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Washington Times Columnist: “Half-White” President Silent On Death Of Beastie Boy

Washington Times columnist Joseph Curl seems to believe he’s uncovered proof of Barack Obama’s racism in the fact that he didn’t say anything about last week’s death of Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys:

Adam Nathaniel Yauch died Friday. If you’re age 16-66 — maybe 106 — you know him as MCA, one-third of the Beastie Boys. He was 47. Way too young. But gone.

Now, half-white Barack Obama (exactly my age) didn’t say a word, even though he was talking to college kids that day, but make no mistake, MCA was no Jay-Z or Kanye West. This guy was the real deal, groundbreaker, up from his bootstraps, Brooklyn boy made good. Funny the “coolest president ever” doesn’t say a word about the passing of MCA. Weird and kinda sad, actually.

(…)

The president took time from his busy schedule to comment on the passing of black musicians. When Whitney Houston, a longtime crack addict, died this year, the White House put out a statement. “I know that [Mr. Obama’s] thoughts and prayers are with her family, especially her daughter,” press secretary Jay Carney said. “It’s a tragedy to lose somebody so talented at such a young age.”

And when accused pedophile and drug addict Michael Jackson died in 2009, the White House weighed in with the president’s thoughts. “He said to me that obviously, Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer, a music icon,” spokesman Robert Gibbs said. “And his condolences went out to the Jackson family and to fans that mourned his loss.”

Mr. Obama is said to have 2,000 songs on his iPod, but he’s never mentioned the Beastie Boys.

Now, I’m mostly in the same category as James Joyner when it comes to The Beastie Boys. I recall them breaking on to the music scene in the mid-80s and seeing the video for their first song on television a few times but, beyond that, I mostly tuned them out since I wasn’t a fan of rap or hip-hop. Nonetheless, I’ll take for granted the comments that many have made since Yauch died about the influence the group has had over the years. Taking all that as true here, I’ve got to ask, what the heck is Curl talking about here? Since when does the death of every musician require a Presidential statement of some kind?

Matt Welch at Reason comes up with what I think is possibly the best response to this nonsense:

JUST STOP IT.

Seriously, as both a fan of the Beasties and a non-fan of Obama, what I really want more than anything is to keep those topics separate, because they have nothing to do with one another, on account of politics being a tawdry zero-sum game and music being totally awesome. I’m not sure what’s the sicker impulse here, to seek artistic validation from the White House, to politicize each and every last good goddamned thing about life, or to make this somehow all about race.

As Welch goes on to point out, the thing that distinguishes Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson from Yauch isn’t their race but the fact that they were both mega-stars that sold tens of millions of records each and filled stadiums at the height of their careers. With all due respect to Mr. Yauch, he simply wasn’t in the same category. Moreover, the fact that a President makes a comment on the passing of one artist or celebrity is really a reflection of their own musical taste, it doesn’t create some obligation to give equal treatment to others. Otherwise, the White House Press Office would spend half of it’s time writing press releases about dead celebrities. If Mr. Curl is upset that the death of Yauch has gone unremarked upon by the White House, how about the death yesterday of George “Goober” Lindsey from the The Andy Griffith Show?

Besides, if Obama had said something about Yauch’s death, then it’s likely that Curl and those like him would be writing an entirely different column:

[W]ouldn’t we be having a huge, ridiculous discussion about how Obama was trivializing and demeaning the presidency if he had said something about Yauch? Wouldn’t we be hearing about the sexism of the early Beasties lyrics, the reported link between the notorious Glen Ridge rape case and the Beasties’ “Paul Revere,” not to mention the inflatable penis used in their early live shows and the fact that a working title for the first album was Don’t Be a Faggot (never mind the fact that the Beasties repudiated much of this youthful obnoxiousness as they got older)? Did Obama need that grief?

