There Was A Time That Ridiculing Something That Was Different Was Not Racism

When I was a young teenager my aunt gave me a Leif Garrett  long playing record. Of course she meant well but I don’t think I even took the record out of the plastic wrapping.

Today the BBC reported that a German radio host  is accused of comparing Korean performing artists BTS to the Coronavirus. So in today’s PC/ cancel culture world , Matthias Matuschik is accused of being racially insulting. It doesn’t help matters that there have been documented incidents  of a racial nature which may be linked to the perceived origin of the Coronavirus.  Former US President Donald Trump is blamed for many things and one of them is inciting hate based on the way he refers to the Coronavirus.

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Korean born author Min Jin Lee  in a tweet believes that Matthias Matuschik directly compared BTS to a virus that has killed over 2.5 million people.   Ms .Lee ‘s tweet drew my attention to an article in Teen Vogue   written by Jae-Ha Kim. She makes some good points on why she believes that Matuschik’s clarification should not be believed.

I learn so much researching the blogs that I write for Get Real Philippines and this topic is no exception. I learned tonight that Teen Vogue is a source for political / social perspective. I am so tempted to hit CTRL D.

On his radio show, Matuschik did mock BTS for doing a version of the Coldplay song Fix You.  He used the words: blasphemy. I cannot name one Coldplay song to save my life but I can relate.

In 1988 I bought Tracy Chapman’s debut album. Along with the hits Fast Car and Talking Bout A Revolution was a song called Baby Can I Hold You.  More than a decade later I heard a version of it performed by a group called Boyzone. Talk about a name that perfectly describes what teenage girls want to see &  hear. There is this clear gulf between what Tracy Chapman is all about and what Boyzone is all about. I am sure Matuschik felt the same way about the BTS version of the Coldplay song.

Some of us music fans feel that we love talented artists who write their own songs and play their own instruments. We naturally get annoyed when the flavor of the month come along and they have no talent to produce their own songs so they hijack the good stuff. These guys (BTS types) were put together because they look good on a video and a photo opp. They can’t write songs or play an instrument on stage. It just feels so cheap.

I will let you into a little secret. There are groups who were formulated and marketed with the intention of appealing to teen and pre teen girls. That is exactly how I saw Leif Garrett back in 1979. Leif Garrett came back as New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys, New Edition, Justin Bieber etc,

You might say “But Gogs, The Beatles  and Elvis   made girls scream!”. They did but those two appealed to men and women equally. Fox Mulder  was fascinated with Elvis not Dana Scully. Oasis were guys not girls. Since then it is has been very hard to have that effect on both genders . I will admit that despite their pretty boy looks I enjoyed the music of Duran Duran but that is not even close.

Here we have a guy whose line of demarcation if a human deserves his friendship is the appreciation of a group of young boys who got together inorganically with the goal of appealing to prepubescent girls . And he feels most other people are inferior ? This is a guy ??

I really can not speak for millennials but when I was growing up men preferred the Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin , the Who , pre AM radio Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd. The kind of men who love Justin Bieber and that ilk are the kind who are mysteriously absent  from work when Miss Universe is on. Not that there is ………..

If you like BTS, knock yourself out. I do not and I have seen their type come and go. So called musical acts who rather dance on stage and make girls scream instead of playing instruments have always been derided by people who love rock and roll. Maybe that is exactly where Matthias Matuschik was coming from. Just because he said it in a time where Coronavirus , racial tension , statue toppling   and cancel culture are simultaneously in the forefront does not necessarily make him xenophobist.

2 Replies to “There Was A Time That Ridiculing Something That Was Different Was Not Racism”

  1. Long time before I replied. But you know, this is all about negative reviews. People say the government and other parties should take criticism. But if it’s popular stars and their rabid fans, they should be shielded from it? Duh. This shows the ridiculous (and unethical) methods that media companies use to protect their products.

  2. Apparently a free market enthusiast doesn’t like it when the market likes the opposite of what he does. Color me surprised. And I guess songs shouldn’t be created by the best songwriters, composers and producers, you know the people who probably specialize on it and the best performers shouldn’t perform (because I guess dance isn’t an artform, an artform best if you specialized in it). But I guess comparative advantages magically don’t work here.
    I can’t speak for old people but I’ve seen the rock and roll types come and go, probably exacerbated by their unhealthy lifestyle choices – not even company mandated, and last time I checked the guys on that list, they already went.
    Here we have guys who think contempt is a replacement for good quality articles. Peak mediocrity is when you feel other people are inferior but make poor articles whose only overarching argument is some random popular dude feels cheap. Filipinos really are peak mediocrity – shows with their average IQ of 86.

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