Everyone Loves an Ike

13 Feb

DISCLAIMER:  I made absolutely no attempt whatsoever to temper my anger in the following post.  The result is rambling. Proceed with caution.

So I know people have been all over this but I just can’t help myself… seriously, Grammys?  Chris Brown?  There aren’t plenty of other performers that you could have gotten to perform last night?  Other performers that, say, aren’t girlfriend beaters?  Especially considering that when Chris Brown was arrested on a felony assault charge three years ago it was at the pre-party for this very same awards show?  I am not arguing that the Grammys should be some sort of moral guide for how we should all behave out in the world, but this one sort of seemed like a no brainer.  So I thought to myself, self, you actually know nothing at all about the Grammys other than that it happens once a year and there is a lot of fanfare and you never watch it because you find award shows boring.  So, I decided to go on the Grammys website and see what it’s all about.  What follows is their official Mission Statement:

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture — from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined musical breakthroughs of future generations of music professionals. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with The Recording Academy to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage.

So the Grammys achieves the mission of advancing the “contribution of recorded music” by engaging the “cultural community” and saying “hey, cultural community, we here at the Grammys have absolutely no problem with performers who beat up their girlfriends.”  This sends the message that not only is it okay to hit your girl and that the world will forgive you your misstep, but also that being beat up by your boyfriend actually isn’t as bad as you thought!  I mean, if the Grammys, and the music community, accept Chris Brown back, why shouldn’t you accept your boyfriend back?  And, while you’re at it, why don’t you go on one of your social networking sites and tweet or update your status to reflect the our societal acceptance of wife beating by making the point that “hey, Chris Brown, you’re sexy.  You can beat me up any time you want.”** Because apparently if the face is pretty then the fist must be, also.

According to their statement, the Grammys also works to bring to the forefront of conversation important issues such as “the value and impact of music.”  I would really like to ask the Grammys how they define the word “impact” because I would imagine the “impact” of a fist to your face would qualify as an important issue in the music world especially when that fist and that face both happened to belong to big new stars in the music biz.  But, apparently not.

I then decided to look and see who is on the board.  I had a sneaking suspicion that the board was made up largely by menfolk and wouldn’t you know it, I was right!  Of the 18 people on the Board of Directors, only 5 of them are women. (In the interest of full disclosure I have to say that the Grammy Foundation Executive Staff is split evenly by gender, with two male executives and 2 female.  The president, however, is male.)  Anyway, so now I have this image of these 18 board members sitting around this huge marble conference table (much like the one Kanye West tweeted about) and one of them goes “hey, guys, you know what would be an awesome idea?  Let’s have Chris Brown perform at the Grammys this year!  I mean, it’s been long enough, right?”  And after a little mild deliberation, they decide that, yes, 3 years is plenty of time for everyone to either forgive or forget that whole unfortunate “Rihanna incident” and, besides, she’s “over it” anyway so why shouldn’t we be?

Well, you know what?  I am not over it.  If Rihanna wants to forgive him for what he did, that is her decision, her prerogative, and hers alone and I have no judgement one way or the other.  But for a mainstream event, one that is watched by millions of people, many of them women, many of them young, to basically declare that smacking your girlfriend around is a forgivable offense, well that just makes me eyeballs itch.  For an organization that claims to prioritize the “impact of music” and the “urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage” to condone this behavior through its approval of Chris Brown is disgusting.  All the Grammy Foundation has managed to preserve is the tendency for our “rich cultural heritage” to further reinforce our uniquely American breed of patriarchy.  Shame on you, Grammy Foundation, I will continue to not watch your award show.

**This post was inspired by my loving boyfriend who enjoys getting me riled up by sending me links to sites and articles that will raise my blood pressure, all from the safety of his desk in midtown.  The tasty nugget today featured a link to a list including the following actual status updates and tweets written by real women who some how exist in the world:  “call me crazy buttttttttt I would let Chris Brown beat me up anyyyy day” and “I don’t know why Rihanna complained.  Chris Brown could beat me up any time he wanted to” and “Dude, Chris Brown can punch me in the face as much as he wants to, just as long as he kisses it.”  This then sent me on a downward brain-spiral during which I lamented that the society in which I live is one where women actually play into, and make light of, situations that are clearly detrimental to their well-being.  Because, apparently, tweeting about being beat up by a good-looking man is reasonable.  Hopefully none of these women will ever be in the position that Rihanna was in but, if they are unfortunate enough to be a victim of domestic violence, let us hope they are met with more support and compassion than they, or the Grammys, have shown.

One Response to “Everyone Loves an Ike”

  1. Mindy February 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    I have to add something from today’s FranklyRebekah post and here it is. Concerning that, albeit boring, awards show, The Grammy Awards 2012 (for those of us not in the ‘know’) is and continues to be the most boring, commercial burden, bad staging awards show. All of these shows are unbearable to watch. However, I must admit to watching, a little selfishly, in hopes that one of the ‘famous and rich’ people at the Staples Center would screw up and I got to see them when they did. Kind of like Madonna at the Superbowl loosing her balance for all the world to see….but I do digress…..

    First, I had some trouble getting past the stupid, ridiculous, pretentious, unfortunate, stupid (I know I said that twice, but they deserve it) show, in the first place. But then, to add insult to injury, they have Chris ‘effing’ woman-beater, bad dancer (sorry going up & down steps does not, in my mind, make anyone a good dancer…) whatever the hell his last name is….be a featured performer on the show? WTF? And that is the way I felt until after a cooling down period AND a few beers, I realized Rhianna was ALSO a featured artist…..OMG! Do you think she knew he would be there? Do you think he knew she would be there? Do you think they have buried the hatchet (not in each other) and were fucking each other backstage? Perhaps in their dressing rooms, where they probably pooled their gift bags and traded them for some “echstasy er marajewanna”? And don’t ya also wonder about those gift bags, I mean really. People are begging on the streets not really far from the Staples Center, and they are enjoying a 3,000 pack of Godiva Truffles and 26 electric pliers.

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