Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Eminem to appear onstage with Elton John: only evil can come

If it feels a bit cold in here, that’s because Hell has just frozen over. The world took a turn for the unconditional worst on Friday afternoon when the rumors began to fly that Eminem will perform his hit single ‘Stan’ on stage with none other than Elton John at the Grammy awards on Feb. 21.

Irony takes a distant second place to the sheer disgust that the idea of these two completely opposite people coming together appallingly brings about. I don’t even dare bother to ask whose decision this was, but the obvious truth is that it is a very bad thing.

At the mere surface of it there is an obvious obstacle. Eminem is a bigoted homophobe who hates everything about homosexual culture and everyone involved with it. And Elton John is gay. It would be much more likely that these two men would stand on a stage, facing each other with a pistol after walking 10 paces than perform side by side, or God-forbid arm in arm.

Now, the wonderful people at the Grammys would have you believe that this is a good idea. Don’t let them fool you for one iota of a second! Of course it’s a good idea if you’re a member of the Grammy organization. They have been the target of shots and attacks from gay rights activists, non-stop since the day they nominated Eminem for five awards a few short months ago. Not once has the organization come out and publicly defended the nominations. Instead they have sat behind closed doors like the squatting cowards that they are, afraid to stand up for the fact that they truly appreciate Eminem’s talent. We have heard about how Eminem has a rightful claim to all of these nominations from every critic in the western hemisphere, though. After all, he sold millions of records, and musically, the album is brilliant, so why shouldn’t he be nominated for awards? However, not a word has been uttered from the people who started the controversy in the first place.

It seems like this is their first and possibly only response to the remonstrations. They figure that putting Eminem on stage with an openly gay man will probably cut the amount of protestors in half. If you’re the Grammy people, you’ve got to love that.

Now, the wonderful Eminem would have you believe that this is a good idea. Don’t let him fool you for one iota of a second! Of course it’s a good idea if you’re Slim Shady. Ever since he became the pill popping, foul-mouthed primary nuisance of the entertainment world, he has been searching for a way to make people understand that he shouldn’t be taken seriously. ‘I don’t mean what I say on my records,’ he so valiantly pronounces every time someone questions his morals. Well, here’s the ultimate opportunity to prove that. If he actually stands by the things he says on his albums (not that I agree with any of them for one second) then he should leave it alone, and not take this opportunity to patch things up. Rapping with Elton John would be some sort of an admission to his haters that they are right. That is the point when he stops letting his music speak for itself.

We can hear the lyric on your next album already, Eminem. I’ll tell you what, I’ll even write it for you. You can steal it from me if you want. ‘How can you faggots say I hate gays when I’ve preformed on the stage with Elton John?’ For Eminem, a better opportunity has never come along. There’s nothing but positive press he can get from something like this, and he comes off like a hero – a hero who will no doubt use the situation to become even more of a jerk.

Of all the parties involved, I can’t even fathom what Elton John gets out of this. Firstly, he has always been an extremely big activist in the fight against homophobia. How spending four minutes on stage with a man who earned millions of dollars from an album with the lyrics, ‘My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge/ I’ll stab you in the head whether you’re a fag or a lez/ and a homosex, hermaph or transvest/ hate gays? The answer’s yes,’ is going to benefit any cause that he has ever fought for is beyond my wildest imaginations. I’m going to go on a hunch and say that I really don’t think that Eminem likes Elton John that much. The whole calling him a fag was what tipped me off, but the stabbing him in the head is what actually sealed the deal in my coming to that realization.

What is Elton John trying to prove? Does he see something in Eminem that every other homosexual person in the entire world does not notice? Hell, I’m a straight man, and I easily take everything that Eminem says about gays as obviously offensive. Even if Elton John does see something out of the ordinary, there’s one more extremely unusual topic being abundantly ignored here.

Remember back in 1997, those heart wrenching videos of Elton John at Gianni Versace’s funeral, weeping and clinging closely to Princess Diana for solitude? Allow me to quote the words of our good friend Marshall Mathers, ‘Hey, it’s me, Versace/ whoops, somebody shot me/ and I was just checkin’ the mail. Get it?/ checkin’ the male.’ Elton, the man made a joke about of the death of one of your best friends. An explanation about why you’ve decided to chill in his crib is certainly in order.

If what I’m assuming is happening here is actually going on, then it’s simply unacceptable. Everyone involved is part of the most massive publicity stunt of all time, and for them, the perfect way for we, as the on looking public to handle it is to ignore it and enjoy the beautiful irony of Eminem and Elton John collectively.

Well, if we do that, then we’re not fulfilling our obvious duty to question the garbage we’re so clearly being fed. I sincerely hope that the people who dedicated themselves to protesting what Eminem stands for do not stop because they think the problem has been solved. The problem that they were initially protesting has not been solved. It has simply been covered up with duct tape.

Something is very wrong with a collaboration of Eminem and Elton John. Each man is the evil epitome of what the other has overtly announced his hatred for. There are simply too many significantly important issues being overlooked, and to force people to ignore those issues is simply unfair. The Grammy people should be ashamed of themselves. Elton John should be ashamed of himself.

And Mr. Mathers, though I love your music, I still think you’re a bad, bad man. Singing with Elton John for four minutes is certainly not going to change my opinion on that.

Ryan Benharris is a Collegian Columnist

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