Put On Your Warpaint…When It Suits You.

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So I’ve recently read about War Paint’s criticism and consequential apology with regards to an interview with Q Magazine about Beyonce and Rihanna.  Now honestly I had never given Warpaint much thought.  I enjoy a good female harmony as much as the next bloke, but with the amount of time I invest in the world of Hip Hop I don’t really get much of a chance to venture out.  But when I heard that they had some choice things to say about Beyonce and Rihanna, I have to admit, I was intrigued.

As a fan of Jay Z, I, by default, respect and admire Beyonce…but truthfully, I never was an avid listener of her work.  Now Rihanna…whatever, if you would’ve asked me about her five years ago, I would have given you a boiler plate haterville born explanation of her.  But I’d like to think I’ve matured, and I have to admit, she is a hit machine, and her and Beyonce both have some serious pipes.  Do I have either of them on my computer for easy iPod syncing? No. Of course I’ve YouTubed their songs and caught the latest video’s of their recent hits, but ultimately I feel a cooking show starring Action Bronson has more merit than a big budget video from pop stars, but that’s just me.

Now Warpaint, like I said, I don’t know much about, but I do know a bunch about people.  I spend several nights a week working the door of a club that caters to hipsters in their early 20’s to early 30’s, and like Warpaint, they too have some ideas on what is what.  I don’t have an issue with what Warpaint had to say about Beyonce and Rihanna.  I have an issue with them apologizing.  Stand your ground.  These days every other college kid is joining a group to fight against some sort of injustice.  That’s great, we need people doing that, but what I also see amongst these people is: a) They don’t really have an answer to the problem b) They don’t seem to have any real connection to the issue they’re fighting for and c) They won’t even fight for the issues they claim to stand against.  The moment many young and enthusiastic idealists come into contact with people actually making them stand by what they believe in, they regress and hide behind false walls built on watered down hippy ideologies.  They won’t take the bumps and bruises that may be required to have your opinion matter.  They duck and run, tuck their tales behind their legs and skid addle.  They claim that we live in a time that violence isn’t the answer.  They preach anarchy, but expect everyone to play by their rules.  And they’re easily toppled by stronger and louder voices.  Basically they’re pussies.

I recognize that using a word like “pussy” to describe someone as weak can be viewed as sexist, but for the sake of this rant, I’m going to allow it.  Even my using this word and the effects it has on people shows how weak we’ve become.  With all the atrocities in the world…all the famine, war, rape and murder, and calling someone a pussy is what they choose to be outraged about?  But I digress.

No one stands for anything any more.  No one has the guts to see things through.  No one laughs in the face of danger for the right cause.  All we have now is a bunch of suburban youths (defined: white) that squeal at the thought of violence, try to live a life so politically correct, they can’t seem to find humor in anything any more, and they can’t seem to even stand up for themselves or their own family.  I’ve seen young men watch their mothers get tossed into bushes by bullies.  I’ve seen “activists” give a cold shoulder to a beaten and bloody homeless man asking for an ambulance.  Warpaint is just another example of this.

They had an opportunity, they actually said something.  Not everything a woman does is an act of feminism. Warpaint’s Theresa Wayman said:

“It just gets worse,” she adds. “Every song on Beyonce’s last album has her basically looking like a slut and she does not need to do that. She’s gorgeous and so fucking talented. And they all take it as women’s liberation!”

When I read this I was honestly pretty pleased.  On the one hand, what guy doesn’t enjoy seeing Beyonce in her videos as Theresa says, “hyper-sexualized”.  But if I’m being honest, it isn’t doing anything positive for the voice of women as a whole.  Now is it Beyonce’s duty to be the poster woman for feminism?  Of course not. So they make these comments about Beyonce and Rihanna in the interview with Q, and then before Beyonce and Rihanna even have a chance to respond, they drop an apology letter that has them back peddling.  Here is where my problem lies.  I don’t even necessarily agree with Warpaint, but if you’re going to say something, stand up for what you say.  I don’t care if you feel the quote was taken out of context or what.  In the end you said it.  Own it. They were this close to making a believer out of me.  They were one step away from actually standing for something.  They had just about made it to the peak of human consciousness, and then they turned around and washed it all away.  This is why Occupy Wall Street didn’t have any lasting effects.  This is why things like the Patriot Act are still active.  This is why banks and corporations can do what they do…because we don’t mean what we say.

Warpaint said something, it was honest, it was raw, and it was uncensored.  Then they went and censored themselves for fear of losing popularity, being criticized, or whatever other reason.  They were right from the get go.  It isn’t women’s liberation if the music video you put out has guys jerking off.  You’ve lost sight of the goal then.  But they didn’t stand by their beliefs, they let the ideal of the masses questioning them silence what they believed.  Their morals took a backseat to commerce and social media.  This isn’t how a better world gets created.  This is how we tear down that better world.  Then again…I’m a male, an at times pig headed, chauvinist male.

@HankTheReal