Of course, it’s hard not to see the racial undertones in Curl’s column. The President is “half-white,” or as they used to say in the Old South, a mongrel. He remained silent on the death of a white celebrity but not on the deaths of two black celebrities whose biggest achievements in Curl’s mind appear to be drug use and being accused, and acquitted, of molesting children. Obviously, Curl wants his readers to reach certain conclusions about the President based on the artists he did publicly memorialize. not to mention language he’s using in the column. But, then again, if they’re reading The Washington Times, they probably already have those thoughts in their mind anyway.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    But you’re talking about the Washington Times here. I guess somebody must read that rag, but nobody I know.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Mr. Obama is said to have 2,000 songs on his iPod, but he’s never mentioned the Beastie Boys.

    Maybe the president never had to fight for his right to par-tay, and therefore could not relate to the Beastie Boys?

    Seriously, you have to wonder if the Obama Campaign didn’t pay Curl to write that piece?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  3. Hey Norm says:

    “…half-white Barack Obama…”

    Seriously…what is the reasoning behind exposing this clown and his racist idiocy to more bandwidth?
    I understand you aren’t endorsing the view…but you are giving it oxygen.
    Stop it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  4. Adam Nathaniel Yauch died Friday. If you’re age 16-66 — maybe 106 — you know him as MCA, one-third of the Beastie Boys.

    I’m 24, have never heard a Beastie Boys song in my life, and didn’t know who Adam Yauch was when he died until someone told me he was a member of the Beastie Boys.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    When a person searches far and wide for a reason to be angry and insolent almost always they’ll be “successful,” so to speak.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  6. James in LA says:

    One setback for conservative thought is it seems to rely on some form of “because I experienced, so did everyone else.” I had no idea who the Beasty Boys were, or more likely, had mercifully forgotten such bastions of patriotism as “you have the right to fight to paaaar-tay” and so forth. MCA who, again?

    Like most what passes for conservative politics, this is a rant for rant’s sake. The “Passing of Goober” seems to prophesy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  7. Tillman says:

    This guy was the real deal, groundbreaker, up from his bootstraps, Brooklyn boy made good.

    And white, let’s not forget that Yauch was white. This is significant because it gave him some structural advantages in rising from hardship to wealth Jay-Z and Kanye West didn’t have.

    But no, we shouldn’t point that out. That’d be bringing facts to a fable fight.

    Count me in the “who cares” crowd for this one. I honestly can’t get worked up about someone being insulted that the President didn’t honor the passing of a favorite musician.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @Timothy Watson: That state of (very sad) affairs easily can be remedied. You don’t need even to wade through their entire catalogue. My prescription is as follows:

    Down a 12-pack of cheap beer. Fire up “Rhymin & Stealin,” “She’s Crafty,” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” Then go out and make it rain at a strip club. Or dive right into a mosh pit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. James Joyner says:

    It’s really a shame about Goober.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  10. John Cole says:

    As Welch goes on to point out, the thing that distinguishes Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson from Yauch isn’t their race but the fact that they were both mega-stars that sold tens of millions of records each and filled stadiums at the height of their careers.

    What is it with you and James both downplaying the critical, cultural, and financial success and reach of the Beastie Boys.

    The Beastie Boys sold 40 million records worldwide, packed stadiums for 25 years, were nominated for a dozen Grammys another dozen VMA awards, as well as being one of the most significant influences virtually every rap and hip/hop artist since the formation of the Beastie Boys. Paul’s Boutique is, without question, one of the most influential albums ever made. They are the longest lasting rap/hip hop band in existence.

    No, they were not Elvis, or the Beatles, or Michael Jackson. But as far as musical success goes, there are not too many individuals or bands in between Elvis and MJ and the Beastie Boys.

    It’s just staggering to me that you and James feel this way and keep minimizing and downplaying the impact of these guys, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  11. @John Cole: Uh, really?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  12. anjin-san says:

    Is this another clever distraction created by the Obama campaign to trick people into not looking at their record?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @Hey Norm:
    I’m with Doug on this. The right is in denial about its very substantial racist elements. Exposure helps — not with the racists, because of course they know they’re racists – but there are decent conservatives who really don’t seem to get the motivations of those standing beside them.

