Mon, 27 July 2015
We live in an era when misdeeds seem to be amplified-which raises an interesting question. How easy is it to separate great art when the people making the art are creepy/icky/criminal/horrible people?
Intro Music: The Ronettes' "Be My Baby" (this gets explained later in the show.)
Let's break down some of the highlights of the discussion:
-Dr. Z has headed straight to Blerd Studios from the dentists's office, where his oral hygienist proceeded to give him an unwarranted political lesson.
-On the day this show was recorded, "Cosby Show" co-star Joseph C. Phillips posted a thinkpiece online dedicated to this very topic: obviously in reference to his former television father-in-law.
-We wonder if there's a natural sociopathy that comes with being an artist or wanting to be famous? Deep psychological shit here.
-Do we have a different set of standards for creative/famous people than we do for ourselves?
-Does fame breed even more sociopathy? We talk about how celebrity can make one less a person and more a character, and we also wonder what it must be like for someone's sense of self when they're surrounded by sycophants.
-Kanye & Kim: Everyone's most hated rock star (except by us) and his equally hated wife. Does Kanye feed off of the hate? And are feminists who slam Kim K total hypocrites?
-A distinction is made between artists who are just obnoxious (Kanye) and artists who have criminal pasts, with an example being Axl Rose, who wrote "Sweet Child O' Mine" for a woman that he later was accused of beating the shit out of.
-We discuss R. Kelly and his insistence on making overtly sexual music when it's fairly clear that he's some kind of criminal sexual deviant (lack of conviction be damned.)
-Is it easier to forgive sociopathic behavior in our artists when their public image is that of a lunatic? (Example: Ol' Dirty Bastard)
-The Cee Lo Green saga of 2014 is explained to half the panel.
-Death: The Great Equalizer?
-What's the line at which we would no longer support/enjoy an artist's work?
-Why do female artists tend to avoid the same criminal behavior as their male counterparts?
-Hell, are there _any_ artists whose personal lives don't cause us to reconsider their work a little bit? (The Packet Man is severely disappointed when he's told about age-old Bill Withers rumors).
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Mon, 6 July 2015
Piggybacking off of our last episode, in which Mike Cunningham The Packet Man jokingly stated that he was the leader of the Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP, we (Big Money, Dr. Z, Michael Parr and The Packet Man) decided to do a podcast about cultural appropriation. This is definitely more of a circular discussion (with no real conclusion) than many of our other podcasts, but it's an interesting discussion.
-We discuss what made us finally decide to pull the trigger on this discussion, with a special shout out to "Black-ish"!
-What exacty _is_ cultural appropriation? Big Money and Michael Parr look up two separate definitions that all pretty much boil down to the same thing. We also take a quick second to express disgust at how casually this is treated in the fashion world.
-Why is a panel made up of three straight white guys (and one guy who happens to be black and gay) doing this podcast anyway?
-"Good appropriation" vs. "Bad appropriation", or rather-being legitimately influenced by a culture that's not yours vs. doing it strictly for commerce.
-The beginnings of cultural appropriation as it pertains to music: minstrelsy, vaudeville, Al Jolson, Elvis.
-A lengthy sidebar about The Rolling Stones and songs like "Brown Sugar", which are fairly offensive. Is their manner of cultural appropriation offensive, even though various members have taken pains to credit their forebearers and influences? (this is clearly not an easy question to answer).
-Appropriation of other cultures: Latin culture, gay culture, Eastern culture...
-Most egregious offenders (Eminem, Madonna, Iggy Azalea, Gwen Stefani)
-Particular focus paid to Madonna's somewhat shameless exploitation of multiple cultures, which seemed somewhat natural (or at least appeared to come from a good place) early in her career, but quickly progressed (or regressed) into something more sinister, and certainly less heartfelt.
-When it comes to artists who appropriate, how much responsibility do they have to expose their fans to their influences?
-We finally decide to put one of our longest running gags to rest.
-Finally, what will be the ultimate low point of cultural appropriation?