Category Archives: Art

UPDATED (2/19): NEW COLUMN: Grammys: Great Porn, Maybe, But Music It Was NOT

Art, Celebrity, Critique, Music, Sex

NEW COLUMN is “Grammys: Great Porn, Maybe, But Music It Was NOT.” It’s now on WND.COM and The Unz Review. An excerpt:

I used to have some respect for Lady Gaga. With all her pretentious Yoko Onanisms, Stefani Germanotta, Gaga’s real name, is actually a hard-working and, at times, polished singer.

But to watch Gaga, at the 61st Grammy Awards, perform a number called “Shallow” was to endure an assault on the eyes and the ears.

Legs permanently splayed like an arthritic street walker, Gaga traipsed around catatonically, attempting to head-bang, but getting disoriented. Some things are best left to a macho, metal-head guy.

Gaga’s look was not a good one. But her sound, which is what counts here, was positively terrible. Yet, Gaga—lugging microphone and mount around like a geriatric with a walker—was a highlight in what was a pornographic, cacophonous extravaganza.

Aside the gorgeous Alicia Keys, host of the 2019 Grammys, who is talented and charming, and Dolly Parton, a consummate pro—the event showcased the gutter culture that is the American music scene. The country is truly in the musical sewer.

The petulant female artists, so proud of their seized power, showcased power, all right—but it was all in the hips, the pelvis, and in thrusts and twerks of the tush. Not one transcendent, inspiringly beautiful dance move did these throngs of crass stompers execute, on the pimped stage.

Janelle Monáe? The sum total of this artiste’s musical “talent” is simulating sex on stage. “Let the v-gina monologue,” she hissed venomously at her adoring, masochistic fans, while moving her nether regions to a base, atavistic beat. Indeed, in an orifice, Miss Monáe has found the right interlocutor.

Let us stipulate for the record that this is never about lyrics. Cardi B screaming that she “likes morning sex” but that nothing in this world does she love “more than checks” is not an issue.

Put it this way, if the greatest composer ever, Johann Sebastian Bach, set his divine, god-like cantatas to the saucy, naughty lyrics of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, would I decry his sublime composition as immoral? Don’t be daft. The music of J.S. Bach would still be sublime if it were set to Cardi B’s gutter language.

My point: Cardi B doesn’t make music. The category for which she and her sisters should be nominated, if I am being charitable, is street theater.

Incessant, asinine, genital-speak is one of the things that distinguishes these female artistes (as in “a person with artistic pretensions”) and makes them particularly repulsive. Do they not realize some things are best left veiled and mysterious?

Women of Monáe’s ilk are first to robotically protest the objectification of their sex, but are complicit in ensuring that The Act itself suffers the very same fate: sex has been made an object, a fashionable accessory, part of an empowering, emasculating life-style.

Screaming there was aplenty at Grammys No. 61. But good voices? None at all. Informed we were that the insipid Kacey Musgraves, a two-chord whiner, is what passes for country music, these days. …

… READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “Grammys: Great Porn, Maybe, But Music It Was NOT,” is now on WND.COM and The Unz Review

UPDATE (2/19/019):

Linda Ronstadt on modern country music:

I don’t listen to modern country music. I don’t care for it particularly. I like old country music, when it still came out of the country. What they call country music now is what I call Midwest mall-crawler music. You go into big-box stores and come out with huge pushcarts of things. It’s not an agrarian form anymore. When it comes out of the country, it’s not farmers or woodsmen, or whatever. It doesn’t make much sense. It’s just suburban music.

61st Grammy Awards: Another Great Porn Show. Music It Was NOT

Aesthetics, Art, Celebrity, Culture, Music, Sex

Other than the gorgeous Alicia Keys, host of the 61st Grammy Awards, who has talent and is certainly charming, and Dolly Parton, a total pro—the show showcased the gutter culture that is the American music scene. We are now truly in the musical sewer.

The petulant female artists, so proud of their seized power, showcased nothing much but hip movements, pelvic thrusts and tush twerking. Not one inspiring beautiful dance did these crass stompers execute on the elaborate stage.

Janelle Monáe? Sum total of her “talent” is simulating sex on stage.

‘We need a new word to do this justice … vulvic?’ Janelle Monáe’s Pynk.

Screaming? Oh yes. Good voices? Nada. The insipid Kacey Musgraves is a two-chord whiner who makes me miss Sarah McLachlan.

Great melodies? Nothing; other than a few truly great old songs botched by the newbies’ ugly warbling: it’s the custom. Nobody learns to sing properly.  For example, a screaming duo, Chloe x Halle, absolutely mutilated the exquisite, emotional song, “Where Is The Love,” performed in 1972 by Donny Hathaway and the magical Roberta Flack.

Again, not one memorable song did I hear, sporting a decent chord progression and some melodic variety; not one vaguely competent guitarist or instrumentalist: nothing.

Understandable. Why bother to acquire instrumental proficiency, instruction in composition and voice training when the swaying hips, jutting pelvises or just attitude (Dua Lipa) are what’s on sale and  in demand?

I used to have some respect for Lady Gaga. But to watch Gaga, legs permanently splayed like an arthritic hooker, traipsing around clumsily, attempting to head-bang, but getting disoriented (yeah, it takes a metal-head guy to do that), then lugging microphone and mount around like a geriatrics with a walker and Depends: this was not good, to put it mildly.

The tartlets I watched “sing” at this Grammys would have been even more inaudible and tuneless were it not for the Auto-Tune: the “holy grail of recording,” that “corrects intonation problems in vocals or solo instruments, in real time, without distortion or artifacts.”

This T & A line-up would be reduced to even more embarrassing grunts, out-of-tune yelps, and bedroom whispers, if not for the Auto-Tune.

Most of the performers were  G-d-awful as musicians. They sustain one or two pitches and exhibited little proficiency on any of the instruments they belabor.

Camille Paglia On Second-Wave Feminism & The Misseducation Of Millennials

Art, Culture, Feminism, Gender, Sex

Some iridescent wisdom and truth from Camille Paglia:

Millennial are easily upset, and their education has been without a realistic introduction to the barbarities of human history.

At  the same time that kids are detached from history and knowledge, teachers in the UK, where the education system is better than the US’s, have rid the classroom of the study of classical civilizations.

Hard knowledge is the goal of education. Abstract and detached study

Most of your teachers are going to be conventional. You have to seek out the thinkers and the knowledge. Go to the library.

MORE: Camille Paglia On Second_Wave Feminism and Much More.

RELATED is my writing on feminism and female achievement, in particular:

“The Silly Sex.”

And to quote from another of my columns, “No one cares how many ancient Greek poems Sister Sappho set to music. Good music always was—and remains—male …”

Barack Obama’s Kitschy Official Portrait: Looks Like Wallpaper That Has To Be Scraped Off For A Renovation

Aesthetics, Art, Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s foliage-filled portrait is bad art. Dreadful. Was it inspired by the interview the former president once gave Zach Galifianakis, host of “Between Two Ferns”? (Here Galifianakis let Barack Obama drone on, “Between Two Ferns,” about “that thing that doesn’t work.” Galifianakis is a good kind of goofy.)

Comments on art should exclude politics. I don’t care who the artist is politically. All that matters is whether his art is good or bad. That’s the issue at hand. Kehinde Wiley’s Obama art is ghastly. Like wallpaper that has to be removed for a renovation.