    To repeat what I’ve been saying pretty much forever: Republicans welcomed racists into their party in the 60’s and 70’s, and today they cannot win national elections without them. Decent Republicans need to face up to the fact that they are in the business of harboring evil people and selling their own principles down the river for votes.

    Racists who occasionally comment here like to call that race-baiting, or falsely claim that I accuse every Republican or conservative of being a racist. That’s a lie. I accuse them of caring for, watering and feeding racists in order to advance their own political agendas.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  14. michael reynolds says:

    @Timothy Watson:
    I have to assume that was satire from Cole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  15. @michael reynolds: If it was, I apologize, and well paid sir.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  16. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @John Cole: Different strokes for different folks?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. John Cole says:

    @michael reynolds: @Timothy Watson: It wasn’t satire at all. Looking at the list he provided, the vast majority of the people at the top of the charts were at their peak in a market that was decidedly different from today. You wanted to listen to Elvis, you had to buy the album. The entire top portion of the list is top heavy with folks from the 60’s and 70’s.

    How about Jay-Z? You all would consider him to be a worldwide superstar, right? He sold 50 million albums compared to the Beastie’s 44 million. And you simply are failing to recognize the critical success and their importance to the overall rap and hip/hop genre. Paul’s Boutique was groundbreaking. Period.

    Hell, let these people explain it to you. http://www.hitfix.com/articles/eminem-jay-z-madonna-react-to-beastie-boy-adam-yauchs-death

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  18. John Cole says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: I wouldn’t deny the impact or importance of another band simply because I didn’t like it or was never exposed to it or couldn’t name a song. So no, it isn’t just different strokes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  19. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @michael reynolds: Michael, again you’re jumping the shark tank. The crackers on the right are no more embedded in the GOP and no more necessary to its success than the likes of the denizens of Boston, Mass., the “Birmingham of the North,” are embedded in the Democrat Party and necessary to its success. Shit, Michael, in Boston they literally were rioting about race as late as the 1970’s and whites there were fighting tooth and nail against public school integration as late as the 1980’s.

    The following would be a useful and illuminating experiment for you: Go into any white dive bar in any of the following liberal Democrat strongholds: Hell’s Kitchen, N.Y., Canarsie, Brooklyn, N.Y., Howard Beach, N.Y., Bronx, N.Y., Boston, Mass., Providence, R.I., Yonkers, N.Y., Lowell, Mass., Worcester, Mass., New Brunswick, N.J., Philly, PA, Trenton, N.J., Pittsburgh, PA.

    Talk up the locals there about race and class. Try to “celebrate diversity” with them. Chief, you’ll be in for a rue awakening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  20. @John Cole: Go to page two and look at Rihanna: “Total available certified units: 74.3 million”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  21. anjin-san says:

    Adam Nathaniel Yauch died Friday. If you’re age 16-66 — maybe 106 — you know him as MCA, one-third of the Beastie Boys.

    Not really. I have been pretty much obsessed with music for almost 50 years & do a fair amount of work in the music industry. I know there was a band called the Beastie Boys who had a “right to party” song – that’s about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  22. @John Cole:

    Nobody is saying you can’t like The Beastie Boys, but trying to argue that they’re even in the same league with someone like Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston (or anyone else on the list that Timothy Watson linked to) in terms of pop culture impact just seems silly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  23. John Cole says:

    @Timothy Watson: Did I make the argument that no one sold more albums than them? No, in fact i listed JAY-Z in the comment above.

    Look, the Beastie Boys were a gigantic critical and financial success. We’re not talking about someone like the Velvet Underground or the New York Dolls, who are always high on the lists of critics, always cited as important influences by music insiders, but then who sold collectively 50,000 records. We’re talking about a group that was very widely known, and both a cultural phenomenon as well as financial success.

