and the world gets just a little more confusing...
February 10, 2001 5:22 PM   Subscribe

and the world gets just a little more confusing... Wait 'till you read who Elton John, who last year was honored by GLAAD with an award for his efforts in fighting homophobia, has decided to perform a duet with at the Grammys!
posted by BGM (16 comments total)
OOPS! I forgot to mention that I found this article on the Drudge Report.
posted by BGM at 6:06 PM on February 10, 2001

Maybe Elton thinks eminem is cute?

You know, they always say that the biggest homophobes are closet homosexuals. Using that reasoning, Eminem could be a loving son and husband with a little AC/DC in his sex life, on the inside...
posted by DragonBoy at 6:07 PM on February 10, 2001

I gotta say, my respect for Elton John just went up about three notches. Not because he likes Eminem, specifically, but because he thinks for himself rather than toeing the politically-correct line set by GLAAD.
posted by kindall at 6:27 PM on February 10, 2001

A formerly great, but now embarrassingly washed-up artist wants desperately to keep himself in the public eye, long after contemporary music trends have left him in the dust. How does he do this? Duets. It worked for Sinatra, and it's been Elton's M.O. for the last decade. (When he could find the time, that is. He's also been pretty busy with his other projects. High profile grieving for dead, famous blondes, and whoring oneself out to various corporate interests can be time-consuming, and I hear that Mickey Mouse is a jealous pimp.)

Eminem's sociopolital views don't matter to Elton John. In fact, I seriously doubt that Elton has more than a passing idea of who Mr. Mathers is. That's not the point. The point is, now that Elton is considered by almost everyone on the planet to be musically acceptable, (a sad state of affairs indeed, for a once vibrant and exciting artist,) he can dispense "adult-contemporary" credibility at will. He can make the controversial into the conventional, the marginal into the mainstream. He is a Demographic Blender. The theory being that the groups that Eminem has managed to offend will say to themselves: "Well, if Sir Elton will be seen onstage with him, then I guess Eminem is not such a bad fella after all."

And so they will sing their duet, the audience will applaud, Eminem will have gained a smidgen of faux legitimacy, and Sir Elton, The Fame Eating Monster, his appetite momentarily sated, will skulk back to his cave, and wait for the phone to ring again. And ring, it will:

Secretary: Mr. John....Someone called "Puffy" on line one. He'd like to discuss your upcoming duet with J. Lo.

Elton: (with his mouth full of bon-bons) What the bloody hell is a J.Lo?
posted by Optamystic at 7:17 PM on February 10, 2001

Eminem has sociopolitical views? I thought he was merely highly adept at rhyming.
posted by gsh at 7:38 PM on February 10, 2001

> I seriously doubt that Elton has more than a passing idea of who Mr. Mathers is

This is just a silly statement. I'm not a fan of either Elton or Eminem, but I do know that Elton seems to be somewhat clued in to mainstream music stuff. He spoke out about liking Eminem six months ago. To me, it seems that he really likes the album. What do you base your doubt on?
posted by gluechunk at 7:56 PM on February 10, 2001

This musical meeting of the minds is both provocative and lucrative- a deadly combination. Aside from that, who cares?
posted by xtrmntr at 9:37 PM on February 10, 2001

Elton John is just doing the same thing Aerosmith is doing, anyway.
posted by hijinx at 9:47 PM on February 10, 2001

Hey, I'm not slamming unduly on Elton or Marshall, in particular. I just think it's funny that people (GLAAD, etc.)find things like this worthy of their concern.

