John Mayer is an Idiot, with an Update
UPDATE: Scroll down to check out the video of his apology…whatever.
…and a racist, sexist pig. But who’s counting the negatives?
I’ve gone off him. There are not that many new recording artists that I really like and want to follow or even buy. When I heard, “Your Body is a Wonderland,” it made me want to fall in love. Because, hey, who wouldn’t want someone to tell you that your body was so worth loving, cherishing, and luxuriating in, that they would write a song about it. And for me, it wasn’t about reminiscing about young, new flesh that I no longer possess. It was about joy and loving in the moment, at no matter what age. The phrasing was down. And like with most songs, I didn’t especially care that he was singing about a white lover. I had done that ever since I got my first radio and tuned into AM radio as well as the soul music down the dial. I just thought, this guy is wide open to life. Didn’t have fantasies about meeting up with him in some hotel, I just thought, ooh. Yeah. Right on.
I also liked that he was coming into a blues tradition and moving among some pretty heavy guys, like B.B. King and Eric Clapton. If he showed up at some televised gig, like Saturday Night Live, I saw and listened and loved it and him. I wished him well. I know I wasn’t alone in my appreciation for Mayer, but this new scandale du jour has opened my eyes to just how many other blacks–and black women–really liked him. Because I think that all this high-flying and fame that has opened him to a larger world, has also helped him to plunge into those lower depths: into grudge fights with Perez Hilton and cutting a wide swath through the usual Hollywood suspects (Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson). His fifteen minutes have gotten to him. I’m also wondering whether this interview is a deliberate exercise in self-sabotage or that too much porn and dope smoking has rotted and fumigated the common sense I thought he had.
I haven’t read the entire Playboy interview yet, but the dribs and drabs from the media has influenced me to get an online copy and read it to believe it. Like Elvis Costello, who found himself frozen out from We Are the World for these remarks, and even Eric Clapton who still admires British racist Enoch Powell before him, John Mayer’s going to have to learn the hard way that he cannot rip off and then dog black people and also, to dare use that word and say that his penis has the sensibility of a white supremacist or a David Duke. I distinctly remember a pioneering woman jockey and a nascent NBC TV star losing all credibility, subsequent or pending jobs and endorsements when they said in interviews that they admired the Klan. From Billboard:
In the midst of sharing his thoughts on sex, Mayer also took time to give a few eyebrow-raising soundbites on race, particularly his strong African American fanbase and his predilection for Caucasian women, when it comes to matters of lust.
“I am a very…I’m just very. V-E-R-Y,” Mayer said. “And if you can’t handle very, then I’m a douche bag. But I think the world needs a little very. That’s why black people love me.”
Very? Can someone explain to me just what he means by that? Crazy? Picky? Then say that then, fool. Black people love you? For playing with Common and Kanye? If that were all. Not every black person.
“Someone asked me the other day, ‘What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?” Mayer continued. “And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a n—-r pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, ‘I can’t have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.'”
“My d–k is sort of like a white supremacist,” Mayer went on. “I’ve got a Benetton heart and a f—in David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my d–k.“
Whether parts were in someone else’s column–cut and pasted from other parts of the interview–or not, Mayer’s words still really look stupid, unformed, and inane. He thinks he’s being hipster and fly and edgy, but no, he ain’t. Not here. Especially when he uses that word. Pass, my ass.
I think Mayer fully explained himself when he said he had a Benetton heart. Oh, I think he’s open to blacks and people of color, but only so much that it might move his career forward. I’m sure people are acquainted with the Benetton clothing company out of Italy, and its quirky world ad campaign under the sole direction of Oliviero Toscani called the United Colors of Benetton. The United Colors also suffered from accusations of sensationalism and insensitivity, as well as racism and sexism, when Toscani insisted that the company was being daring about race–and also being PC. Some also thought that the United Colors campaign also possessed a soupçon of phoniness as well, when the company was found to have acquired some of the ancestral lands of the Mapuche in Patagonia, and then evicted them. Toscani resigned from the company in 2005, after his photographs of death row inmates caused yet another uproar. So the Benetton heart is a heart of beauty as well as of darkness, the same heart Mayer seems to possess.
If Mayer had said something along the lines of, I prefer being with white women, but I’ve never been with black women or other women of color. They interest me as friends, and I have met some black women who have really gotten my attention, but I don’t know that I can go farther than just admiration, but maybe later who knows…–hell, people wouldn’t be turning away in droves and in fierce disgust and loathing right now, and wanting to smack him one.
He may yet get a pass from those who cannot stand, dismiss or fear black women for their own reasons as well in order to save his career. It’s never stopped or ended the careers of many famous and prominent male musicians or singers who have been absolute pigs to women, and color doesn’t matter. Misogyny unites guys. When I read what he said about Jessica Simpson a few days back, I thought he was walking a thin line. Did he have to say that kind of sh*t about a woman he had been with and supposedly had loved? That’s what was really outrageous to me, not that I’m a particular fan of Simpson, or even of her predecessors. I remember John Wayne as Sean Thornton saying in The Quiet Man, one of the few movies I like with this known reactionary and hater, that real men don’t talk about their women in bars, which meant out in public, too. Maybe Mayer gets off on that, but it shows a lack of respect, not only for Simpson, or Hewitt, or Aniston, but about himself as well. He talks way too damn much for my taste.
What John Mayer needs is a long vacation from himself. Like after his man Kanye West burst in on the very overexposed Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the AMAs, supposedly Mayer’s latest (but short-term) conquest. Notice that although Kanye appears at certain gigs, you don’t see or hear him very much anymore? Oh, you know why. He’s a flipping pariah. A moron. It was widely rumored that George Clooney even exempted Kanye from his Haiti fundraiser, because he didn’t want the aggravation of another dust-up like during the benefit for New Orleans. Although Kanye was telling the truth about Bush’s actions before and during and after Katrina hit New Orleans, subsequent incidents have proved that Kanye also runs his mouth without regard to himself or others, too. Once a man reaches a certain age, it shouldn’t take his mama to set him straight. Mayer needs to take a big hint, stop pissing off what’s left of his fans, and to stop whoring for tabloids. The last thing he said in the Playboy interview was, “In 2010 my goal is to get more mentions in Us Weekly than ever.” Oh, hell no. Bad publicity is like drugs–it will not only kill you, but kill your career.