    But I’m done arguing with someone who never even heard of them until the other day. It’d be like discussing the impact of American literature with someone who had never read anything by Heller, Brautigan, or Vonnegut, wanted to downplay their impact, and whose only response was “BUT ROBERT GRISHAM SOLD MORE BOOKS LOLZER.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  24. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @John Cole: Good point, fair enough. Although I’m not all too sure they’re trying to deny the Beasties’ significance. I think mostly it’s a case of musical and cultural ignorance. A person wouldn’t know just how influential the Beasties were unless he or she was very much in tune with the music industry, or unless he or she spent a fairly significant amount of time out of the burbs and on city streets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. John Cole says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I never said that. What I argued is that the influence and popularity of the Beastie Boys is much, much greater than what you and James and others recognize.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  26. KansasMom says:

    @John Cole: They can’t help it. Somebody had to buy all those Journey and REO Speedwagon albums.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  27. @John Cole: I never said I had never heard of the Beastie Boys, I just had no idea who Adam Yauch was.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  28. Freddie says:

    You know, you could reasonably argue that the rise of Def Jam was the single most influential aspect of music in the 80s. Without License to Ill, there’s no rise of Def Jam the way we know it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  29. MBunge says:

    Beastie Boys = Vonnegut? Really?

    But I think there’s also something that’s being missed here. Obama made those comments about Houston and Jackson because their deaths were sudden and unexpected. MCA announced he had cancer in 2009 and had been out of the public eye ever since.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  30. MBunge says:

    @John Cole: “What I argued is that the influence and popularity of the Beastie Boys is much, much greater than what you and James and others recognize.”

    The fact they don’t recognize that may argue for you being the one guilty of overestimating the Beastie’s legacy.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  31. rodney dill says:

    @James in LA:

    One setback for conservative thought is it seems to rely on some form of “because I experienced, so did everyone else.”

    I see this as more descriptive of the entire human condition, rather than something to pin on ‘conservative thought.’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  32. anjin-san says:

    I think mostly it’s a case of musical and cultural ignorance. A person wouldn’t know just how influential the Beasties were unless he or she was very much in tune with the music industry

    Or perhaps they are just people who got bored with the American music scene as a whole. In the the 80s, it went into a long decline that ended up with most mainstream music becoming a product, not art. It is about as vital as laundry soap. It is created, packaged, and marketed by huge corporations – a very small number of people decide what gets heard for the most part. They care about how much money they make, not how good the music is.

    It’s possible that you just missed the 60s & 70s, which were the indian summer of the long golden age of 20th century popular music. Personally, I was losing interest in rock & pop by the late 80s and spending a lot more time on jazz. At the moment, I have “Morelenbaum2/Sakmoto: Casa” on. Joe Bob says check it out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  33. swearyanthony says:

    @John Cole: Licensed to Ill allowed white people to enjoy rap/hiphop. And Paul’s Boutique is still one of the single greatest albums ever. I don’t understand why James and Doug aren’t just tagging these posts with “get off my lawn”.

    To the original subject of this post – you know if Obama had commented, the same authors would have written pieces criticising him, right? In the mean time, here, have Sure Shot. Not their best known video, but (I think) the earliest collaboration between the Beastie Boys and Spike Jonze: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhqyZeUlE8U

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. slimslowslider says:

    @swearyanthony:

    Agreed on Paul’s Boutique and the “get off my lawn-ness” of this post and some of these comments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. Tillman says:

    Man, I can’t wait for those dark days of the future when Justin Bieber will be taken from us, and one facet of the political spectrum launches holy jihad on the other for downplaying or lionizing his significance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  36. @John Cole:

    All I said in my post is that I honestly hadn’t paid much attention to The Beastie Boys and was really only aware of them from when the first came on the music scene. They simply never were in my musical wheelhouse, so to speak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  37. rodney dill says:

    @Tillman: What’s a Bieber?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. swearyanthony says:

    @slimslowslider: Kids today with their hippytyhoppy music and their low hanging trousers. Why can’t they just like the classics like Ted Nugent?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  39. Davebo says:

    Sorry John but name one Beastie Boy album that cracked that cracked the top 200 in the US or abroad after 1989.