If Elton wants to spend his twilight years as a corporate pablum-factory, that is, of course, his business. Same way it's Eminem's business if he wants to say bad things about gays, straights, minorities, whatever he has to do to remain "controversial" and extend his alotted fifteen. That doesn't mean that I have to swallow what they're trying to feed me. In fact, I reserve the right to sit in the back of the class with my dark glasses on, and have a little fun with them. The way I see it, everybody's a winner. I get a little chuckle out of it, and they get a big, fat, check. Nobody got hurt, and we can go about our respective days.

posted by Optamystic at 10:39 PM on February 10, 2001

Boy George on Eminem

"He's very pretty," says the Culture Clubber. "Maybe that's why he's so paranoid. Any man that's kind of attractive is going to be paranoid about his sexuality."
posted by david hedge at 7:34 AM on February 11, 2001

Of course, everyone is required to be politically correct, and do what the lobbying agency that you can most nearly associate with wants you to do, because it makes them look good.

If you look at Eminem, you'll see what a lot of people who can look past the shock value, hype, and absurdity of it all see... a scared man. He was probably a screwed up child, and now he is just a messed up adult. Add into that the influence from the element that he most fell in line with (the harcore, street roaming detroit crowd), and you start to understand his psyche. I think deep down he knows he is absolutely full of crap.

And as for Sir Elton John, I hardly think 'washed-up' is an appropriate term for him. His music is classic, and always has been. Just because someone doesn't produce an album every year, and sell 1+ million copies of it in the first week, that doesn't make them washed up.
posted by benjh at 9:01 AM on February 11, 2001

I'm a bit amused that Elton's said to be performing the Dido song "Thank You" that's incorporated into "Stan". (I'm also amused at the mondegreen where the lyric "my tea's gone cold" is reasonably transformed into "my tears gone cold".) Dido performed it with him on SNL, though; can't she make the Grammys?

Of course Elton can do what he wants. And not everyone thinks that Eminem is himself intrinsically homophobic, perhaps he just writes songs from a homophobic persona, or finds the shock value commercially helpful. And GLAAD gets to put out their press release saying it's confusing and hurtful. That's free speech all around.
posted by dhartung at 1:49 PM on February 11, 2001

It would seem to me that if Mr. Mathers were the raging homophobe that his lyrics suggest, he'd want nothing to do with sharing a stage with Elton in all of his glorious outness. Nothing else that Mathers has done in the entirety of his career has been about establishing "legitimacy" or "respectability" or silencing his critics, (if he had no critics, he'd have no Grammy noms or platinum records, after all) so I don't see any reason to believe that either of those are his goals in this performance. It's just odd.
posted by Dreama at 11:57 PM on February 11, 2001

We're talking about the Grammy awards here. Why should anyone think there is anything legitimate about this duet? They will perform, Emenem will win a Grammy, and three years from now he'll be nothing but a trivia question.

Elton John, although a great musician in the past, has always been more image than anything. He'll fit right in with any modern pop star.

posted by bondcliff at 6:26 AM on February 12, 2001

I'm not sure why there's such a big deal made out of Enemanem's lyrics. They're no more homophobic than most rap.
You shouldn't take this stuff seriously. Lots of rap is all about posture.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:28 AM on February 12, 2001

A couple of thoughts:

Elton John has long been reported to keep his finger on the pulse of what is happening in pop music.

Here's Elton from his website talking about his passion for pop:

"As most people know, I am fanatical about keeping up with the latest trends and developments in popular music. Every week, wherever I find myself in the world, I always visit my local CD shop and pick up anything that's new or interesting. As an artist, it's something I love doing and feel extremely passionate about. "

EJ has in fact expressed admiration for Mathers as an artist, both in television interviews and in a album review of the "Mathers" CD on his personal website.

I think Elton's reaching out to Mathers in this instance is similar to the time when EJ performed with Axl Rose (who? ;) of Guns-n-Roses after Rose had been publicly denounced for lyrics that were perceived by some as anti-gay. Elton gives Mathers the benefit of the doubt, maybe expands the boy's paradigm of what a "gay" person is... a stance which IMHO is infinitely more effective than standing up and screaming at someone who has a multi-platinum microphone, a loud mouth, and attitude to burn.
posted by russh at 9:02 AM on February 12, 2001

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