2010 MTV VMAs: FLAMING Hot Ritual
POLITICALLY INCORRECT, and perhaps one of the most homosexually charged award shows MTV has ever hosted. In some way or another, EVERY performance elaborated on the metaphor of "Lighting up the stage" (some more FLAMING than others). And Lady Gaga was clearly the queen of the night, cleaning up the show with an outlandish 8 moon men! The world has clearly gone GAGA and I LOVE IT! Chelsea Handler, the "politically incorrect" talk show host was the perfect choice to host this year's show, as she ushered in the ceremonies with a dramatic exit (ON THE LAP OF RAPPER RICK ROSS). Let's take a look at the performances, shall we...?
Eminem and Rihannah, where they literally "light the stage on FIRE." Hot. Eminem opens in a pit of darkness, with nothing but a subtle green light to show the way as he comes on stage. The song, "Not Afraid" addresses his attempts to overcome drug abuse; a serious epidemic facing Americans. The performance is concluded by a surprise appearance from Rihannah to sing the song "Love The Way You Lie," about domestic abuse. Merely performing these songs highlights an incorrectness in American popular culture, with music that calls attention to drug use and supports "women beaters." How else do we address these issues without it coming off as "gay"? We perpetuate the images with beats that hit hard and a dope performances. Interesting.
(burning) sensation, JUSTIN BIEBER. By now, everyone is familiar with the coined phrase, BIEBER "FEVER", even KIM KARDASHIAN... who introduced him in such a way that condoned pedophilia. Popular Culutre's crush on Justin Beiber is just down right "politically incorrect." The boy is not legal yet, and still we have the industry whoring him out like a baby prostitute to "USHER" the teens of America into club/techno music before they are even of age. I was especially taken aback when REALLY young children took the stage (some as young as elementary school students), because I then found myself questioning what the cut off age was for "too young" to be thinking about finding love. Clever business tactic, but not very respectable. But what can we do? Justin Beiber is ADORABLE, ANDROGYNOUS with so much swag. AND he plays the drums...that's SICK. And so are we.
Usher, whose dance moves lit up the dance floor and the stage with a techno light cage. It's funny, because his latest single "DJ Got Us Fallin In Love" reminds me of the matrix effect of techno/club music. Music can actually release serotonin and make you FEEL like you're falling in love (Wait, so you mean to tell me that love is made up?! That ain't right! Exactly). It's taken one step further with his next song OMG, where he's just worshiping women by his admiration of their body parts. It makes him feel like a god-body. In this day and age, no one sees anything wrong with that. It's just a normal part of entertainment. Regardless, it's still politically incorrect and fits in with the theme. Notice how Will.I.Am performed with Nicki Minaj but not Usher? Wonder what that was about. Suspect.
Dog Days Are Over by the Florence and the Machine, is up for a more queer theory interpretation. The performance was definitely about Moon Worship, as the "Moon Light" cast a glow on the stage. The manner of the dancing even suggest some occult worship to Luna the moon goddess and dancing under a spell. The title of the song even suggests that it's time for the cats to awaken in the night. Either way, moon worship and pagan rituals are certainly politically incorrect, continuing the theme.
TAYLOR SWIFT, who had no choice but to acknowledge last year's performance because of the mere anxiety that the media created for this year's performance created. Her song "innocent" was a perfect way to light up the stage, as she emerges from the gloom of last year's embarrassment and still finds a way to shine through it...being "still an innocent." Now, some might say, "That's gay." Well, so was Kanye's drunken "politically incorrect" interruption last year... no matter how true his statement was. The sunrise illuminates the stage at the end of her performance, suggesting that the star rises again. The guitar she used in this performance, gives her a fairy vibe.
Next up, Drizzy Drake featuring Mary J. Blige and Swizz Beatz. In this performance, Drake's name is in FLASHING LIGHTS, lighting up the stage as he descends down the stairs of illumination. Now, I'm going to make a bold statement (since neither Drake or Swizz is with this song), but....I think Heartbreak Drake is gay. How many guys do you know that can list the different tools a woman uses to get "fancy" for events? He says it himself, "you don't do it for the man, men never notice..." Not to mention, his gesticulations suggest a subtle gay flare, but who cares? Not me. Keeping along with the politically incorrect theme (g'head...), the gender-bender question, "oh, you fancy, huh?" promotes effeminate behavior. It's questionable.
Bruno Mars, B.o.B, and Hayley Williams (my soul mate), with a medley of "Nothin on You"/"Airplanes"/"ONLY EXCEPTION". The stage was first illuminated by a cluster of shooting stars, symbolic of where these performers are in their careers. All with a flamboyant flair, Hayley with her hair, Bruno with his metro-sexuality, and B.o.B. with his exuberant energy. Again, we see the continuation of the politically incorrect theme. Haley concludes their performance with her HIT single "Only Exception," the stage is lit up, or better illuminated, by close network of lantern light bulbs. Hailey's anti-romantic emo music is politically incorrect, on its own.
Next was Lincoln Park with their song "The Catalyst". Their performance took place at an OBSERVATORY, as they sang about the wrongs that can't be undone. This is obviously a worship song (something politically incorrect for an event such as the VMAs) but a worship song for the celestial bodies. Needless to say, a new found glory...a new found religion was lighting up the audience with excitement. Very interesting.
And LAST but not LEAST, KANYE WEST'S PERFORMANCE of his new single RUNAWAY. He opens up his performance with a BRILLIANT WHITE LIGHT...as he plays his own beat. Truly original, and the song is yet to begin. But then his song begins, and the content reveals something else... the song is addressed to one (or all) of the females he's been talking to. He says:
I always find somethin' wrong/
You been puttin' up wit' my shit just way too long/
I'm so gifted at findin' what I don't like the most/
So I think it's time for us to have a toast...
I don't know what it is with females/
But I'm not too good with that, shit/
See, I could have me a good girl/
And still be addicted to them hoodrats/ (notice how "hoodrats" is a good cover up, could be men)
And I just blame everything on you/
At least you know that's what I'm good at...
Let's have a toast for the douchebags,/
Let's have a toast for the assholes,/
Let's have a toast for the scumbags,/
Every one of them that I KNOW/
Let's have a toast to the jerkoffs/
That'll never take work off/
Baby, I got a plan/
Run away fast as you can...
HUH? HE'S GAY!!! And the pretty ballerina's...it's all a PLAY!!! But his suit fit well.
Glee Cast to the Gay soldiers, to Lady Gaga sweeping up and to Kanye cheering up, this was truly a night to remember. I have a strong feeling this was a ritual in light of queer theory (notice that everyone was wearing white, black, or red again this year) and that we will certainly see some of the themes I discussed shining through in popular culture.