    Not a lot of illegal music downloading going on in 1990.

    Nothing wrong with being a fan though. Hell, I listen to Zappa without drugs!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    So you equate crackers in 1970, and some imagined character in a mythological bar with a columnist for a major right-wing newspaper.

    Right.

    Your usual profound analysis, and thanks for making yourself into Exhibit A for my point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  41. merl says:

    @Timothy Watson: I’m 53 and the only think I know about the Beastie Boys is, I thought they sucked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  42. slimslowslider says:

    maybe i am misunderstanding the question, davebo, but Ill Communication (1994) hit number one on billboard as did Hello Nasty (1998).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  43. John Cole says:

    @Davebo:

    Sorry John but name one Beastie Boy album that cracked that cracked the top 200 in the US or abroad after 1989.

    You aren’t even trying. Take it away, wikipedia:

    “Ill Communication, released in 1994, saw the Beastie Boys’ return to the top of the charts when the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 & peaked at No.2 on the R&B/hip hop album chart. The single “Sabotage” (About this sound sample (help·info)) became a hit on the modern rock charts and the music video, directed by Spike Jonze, received extensive play on MTV. “Get It Together” reached Top 10 of the Billboard dance charts and also became an urban hit while “Sure Shot” was a dance hit. Some Old Bullshit, featuring the band’s early independent material, made No. 50 on the Billboard independent charts.”

    “Beastie Boys returned to New York City in 1997 to produce and record the album Hello Nasty. The album displayed a substantial shift in musical feel, with the addition of Mix Master Mike, who added to the Beasties’ sound with his kinetic DJ style. Released July 14, 1998, Hello Nasty earned first week sales of 698,527 in the US and went straight to No.1 in the US, the UK, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. The album achieved No.2 rank in the charts in Canada and Japan, and reached Top Ten chart positions in Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, France and Israe”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  44. slimslowslider says:

    sounds like you need some drugs, davebo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  45. mattb says:

    @Davebo:

    name one Beastie Boy album that cracked that cracked the top 200 in the US or abroad after 1989.

    Uhh… Hello Nasty debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts in 1998, took home 2 grammys, and featured at top 40 hit (Intergalatic). (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hello_Nasty).

    Before that Ill Communication (1994) also was #1 in the US (thanks largely to Sabotage).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  46. swearyanthony says:

    I am still marvelling at John Cole not being the whitest person on this thread. A thing of true glory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  47. swearyanthony says:

    @mattb: and fundamentally, if you were alive in the 90s and don’t recognise the genius and mustaches of the Sabotage video clip, you are dead from the ankles upwards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  48. John Cole says:

    @swearyanthony: Lol.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  49. sam says:

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. All this music history is (sorta) compelling, but I’m still in the dark as to which is the proper way to refer to the president. Is he half white or half black? Or does the description to be used depend on the audience to be fellated? I find it very hard to keep up with rightwing nutzoid coding and the rules for its proper use. Somebody help a sibling out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  50. george says:

    I’ve heard of the Beasty Boys, but like Whitney Houston, I couldn’t name a song they did, though I probably heard them on the radio without knowing it.

    It sounds like they had a large influence on music, but they’re not in Michael Jackson/Elvis/Beatles territory. Neither is Houston for that matter.

    But I’m wondering, if a President makes an unofficial comment about the passing away of a musician, why would you expect the musician’s greater influence to matter? Most of us like many musicians who have had little exposure or influence; their passing away would still effect us, because music is personal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  51. anjin-san says:

    Neither is Houston for that matter.

