An Open Letter to Eminem
I have been struggling all morning trying to decide if your new video is worth blogging about. While I understand that you consider yourself to be a satirist from whose biting commentary no celebrity is safe, I personally find your methods of cultural critique to be boring, trite, and always misogynistic. For those readers who have not yet seen the video for your new song "We Made You," here it is:
While I must commend you for your ability to parody so many different cultural artifacts (from Rock of Love Bus to the new Star Trek movie) in this video, your methods once again fall flat in my opinion. What's the point here? If we as audience members are being asked to accept racist/sexist/homophobic jokes in the name of cultural criticism, we should be rewarded with an intelligent point at the end of it all. After a few viewings, the only thing I hear you saying is that you think women on television should either have sex with you or be murdered (or both). Double that sentiment if they're lesbians, of course.
It appears that part of the reason you have actors in your video playing Kim Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Alba, Sarah Palin, and various other women, is that you are attempting to comment on these women's use of sexuality in order to gain media attention. While I commend you for your attempts at a feminist critique, portraying these women as sexual objects for you to use up and throw in a wood chipper only perpetuates sexual objectification by the mass media, it does not remedy it. Why parody something by doing it?
Can't you come up with a different way to hate on women than by telling them to have sex with you or saying that they're sluts? It's such a tired method. While I certainly believe that women should be fair game when it comes to satirical representations, I'd like to see you think outside of the "suck my dick" box every once in awhile. The argument of "You're a slut! Have sex with me!" just doesn't make a lot of sense.
In addition, I am a little confused by your lyrical intentions. When the Jessica Simpson look-alike you've employed sings the chorus of "You're a rockstar baby/ Everybody wants you/ But who can really blame you?/ We're the ones who made you," to whom is she speaking? To you? To the celebrities being parodied in your video? And "blame you" for what? I can only assume that you mean to speak directly to the people you are parodying with this video, telling them that while their behavior is egregious, we as a media-consuming public cannot blame them for it since we caused it ourselves by giving them our attention. While this is a valid critique, you yourself are no better than those you mock, since you are using (and have used for many years) sensational methods to gain media attention just as they do. Plus, I can't see how the underlying message justifies (or even makes sense in partnership with) the images accompanying it.
Eminem, you have been in the spotlight for many years now, and yet your message and methods remain the same. A new video by you that trashes women while at the same time promotes your own sexual prowess isn't new or interesting at this point; it's boring. Isn't it time for you to evolve a little? Why not use your satirical skills (and access to producer Dr. Dre) to make a relevant cultural statement? I know you can do it!
Write back soon!
P.S. - I am posting this letter on the Bitch blog in the hopes that other readers will weigh in as well. You don't mind, do you?
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