O.K. Here goes 'editorial' number three.
This whole Eminem thing has gotten my attention. C'mon, it's art - isn't it?
Hmmm... that's a matter of opinion for some, I suppose. But in this one earthling's opinion - although I find it a bit objectionable - it is, still - art.
That said, I will admit that I am a bit confused about Eminem's motivation to write, record, and sell the records which he does.
My confusion stems mostly from Eminem's supposed statements that he does not believe the words he says in his songs. ??? O.K. Being that his lyrics advocate hatred and violence against various groups of human beings - then I have just one question - if he truly does not believe his own words - why say them?
Freedom of speech aside, I have difficulty understanding his motivation. Is it money? And if so - is it worth the damage it can cause, since so many young people pay attention to and worship artists as if they were some type of godlike figure whose every word is worthy of their most captivated respect and attention?
I'm sorry, but this both confuses and disturbs my artistic sensibilities. What about responsibility? Isn't that important? Shouldn't it be?
Given that an artist of his popularity has the attention of so many people, I just cannot understand how he can create such negative messages and send them out to the world - with no concern over the effects of his actions.
I've heard some people say that it is all about irony. Irony. How? Is he trying to show people how ridiculous it is to hate??? Is he just mocking intolerance? Well, if he is - is the ten-year-old sitting in his room listening to the CD going to know that? Hell, no - he isn't. And that is why I am voicing my one little opinion about this.
Before the Grammy Awards, I heard a number of artists defending Eminem's "freedom of speech" and country-given right to say whatever he wants. As an artist myself, I would never propose to zip up someone's mouth and not allow him to use his voice however he would choose, regardless of how vile or destructive I found it to be. However, I heard only one other artist say anything at all about artistic responsibility - and I find that both surprising and disturbing. Thank-u Moby, for being that one.
The idea that Eminem doesn't believe his words is what I can't seem to grasp. The words are just so violent. And something about the desire to say such destructive things without believing them has left one big huge question mark in my head. I just don't understand why any human being would desire to do such a thing. It's ironic (there's that word again) - but I think it would bother me less if he did believe it all - at least then I could defend his right to free speech, his right to voice his opinions and beliefs - regardless of their content, their validity, or their foundation. But if his words are not his beliefs - how can anyone honestly defend him?
I believe that words are important.
I also believe that anyone on a stage, and anyone who has the youth-of-the-world's attention, has a reponsibility to be honest about who they are and what they believe, and what they show to the eyes and ears of that world - especially because that world is still young and impressionable.
Freedom of speech? Absolutely.
But how about some integrity? Then, even if the words are slightly warped - at least there is an honest reason for saying them.
And I guess that's all I have to say about that.
For now, anyway.
Peace 2 u.
Last Update 2/2001
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