    I think she was significant for being a huge star rather than for anything she actually did musically. Great pipes, but there was no musical vision there. Lizz Wright, for example, who is not well known, has produced much stronger work.

    For all they accomplished, I don’t think I would put Elvis or Michael Jackson anywhere near the Beatles. They were simply in a class by themselves, and then some.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  52. Dazedandconfused says:

    Doug,

    The Beastie Boys approached the status of being the “Elvis” of their genre. -First batch of white boys to play their type of black music right. Massive fame and fortune was, of course, their inevitable fate.

    (dives under the desk for cover…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  53. Nikki says:

    @swearyanthony: It’s worse than you think. I’m the black girl who is slightly older than Cole and never knew any of this about the Beastie Boys. Heard “Right to Party,” promptly lost interest, didn’t like rap, hated the music of the 80s, went back to the 60s and 70s and began to explore jazz and blues. So, don’t feel too bad about lack of Beastie Boys love, white folks!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. anjin-san says:

    @ Nikki

    Here is one for you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPpeaETF1qE&feature=related

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  55. anjin-san says:

    @ Nikki

    And another…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNLCaKBdbYU

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  56. MM says:

    What this entire thread sound like:

    “Rap Music? No way. I call it (c)Rap Music. Am I right or am I right?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  57. al-Ameda says:

    @Davebo:

    Hell, I listen to Zappa without drugs!

    Amazing, how do you do that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  58. michael reynolds says:

    No, no, no, do not start dissing Zappa.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. John Cole says:

    @al-Ameda: Considering Zappa never did drugs, and even called people who did drugs assholes, you should be able to listen to Zappa without ever doing drugs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. Robert in SF says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: I have a picture here that helps explain the attitude of so many partisans:

    http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMS05YjFkMzUwNDEwNjE1ZjQ4

    It’s funny, actually, because it’s true!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  61. al-Ameda says:

    @John Cole:
    @michael reynolds:

    Actually, I went to high school with, and was a friend of, a guy who was one of Zappa’s drummers for many years. I’ve actually listened to a fair share of Frank’s music, and I was never high when I did so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. george says:

    @anjin-san:

    I’m not sure that the Beatle’s influence was that far beyond that of Elvis (for one thing, the Beatles claimed to have been inspired by Elvis). Both were slightly before my time, so I’m just judging on what I’ve read in terms of inpact. Michael Jackson at his peak had the same kind of impact, though he hasn’t had the same kind of longevity.

    It becomes hard to speak in terms of influence when one precedes another – for instance, I’d argue that Bach had a much greater overall influence than any of the above (and was a greater musical genius to boot) simply because so much of what is basic to even popular music has its roots in what he did. Nothing like getting into the game early to ensure your influence (Galileo for instance influences everything in physics today).

    Elvis made blues accessible to white folks, and that was a huge change. The Beatles changed the direction of it again, but I’m not sure their change was more significant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  63. jj17 says:

    Curl is a racist piece of sh!t!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  64. anjin-san says:

    @ George

    I would argue Elvis’ impact was more cultural than musical, musically, he did little after coming back from the army (did have a nice little run during the ’68 comeback). Culturally, his influence was vast, he made millions of kids, including the future Beatles, want to be rock n rollers.

    If you did not grow up in the 60s, there is no way to imagine how huge the Beatles were. They released a long string albums with the impact of Thriller, one after another, after another. They invented the singer songwriter genre. During the 1st week of April of 1964 the Beatles held the Top 5 spots on Billboard’s singles chart. They had so many firsts you can’t count them all. The first stadium concert. The first album with printed lyrics. The first use of recorded feedback. First band to do an album of all original songs. I could go on all night.

    All that in addition to an unparalleled body of work.

    Louis Armstrong was probably the single most important musical figure of the 20th century. Sadly, few people under 60 remember him now, and almost no one has actually listened to a Hot Fives record.

