The Eminem Show

I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t let Hailie listen to me neither…

I realize it’s a little late to review Eminem’s latest spewage, but forgive me. I’m an old white guy who “still listens to Elvis”. But I am also an old white guy that can’t stand morons that spout off against stuff they’ve never listened to or read. Okay, so maybe that’s me too (FearDotCom), but I try to make sure I actually read The Catcher in the Rye before trying to ban it!

Please, remember the following things about me: I’m white, 40, lower middle class, married, two kids (one teenager, one about to be). I do not naturally relate to anything Eminem talks about. I don’t drink or do drugs. I hate guns. I don’t even swear, unless I am extremely stressed or want to use it for effect. So, why did I pick up The Eminem Show and start listening to it? And what sense could I possibly make of it?

For one thing, I am always suspicious of attacks on artists. As I said, I find a lot of people who like to pontificate on things that they have never experienced.

Here’s a prime example: When the deputy president of the University of Central Lancashire’s student union voiced support for a ban on Eminem, he said, “Personally I don’t know Eminem’s music but I’ve been told it contains homophobic material so obviously it’s a good reaction from the SU because it’s important to uphold anti-discriminatory policy”. (Hard-Prest News)

Additionally, I am always amazed at the short memories wandering around the world in otherwise well-educated brains. Oppose Eminem because kids are encouraged to chant “F-U-C-K”? Oooh, that’s new. Never heard that before *cough*Woodstock*cough*.

Then there’s the general public’s lack of a sense of irony–as when Jonathan Swift wrote that the solution to Irish poverty was to sell their kids to the rich as food or more recently when idiots mistook Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ as a patriotic anthem.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, Eminem’s latest album. I am somewhere in the middle of loving it and just liking it.

On the one hand, Mr. Mathers–sometimes eloquently–addresses his critics, his ex-wife, his mother, his enemies, me, etc. with tight, clever lyrics:

Lets do the math, If I was black I would’ve sold half… – White America

…hip-hop was never a problem in Harlem, only in Boston… – White America

…dial straight down the center eight-zero-zero/ you can even call collect, the most feared duet, since me and Elton played career Russian Roulette… – Business

I’m not the first king of controversy/ I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley, to do Black Music so selfishly/ and use it to get myself wealthy (Hey)/ there’s a concept that works… – Without Me

The thing is it seems like every song is aimed that way. It gets weary after a while. Yes, Marshall, we get it. It’s a joke. You’re beset upon by morons. Can we move on?

When he does move on, though, there are some brilliant moments where he opens up his hurts for us to share. In this, the album is very much like John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band. It’s primal scream therapy that we’re invited to witness.

So, the quick summary from someone he could give a flying fuck about:

Well, it’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it. I’d give it an 85.

Oh…and when I asked my daughter what she thought, she said, “Who’s Eminem?”

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8 Responses to The Eminem Show

  1. theresa says:

    For the record, I really like Eminem’s new album. He’s just got such a way with words. He’s a fantastic rapper. Too bad what he says causes so much contraversy 🙂

  2. Ric the S_c_h_m_u_ck says:

    While your opinion doesn’t surprise me in the least, I’m struggling with the visual of you listening to Eminem…. hee hee
    Personally, I haven’t even bothered to get nearly as deep as you have into it, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard of his stuff more than most rap…
    primarily because there is an actual hook to most of it. “It’s catchy” is not really the best description, but the hook is the thing, where pop music comes from, IMHO. Ah well, I’m gonna go back to trying to imagine you listening to Eminem… now that’s entertaining! 🙂

  3. Solonor says:

    Yes. I am down with dat sh*t mofo. Don’t be dissin’, while I’m representin’.

    Actually, Paul said the same thing: “Dad, when did you actually listen to this?”

    Picture, if you will, a fat white guy sitting for an hour in Borders with headphones…while several young dudes and dudettes pace around wondering when I’ll give it up…

    I gotta start getting review disks from Blogcritics or be more open with the wallet!

  4. Ric The S_c_h_m_u_ck says:

    I’m gonna stay with the visual of yoy driving down the highway with the sunglasses on, and Em up loud, with the windows shut (AC is important, silly) in a Slim Shady moment… does your wife know you actually listened to that? Can I tell Walter? bwahahahah I kill me. Sorry, really tired. But amused, with this Eminem talk.
    Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up.

  5. wKen says:

    Two, no three points.

    1. I’m glad you listened to his CD before forming an opinion. I don’t understand why people protest against something they know nothing about firsthand.

    2. I’m 43 (soon to be 44) with two teenagers (18 &15), but I listen to a variety of music and also watch MTV, BET, etc.. Instead of banning my children from listening to specific music or watching certain shows, I’ve always viewed the material with them and then given my opinion of what I enjoyed or objected to, and why. My kids say it has ruined them, because now they can’t see or hear anything without breaking it down like I have for them. I’ve tried to teach them how to reason on matters, but let them make their own conclusions (as long as they aren’t going to ruin their lives, or anything).

    3. Eminem has a talent with words. Dr. Dre is a musical genius that turned Marshal Mathers from a wannabe into a commercial and critical success. If the only knowledge I had of Eminem was his music and videos, I would be impressed. Unfortunately, he opens his mouth when not rapping, and ruins the whole illusion. I think he is a punk crybaby that uses his supposedly rough childhood as an excuse for abusing women and picking on those he considers weak. I don’t feel sorry for him, nor do I see anything about him worthy of imitation. Like Mike Tyson, who was talented as a boxer, M.M. uses his talent as a license to ignore any rules of civilized behavior. Ignoring the seriously violent and abusive nature of his message because he is witty and has good rhythm makes it appear that fame and fortune are more important than actions and character. If he only made music, I wouldn’t care, but he tries to push messages with his music that go beyond dance steps and grade school-like jokes about other pop performers. I just can’t listen to him whining about his mother or wife without thinking about his own abuses, anymore than I can listen to Michael Jackson and ignore the child molesting and personal disfigurement. Maybe it’s just me, but Eminem isn’t funny to me anymore. He’s just sad.

    Sorry for being so long winded. You made a great post.

  6. DominoTheCleric says:

    Is it just me, but M&M sure reminds me of Axl Rose. Talented, cutting edge, and basically a bit fat idiot. His 15 minutes are about done.
    I remember Billy Joel’s quote about Axl, [paraphasing] “just because your rich and sucessful, that doesn’t mean you’re smart enough to know what your talking about”. BTW, I like Ric’s visual, I can see you in a lowered Navigator with blacked out windows and a big subwoofer that goes “thummm, thummm”. When are ya gonna get some tats?

  7. Ric the S_c_h_m_u_ck says:

    Yes, yes, yes, that’s it, Domino! I forgot about the tats… And he’s gotta have on some shades, natch; a ball cap on backwards, and have his pant’s hanging down off his butt…. the Navigator’s gotta have a special, custom-made cup holder for the ’40…. now we’ve got that visual workin’… (Solonor workin’ on a ’40? whooo! I’m THERE!)
    ‘Course, the effect would be spoiled when those watching him tool around the neighborhood listened to what the changer was trackin’…
    Cuz after Eminem, then there’d be an Elvis song, or the beatles, followed by some Heads, then maybe REM or U2, trailed by George Jones or Flats and Scruggs, then a Dylan song or two, awww you get the idea. The poor homies wouldn’t know what to do with him!

  8. Domino says:

    Ya, then da’ homes would really freak when he dials up the Revolver Basement CD. 8^)

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