You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Apr 7, 2009
Memo to Ben Shapiro and Big Hollywood: PLEASE, NO MORE RAP BATTLES.
Even though I've grown generally disillusioned with the overall quality of Big Hollywood's wingnuttery, on those rare occasions when they actually live up to their mission statement and provide cultural commentary from Hollywood wingnuts, they can still provide hours of entertainment. Now, admittedly, Ben Shapiro is not a Hollywood wingnut. He's a garden-variety Washington wingnut, a 25-year-old vat-grown douchebag whose entire curriculum vitae would vanish if you used a time machine to prevent the right from building up its incestuous mutual admiration society. For reasons that will soon become apparent, here is a picture of Ben Shapiro.
Benny writes the occasional bit of pop-culture criticism for Big Hollywood, because, well, Wendy's can't trust him to count to two and three when making doubles and triples. And a week or so back, he published one such missive, with the clever title "Rap Is Crap". Why Ben Shapiro is using a semantic formulation that was old, tired, and obvious at least three years before he was fucking born eluded me, until I looked at his picture. Shapiro opens by criticizing rapper T.I., using the time-worn and sad-ass technique (c.f. picture, above) of telling us what the T.I. stands for - Total Imbecile or Thug Idiot. Ha! You sure showed him, B.E.N. S.H.A.P.I.R.O.!*
Shapiro rags on T.I. for getting busted buying a bunch of machine guns and silencers, and doing 1,000 hours of community service as a result. I must have missed a fucking memo, because the last time I checked, we were all supposed to be stockpiling machine guns, silencers, and anything else we can find that flings lead, on account of Barack Obama's plan to take all the guns away. Apparently this missive only applies to white males with no teeth, gold or otherwise, because when a rapper does it, even if he never ambushes and kills Philly cops, he's DANGEROUS.
From there, Shapiro hits all the points you would expect. T.I. has lyrics about sex and guns! He has illegitimate children! With funny names! Some politicians don't condemn the entire rap genre! Rap has no harmony, and therefore isn't music! OK, that last one's a bit unexpected. Most people say "rap isn't music... because I don't like it!". Shapiro actually goes the extra mile and bases his declaration with a completely specious reading of both rap and music theory.
Anyway, it all would have ended below my radar, except that failed stand-up comedian Tim Slagle stood up to defend rap against the slanders of Ben's excessive albedo. And, in the credit where credit is due department, acquits himself nicely. I mean, obviously, if you've had The Rap Argument with people on the Internet before it was the Internet, you'll have hit every point Slagle makes, but to his credit, given how stupid he normally is, he doesn't even try to thread The Needle Called Quest. He just told Shapiro to take the stick out of his tight, white ass (c.f. picture above). This prompted a response from Shapiro, and suddenly Big Hollywood was Usenet, 1996. Will Shapiro back down in the face of a fellow conservative with a mild appreciation for both hip and hop? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"More to the point, I would argue that there is no common ground between the rap culture and us. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Tim’s arguments in favor of such a common ground are based on fundamental misconceptions about political coincidence of interest. Tim says both conservatives and rappers have a fascination with guns and a distrust of government. This is true in the broadest sense. There’s only one problem: conservatives are fascinated with guns so that they can defend their liberties and property from the 50 Cents of the world."
To be fair, Shapiro goes on to clarify that "the 50 Cents of the world" are drug dealers and robbers. But to also be fair, the main reason conservatives buy guns is because they think they need them to shoot unruly black people. And these days, that appears to include the president.
And then the whole thing escalated briefly, with shitty documentarian Michael Wilson comparing rappers to global warming deniers, and shitty comics writer James Hudnall listing fifteen great rap songs, which includes Beastie Boys, Eminem, Will Smith, and Linkin Park. It's ADORABLE. And then Tim Slagle reiterates that the Republican Party will never appeal to non-assholes until assholes like Ben Shapiro shut up and pretend they're not assholes. Which is fair enough, but can Republicans bring themselves to lie about one MORE thing? Only time will tell.
*Being Extremely Nerdy, Showing How Assholish Prickery Imbues Republican Outrage. And I do this five days a week in my spare time, Ben. There's no excuse for you sucking as hard as you do.