the "warmongering evangelicals" bit. Again, this hipster fuck Berman is denying Outkast their right to observe and be outraged by the world as it is rather than as it will be. They are not "inaugurating" anyone. Again, what does he think the song is about? An eerily accurate prediction of the second Bush administration? A belated retrospective of the first? What the hell makes him think that? They aren't looking into a crystal ball, and they're not putting their song behind glass as a museum piece. It was about the present, about the world it was created in. That it remains relevant is testament to the clarity of their vision, it's true, but it is testament far more to the continuity of the American imperial project.

And, lastly. The opening of the godforsaken paragraph. "Bombs Over Baghdad", we're told, was a phrase that sounded "oddly anachronistic in 2000". Now, let's pretend for a moment that Stu's pig-ignorant assumptions are true. American bombing of Iraq stopped at the end of February in 1991. Then, once Clinton took office an era of peace broke out all over the world, and all was joy and happiness. Sadly, the evil Bush family retook control of the Oval Office, and the world was plunged into darkness only to be relieved by the hip Blackness-synonymous-with-progressivism of Obama.

Even if all this were true* then what Stewey Baby is saying is still disgusting. Look at it this way: imagine if right now, in the second half of 2009, some artist beloved of Pitchfork (doesn't matter if it's Vampire Weekend or Jay-Z or Dan Deacon or Outkast again) puts out a song called "Planes in the World Trade Center". Now try to imagine a Pitchfork writer saying that that title seems "oddly anachronistic". You can't, can you?

Well, American bombs have helped to kill three orders of magnitude more people in Iraq than were killed in the 9/11 attacks. Oddly anachronistic? I say it again: fuck you, Pitchfork.

*And, incidentally, if this view of American government were actually accurate, surely it would imply that our system is fundamentally broken, wouldn't it? If just exchanging one person, the president, for another can wreak so much havoc over the world, shouldn't we change our system to one that's more stable? Hell, let's make Obama king. After all, all we need is good people with power, not good structures of power.

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