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Silence! Let Eminem Rage

Listening to the critics of Eminem, you'd think little girls were being raped in droves, that teens were ridiculed and beaten for being gay, that women were being knocked off every day by their husbands and boyfriends. Oh, and of course, Eminem is somehow responsible for all of it.

Talk about misdirected energy. These politically correct irritants, who held a "Rally Against Hate" outside the recent Grammys ceremony, want you to think that hate language is going to bring about some kind of an apocalypse. As Melissa Etheridge, the hippest gay woman at the Grammys, assured them, "Eminem is not going to make people cut gay men's heads off." Get real!

Some people have nothing better to do than to try to silence a genius. What they don't seem to get is that Eminem is at the cutting edge, pushing the limits of society. As Michael Green, President and CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, told the Grammy audience, music like Eminem's is "the voice of rebellion." In other words, Eminem is not afraid to say what's taboo, like singing about killing his wife, or raping his mother. And wow, he did the "up yours" gesture in front of the whole country after his performance at the Grammys! These annoying activists need to start respecting free speech and quit calling for censorship.

Okay, technically they aren't calling for censorship. They say they just want equal media time to argue against hate speech. But censorship is implied in what they say. After all, if you listen to gay rights and feminist activists whine and lecture about all the violence in the world, and how speech is linked to hate violence, you're basically telling Eminem to shut up. You're convincing the population not to buy his cd's based on what he says. Which is equivalent to censorship. So why should they get media time?

Fortunately, the celebrities of the evening didn't pay any attention to these censors, and instead showed a profound respect for free speech. Their enthusiastic support for Eminem should be appreciated by all. So many of them—including Stevie Wonder, Madonna, and Christian rocker Dan Hasseltine—cheered for Eminem's right to "push the envelope" by singing lyrics like:

My little sister's birthday, she'll remember me
For a gift I had ten of my boys take her virginity
("Mmm-mm-mmm!")
And bitches know me as a horny-ass freak
Their mother wasn't raped, I ate her pussy while she was 'sleep
Pissy-drunk, throwin' up in the urinal
("You fuckin' homo!")
That's what I said at my dad's funeral

and:

My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge that'll stab you in the head whether you're a fag or lez

The musicians, from the newcomers to the legendary, had so much respect for free speech that not one of them stated an objection. None of them bothered us by mentioning the stats about sexual violence against girls in our society. None of them mentioned Matthew Shepherd and his sob story. Not one single celebrity pointed out the number of batterers that rip into their wives' bodies the way Eminem rips into the "Kim doll" on stage, pretending he's tearing apart his now ex-wife Kim. Damn, the guy has such a great show! Now, you are able to separate pretend from the real, aren't you? I'm not losing you here, am I? After all, the fact that his wife tried to commit suicide doesn't have anything to do with what the genius does as art. Repeat: pretend is not real life. There is no correlation. And if there is, so what! The act is outstanding! Makes me want to sing from "Kim": "Don't you get it bitch, no one can hear you, Now shut the fuck up and get what's comin' to you. You were supposed to love me [sounds of Kim choking], NOW BLEED! BITCH BLEED! BLEED! BITCH BLEED! BLEED!"

Elton John set the best example of all in his show of support for Eminem during this difficult time. Not only did Elton, an openly bisexual man, celebrate Eminem's incredibly taboo lyrics by singing in the rap star's controversial performance, but he gave the hero a sympathetic hug on stage at the end of the song. (They performed Eminem's gentle, artistically ambivalent song, "Stan", which is about a guy who yearns for a man and drowns his girlfriend, and the guy might be pathetic, or he might not, you're not sure what's cool. But you feminist gay rights prigs know nothing about the nuances of art. Did you ever think that maybe that's why you get so little access to the mainstream media? Think about it.)

Fortunately, like all celebrities, Elton refused to use his stage time, or all his media access before and after the Grammys, to condemn the worldwide epidemic of bigoted violence. He doesn't need to squander his moments of glory that way. In fact, no celebrity should squander his -- his or her -- fortune and fame that way. The importance of this cannot be overstated. If any celebrity had publicly objected to hate crimes or hate speech, we all would have known their objections were related to the "controversy," and a direct condemnation of Eminem, who was already persecuted enough.

Furthermore, if any celebrity had made such a negative comment, it would have been seen as threatening and hostile to the recording industry, since the kind of taboo lyrics that Eminem sings is a staple in corporate-sponsored music. If a musician during a media interview objected to the hate speech against women in the music industry, or if they editorialized about it during an award presentation, or if they protested it in their lyrics during a performance, that would have meant the end of that particular celebrity's career. Hasta luego.

For instance, what if U2, who wisely cheered Eminem during their own interview, had openly questioned the real life consequences of lyrics like this from "Kill You":

"Put your hands down, bitch, I ain't gon' shoot you I'ma pull YOU to this bullet and put it through you"

What if that adorable comedian Jon Stewart, who took the opportunity as host of the Grammys to make really funny jokes about protesters' claim that hate lyrics encourage violence, had instead made fun of the idea that these lyrics don't encourage violence:

'I make fight music for high school kids I put lives at risk when I drive like this I put wives at risk with a knife like this'"

What if the female stars—you know, the musicians with giant holes in their weird, flimsy garb—refused to applaud Jon's jokes, and instead got together amongst themselves and announced, "Eminem, we support your right to free speech. Go ahead and sing. But we also believe in our right to publicly condemn such lyrics as:

"Bitch, please, you must have a mental disease, assume the position and get back down on your knees, c'mon"

Fortunately, the exercise of free speech means that one side gets almost all of it, in this case, the rebellious side that dares to bring the taboo to the stage and to your next door neighbor's living room. If you protesters would only wise up, you'd learn to be more like the smiling celebrities, and go along to get along. As George Bush Jr.'s buddies advised the public, "Get over it."

In other words, get over it, you politically correct, uptight pains in the ass. It's about time you figure out something basic about speech: It belongs to those in power. If you weren't so busy telling those in power what to do and what not to do, maybe you could learn to warm up to it, maybe get your own piece of it. But as long as you carry on in the streets, you're going to miss out on the fun of it. And you're going to miss the point, which is that this country, the foremost democracy in the world, values its tolerance for hate speech. It's the price you have to pay for, well, more hate speech, and then more hate speech. And then the results of all the hate speech, like men who rape girls, and beat their wives, and bash gays. Pretend stuff, I mean. A performance, that's all. Remember, this freedom is what this country stands for. Where would we be without it?



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