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  65. anjin-san says:

    No, no, no, do not start dissing Zappa.

    The white zone is for loading and unloading only…

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  66. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    Louis Armstrong was probably the single most important musical figure of the 20th century. Sadly, few people under 60 remember him now, and almost no one has actually listened to a Hot Fives record.

    I’m going with John Coltrane or Miles Davis.

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  67. Wayne says:

    I am not a big Beastie Boy fan but they were more successful and influential than Whitney Houston.

    However, the point is not about this one particular case. It is about many cases over a long period. Obama has thrown himself into many cases and back people when they were black. The black professor, Martin shooting, and many others cases where the person involved were black. However, similar or even more pronounce cases where the person is white, Obama remains silent

    This is just another case where people are pointing that out. Obama is very selective on what categories of people he comments on or supports. How anyone doesn’t recognized that is beyond me. Isn’t he supposed to be President for everyone and not just his selected groups?

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  68. mattb says:

    @Wayne:

    The black professor, Martin shooting, and many others cases where the person involved were black. However, similar or even more pronounce cases where the person is white, Obama remains silent.

    Of course, what you fail to note is that in every one of these cases — with the possible exception of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson — Obama only took a public position in response to a press question. It wasn’t like he stopped a press conference — or initially called a press conference — to spontaneously discuss Gates or the Martin cases. Likewise, his calling Kanye West a jackass was in response to a question.

    Now, from what I understand the White House did release a statement about Huston (and I think Jackson as well). But they issue a lot of statements. For example, like one Honoring the Teacher of the Year, who … gasp… was White! (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/04/obama-honors-national-teacher-of-the-year/)

    So unless you can find a significant amount of example of Obama dodging questions about white folk in similar situations to Gates or Martin, what you are doing is simply projecting your concerns about race without looking at the larger situation. The result is a claim that might look strong at first glance, but quickly crumbles into race-baiting.

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  69. slimslowslider says:

    @Wayne:

    The black professor, Martin shooting, and many others cases where the person involved were black.

    who are some of these many others?

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  70. Wayne says:

    @mattb
    You fail to mention that in at least one occasion Obama was talking to the member of the press that asked him the question prior to taking the questions. Traditionally much of what is discuss in press conferences are discuss prior to those conferences. Also Obama and his press secretary have shown many many time that they don’t answer questions ask of them if they don’t want to. He could easily and in some cases justifiably avoided answering some of those questions. He sure did on many occasions when it suite his purpose. Usually with an excuse like “it’s and local matter”, “as a top law enforcer of the country I don’t comment on ongoing legal cases”, etc.

    One does not have to document seeing Obama involving himself certain situations and avoided others for it to be true. I do not document T.O. or Kobe Bryant interviews and yet I know what impression they lift on me. T.O. is a big mouth that talks about himself while Kobe talks about team and in a more mature manner. Do I have it documented? No but that is my experience.

    Do you have it documented on breakdown of when Obama gets involved in situations or not? I didn’t think so.

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  71. mattb says:

    Ok, so clearly you’re just interested in the event that “prove” your race baiting view of Obama — that he only discusses black people.

    My point in documenting is that you need to show that’s he systematically dodged similar issues about “white culture.” Simply responding with “the president chooses to answer the questions he wants to answer” is an non-sequiter response. It demonstrates the fact that you aren’t interested in looking into any facts that might contradict your core assumption.

    Welcome to partisanville: population you.

    And, btw, what the hell does this even mean?

    One does not have to document seeing Obama involving himself certain situations and avoided others for it to be true. I do not document T.O. or Kobe Bryant interviews and yet I know what impression they lift on me. T.O. is a big mouth that talks about himself while Kobe talks about team and in a more mature manner. Do I have it documented? No but that is my experience.

    If you’re asking why the president gets documented talking about non-political issues, then why single out the current adminstration? This is something that goes back ages.

