Alyx Vesey likes black people a hell of a lot more than you do
I recently came to realize that I hate the Evening Standard. Not in the standard, “oh boy, these provocative journalists are sure saying some provocative stuff in their columns that makes me want to shake my fist in the air like Blakey in annoyance.” No, hate as in “I would like everyone and everything Dan Jones loves to die in his arms before he writes yet another smug, meandering, football-started-in-1992 piece of shit sports hackery.”
There’s a wave of irritation that infects the entire newspaper. Sebastian Shakespeare spending an entire column calling Lily Allen a “wigger” without pausing to think what the “igger” part of that might stand for. Their chief food writer not realizing that “pop-up restaurants” and “underground supper clubs” are just great ways to take money from the pockets of gullible trust fund wankers.
However, until now the music writing hadn’t really affected me. A lot of it has the same feel as those “glory” days of the London Lite/thelondonpaper when the culture pages were pretty much a free-for-all against the rest of the newspaper, leading to jarring shifts in tone when we’d go from “kick these dirty freeloading fucking immigrants out now” to “hey let’s all go and see Josie Long’s new show it’ll be well funny.”
However, today, it pierced my consciousness. In the letters page. I’ve got to write it out myself here as, for some reason, it’s not online. A big loss to the collective knowledge I feel.
How do we define lap-dancing Rihanna? It’s easy to position her as something of an incarnation of Josephine Baker or Grace Jones. Many feminists want to link her survivor narrative to her tough stage image. She can certainly be seen through a gay prism, given her look , flirtations with Katy Perry and substantial gay male fan base. What worries me: the double standard invoked by ethnically insensitive commentary that allows white stars like Lady Gaga to be sexual and reckless but cries foul when Rihanna or Nicki Minaj do similar. Alyx Vesey, feministmusicgeek.com
I could be all “still referring to yourself as a “geek” in 2011? Why so beta?” Or maybe enquire as to why you’d spell the name “Alex” as “Alyx”. But let me go further.
This letter was presumably written as a result of “Rihanna gives lapdance on stage: is this a good thing or a bad thing?” talking point that has been created out of nowhere this past week. It’s an inane talking point: Bob Dylan reacted to being called a “Judas” during his Manchester Free Trade Hall gig by inviting one lucky crowd member up on stage for a little light daggering.
Let’s break this down sentence by sentence.
How do we define lap-dancing Rihanna?
Rihanna isn’t going to read your letter. Learn2grammar.
It’s easy to position her as something of an incarnation of Josephine Baker or Grace Jones.
Right… how? No, seriously, how? Josephine Baker was a woman marketed as a daring sex symbol who was notorious for her scandalous dancing and fights against racial oppression. Grace Jones is a woman from some 80s car adverts who kinda functions nowadays as a sub-Pete Burns/Steve Strange “I’m a mad person from the 80s, me” deal. Baker and Jones have nothing in common at all. Not in stage presence, in gimmick, in performance style, even in their fucking profession. Oh, but they are black so yeah, exactly like Rihanna. It’s easy to position Riri as something of an incarnation of Bernie Grant or Abedi Pele, isn’t it Alyx?
Many feminists want to link her survivor narrative to her tough stage image.
“Survivor narrative”: she got slapped about by an R&B singer and then proceeded to apologise for him repeatedly in interviews. Her tough stage image would be the one where she sings lots of songs about being sexually submissive and wanting to be slapped about during sex, right? Let’s not go on that “hey, maybe it’s strippers who have the real power during a lapdance” narrative, because most of the crying Ukrainian girls I spend my Saturday nights in the company of don’t look like they could put up much of a fight.
She can certainly be seen through a gay prism, given her look , flirtations with Katy Perry and substantial gay male fan base.
If your argument for someone being reflected “in a gay prism” revolves around a couple of lipstick lesbian bullshittery moments that wouldn’t even pass muster for the most desperate of Xhamster masturbator, then you have problems.
What worries me: the double standard invoked by ethnically insensitive commentary that allows white stars like Lady Gaga to be sexual and reckless but cries foul when Rihanna or Nicki Minaj do similar.
a) Italians aren’t white
b) Nicki Minaj gets a big pass when it comes to all this because she’s not attractive, so nobody really complains about her gender regressive bullshit
c) You are a bad writer.
Because that’s all this piece is. “This might be bad, but it might be good: the important thing is that I am a lot more liberal and tolerant than you, so take that.” Alyx Vesey is a woman who feels the need to repeatedly remind you over and over and over again that she’s not a racist, like Father Ted showing that picture of the black guy who holidayed on Craggy Island once. I mean, some cynics would say that by reading this kind of racial-and-sexuality one-upmanship that Alyx Vesey is almost certainly some sort of pasty saltine breeder.
Oh, what a fucking surprise.
Look, this is the thing. SHE’S AMERICAN. She’s a fucking American who lives in America and has decided to email a British regional newspaper pumping out a bunch of whiteboy rhetoric because she wants more hits for a blog. That’s not only desperate it’s tragic. Here, Alyx, have some of mine. And then go home and think about what you’re doing, because what you’re doing is fundamentally wrong.
(interestingly enough: when visiting Alex (your name is Alex unless your parents hates you)’s blog, you have to go 10,395 words down before you find the first words she’s written about any music performed by a black person. Well done all involved.)
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