Monday, February 15

For Nora: A Boy AND a Video! Alternate Post Title: Masculine Monday - Sorry J Bear

So I told Joogly Bear that I wouldn't make John Mayer my Masculine Monday for at least a little while, but I couldn’t help myself. I've been listening to "Battle Studies," his new album and the subject of much debate at my house, over and over again recently, trying to develop a real opinion on it; plus he was recently on Storytellers on Vh1 and I really enjoyed that. Oh AND you may or may not have heard about this on every media outlet for the past few days (or, for the people who still read magazines and in particular those who read Playboy, though why you would be on our blog if you read Playboy is beyond me) but he also recently did this REALLY REALLY EPICLY STUPID interview with Playboy in which he said, just, SHOCKINGLY dumb shit. Here are some highlights (which have been highlighted all over the place but here you go again)!

On how he hasn't dated lots of black girls: My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I've got a Benetton heart and a fuckin' David Duke cock.

On the fact that black people like him (apparently): Someone asked me the other day, 'What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?' And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass?

On Jessica Simpson: Yeah, that girl is like crack cocaine to me. Sexually it was crazy. That's all I'll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm. Did you ever say, 'I want to quit my life and just fucking snort you? If you charged me $10,000 to fuck you, I would start selling all my shit just to keep fucking you.'

On the media and his relationship with Jennifer Aniston: There was a rumor that I'd been dumped because I was tweeting too much. That wasn't it, but that was a big difference. The brunt of her success came before TMZ and Twitter. I think she's still hoping it goes back to 1998. She saw my involvement in technology as courting distraction. And I always said, 'These are the new rules.'

Ok. So. Yes, there was more to the interview. And personally, I think the stuff that's been over-quoted has also, in some cases, been taken out of context. For instance, I don't think he means anything against Jennifer Aniston with the 1998 comment; he was talking about celebrities' relationship with the media, and how she wished it were simpler (read: no Twitter) like in 1998, and he's just accepting that it is what it is. I think he genuinely has a lot of love for her. For instance, after he started talking about how great Jessica Simpson was in bed, he interrupted his interviewer to say:

Pardon me for interrupting. I love Jen so much that I’m now thinking about how bad I would feel if she read this and was like, “Why are you putting me in an article where you’re talking about someone else? I don’t want to be in your lineage of kiss-and-tells.”

So I mean, obviously the guy lets his mouth run away with him, but he did try to reign it back in for the sake of her feelings. Which of course nobody notices, because nobody bothers to read the whole article (it's very long - here's the link if you want to read it yourself). Other than the stuff that is so obviously and blatantly inappropriate or over-the-top, basically what I get from the interview - and all I've ever gotten from any John Mayer interview I've ever read or seen - is that this guy knows he's talented, and he really just wants to be liked, but he's trying too fucking hard to be liked/appreciated/accepted. And what I honestly believe is his earnest determination to be liked and to be funny ("My Stupid Mouth" anyone? Third song on his first studio album and he's already saying, "Just wanna be liked, just wanna be funny/looks like the joke's on me) comes across, to many people, as being a huuuuuuuge douchebag. Which is understandable.

But I have to confess something to you. I still love him, and I feel like I always will. I care too much about his music to give up on him.

My affection for John Mayer started, as so many things did, back in 7th grade. "Room For Squares" was his only studio album at the time, and I wore that CD out TWICE. I loved his voice, I loved the way he wrote, I loved that he wrote about stuff that wasn't just love songs - though his love songs were really excellent, too. At this point, I've seen him in concert three times (he gets better every time and he was really good to begin with) and I own all his CD's, including the pre-Room for Squares "Inside Wants Out." Even though "Room For Squares" and "Continuum" are my faves, I still have songs I love from both "Heavier Things" and "Battle Studies," and I will continue to listen to his music as long as he writes it. And his personal life… I mean, it makes for good music. But here's my point: he is crazy talented. He knows he's crazy talented. But his songs - "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room," "No Such Thing," "Split-Screen Sadness" - they speak more than some douchey interviews - or a thousand douchey Tweets - ever could.

The fact is, he's apologized profusely for the interview, both through his Twitter:

"Re: using the 'N word' in an interview: I am sorry that I used the word. And it's such a shame that I did because the point I was trying to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualize using it, because I realize that there's no intellectualizing a word that is so emotionally charged.
And while I'm using today for looking at myself under harsh light, I think it's time to stop trying to be so raw in interviews. It started as an attempt to not let the waves of criticism get to me, but it's gotten out of hand and I've created somewhat of a monster. I wanted to be a blues guitar player. And a singer. And a songwriter. Not a shock jock. I don't have the stomach for it. Again, because I don't want anyone to think I'm equivocating: I should have never said the word and I will never say it again.I just wanted to play the guitar for people. Everything else just sort of popped up and I improvised, and kept doubling down on it..."

and at a concert in Nashville, where he was basically in tears and said "I just want to play my guitar."

Personally, I take his apologies at face value and I think, in context, a lot of the things he said make more sense and are slightly less inflammatory. I'm not supporting any sort of racism, I don't believe he meant the racial remarks he made (and I agree, he shouldn't have used that word) and I also think it's less-than-classy that he went on about his and Jessica's sex life, but in the context of the entire interview those two things were not the point. And yeah, he's a bit of a douchebag. Well, I'm sort of obnoxious. Chatty Kathy can sometimes be abrasive. People are allowed to have flaws.

But for the love of God, John. Take your own advice, pick up your guitar, and stop fucking talking.

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  1. Classy post Katie Dee. You mentioned all my favorite songs as well. I saw him do "Split Screen Sadness" live, which he never does and it was epic. And what do you mean I can be abrasive? I have never been called that and I am not flawed.

  2. "XOXOXO we have nothing in common."

  3. HAHAHAHAHAHA. That poem took a completely different turn and i want you to hear the rest...

    You're welcome. Love, your biggest fan other than yourselves.