    And if you’re serious that Obama speaking on Kobe Bryant or TO some how proves he only cares about black people, then by the same token, what did it mean that GWB didn’t have any tracks by Women or Black artists on his iPod (source: http://articles.cnn.com/2005-04-12/entertainment/bush.ipod_1_ipod-playlist-country-music?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ )

    btw. the correct answer is absolutely nothing unless you’re looking for evidence to prove a thesis that you already held.

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  72. Wayne says:

    Obama has comment on New York mosque, Fort Hood shooting, positive comments about Occupy Wall Street, negative comments on the Tea Party, gets involved when liberal Sandra Fluke gets called a name but is silent when conservative women are called names. Granted it doesn’t always revolve around being black but where are the cases where he gets involved in condemning black on white violence or sticking up for a conservative from an liberal attacked?

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  73. Wayne says:

    It means that blogs are not documented articles. It is more often than not about perception, experience, and opinions. Although there is some documentation, it is by far, not typical.

    I never say he only comments on black people or what music one listen to means jack. I saying he is an extremely partisan liberal President.

    Can you name one instance where he took the side of a white over a black especially in a local law enforcement issue?

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  74. Wayne says:

    I meant conservative white over a liberal or black.

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  75. anjin-san says:

    Jeeze Wayne, give me your address, I am going to send you a few boxes of hankies.

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  76. anjin-san says:

    I am not a big Beastie Boy fan but they were more successful and influential than Whitney Houston.

    Houston was not a particularly influential artist, her career was based on her voice and her looks, and those are difficult to copy. Her music consisted pretty much of playing it safe, it was not the sort of thing that would make a young artist change direction or want to do something entirely new.

    That being said, Houston was not just more successful than the Beastie Boys, she was so much more successful then they were that it is not worth discussing. She was a worldwide megastar.

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  77. al-Ameda says:

    @Wayne:

    Obama is very selective on what categories of people he comments on or supports. How anyone doesn’t recognized that is beyond me. Isn’t he supposed to be President for everyone and not just his selected groups?

    Following your line of thought here, it would be fair to point out that Bush ignored blacks, hispanics, women and gays – not exactly his his selected groups, right?

    Honestly, you’re kidding, right? Aren’t you?

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  78. emma says:

    @Wayne:

    Not law enforcement matter, but he called Kanye West a jackass after the Taylor Swift fiasco. Does that meet your white over black test?

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  79. Plank Stumpgrinder says:

    @Timothy Watson: You’re comment is one of the most despicable on the web. I followed the link and get boatloads of data on album sales. What is your point? How do you disagree with John, and how does the link prove that you are right?

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  80. Plank Stumpgrinder says:

    @george: Beastie! Come on man!

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  81. FreedomCat says:

    @michael reynolds: You look like you need to eat a box of laxatives. Get over yourself you commie.

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  82. FreedomCat says:

    Clearly I stumbled onto a liberal rag. Won’t be back. Good luck commies.

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  83. Kilkee says:

    @Timothy Watson: Exactly. I’m a lot older, but still within the “66” range claimed. had no idea who the guy was. Heard of the BB, but not him specifically. I’m guessing Obama is in the same camp. They were not MJ or WH.

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  84. Kilkee says:

    @FreedomCat: Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

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  85. Kilkee says:

    @anjin-san: I’m EXACTLY with you on this, except that perhaps my musical exposure was more casual. Maybe more like the president’s.

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  86. mark says:

    @John Cole: WHAT are you smoking!!??…Thriller ALONE sold that many records…..and name ONE STADIUM..you know STADIUMS…60-80,000 seats, ONE Stadium those HACK wannabee Beastie boys EVER sold out!??? Shea Stadium??? NOPE…….if you totaled up Whitney and Michael’s amount of number one hits that would be the same number as JJ jazzy DMC mca do dah’s AGE when he died…..comparing the Bestiality Boys to Michael Jackson…Child P-lease! GROW UP and let go of your 7th and 8th grades

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