Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why in the World Am I defending John Mayer?

Parental Discretion Advised, there is some (not a lot, I promise) strong language in this post.

So, I'm a bit of a celebrity nut. It's not a big secret, I'll admit it openly that I am certainly fascinated by celebrity and pop culture. It is a world I would NOT EVER want to be a part of, but thoroughly enjoy reading and hearing about.

In short, it entertains me, and I'm all about being entertained.

That being said, because I love to learn about the personalities behind the actors, musician and others in the industry, there have certainly been times when a celebrity's behavior has completely turned me off their work (ahem, Kanye West anyone?)

There have also been times, especially now in the age of Twitter, when the personality of someone has actually turned me onto their work.

One such celebrity is John Mayer.

I've always liked every John Mayer song I've heard on the radio, but I had bought into the media casting him as "a cad and a douchebag" (the media's words, not mine).

So, I'd always been a little bit turned off his music.

And then, I saw one of his tweets retweeted by someone else, and it absolutely cracked me up so I started following him. What I learned then is that he is witty, sarcastic, self-deprecating, and not at all the way the media portrays him.

The thing is, he very much has a sense of humor that reminds me of my ex, Cognac (
click here if you're curious about that particular bit of my history, but not until you finish this post, ok?)

See, Cognac had a lethally sarcastic sense of humor. He had a way of saying things that were biting, and hilarious, but went over most people's heads. If taken at face value, out of context, or at all seriously, he came across as a bit of an a$$hole. I have vivid memories of smacking him in the arm and saying "shut up, they'll take you seriously" oh, so many times.

John Mayer strikes me that way.

So, today, when the world was all a-twitter about his supposedly racist remarks, and his incendiary comments about Jessica Simpson, I was intrigued, and a little amused. I tweeted something to the effect of: " I believe John Mayer is laughing it up that everyone is taking him so seriously".

But like everyone else, I hadn't yet read the full Playboy interview which sparked all the controversy, so I was reserving full judgment until I did.

Well, I just did. And if you have not, I hope you will. Here's a link, but keep in mind, this is an interview for Playboy magazine, so the language, and subject matter is not rated G: John Mayer Interview.

Here's what I have to say: First of all, people really LOVE to get all worked up about every little thing, don't they?

Secondly, yes, John Mayer made a huge mistake using the N word in that interview. By no means do I believe him to be racist or that his remarks were racist, but that word? I don't believe it should ever be uttered. By anyone. At any time. White or black.

John addressed his decision to use that word in his twitter stream today: 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.

Regarding his comments about dating black women and his racist genitals...that was just an idiotic comment but again, not racist...if you really dissect it and look at it, the complete opposite of that.

And then there are the comments he made about Jessica Simpson. He said she was "crack cocaine" to him, and that she was sexual napalm. Okay, so perhaps (not perhaps, definitely) it was inappropriate for him to talk about their private sexual life in an interview (even if it was a playboy interview), but you know what? I don't know that I'd be offended if someone said I was sexual napalm, and as addictive as crack cocaine...offended that he was publicly laying out there, yes, but...come on, he just said the intellectual equivalent of "that girl is the bomb".

Read the rest of the interview, which is LENGTHY and you'll see he addresses his insecurities, his "douchebaggery", his immaturity, his love for Jen Aniston, and so many other things.

Taken out of context, yes, those comments can be seen as ignorant, rude, inappropriate, and all kinds of incendiary. But in the content of the full article, he made some dumb statements, he spoke out of turn about some of his sexual conquests, but man, did the media pick apart an interview and ignore 90% of it to focus on just a few words.

It's been said that John Mayer is the most hated celebrity in Hollywood. I'm not sure how true that is, but he is certainly the one everyone loves to hate.

I'm not entirely sure why this particular issue spoke to me so much, and why I felt I had to defend John Mayer. He certainly doesn't need my stepping up to protect him. I'm a fan of his music, I think he's super talented, but he's not even one of my celebrity crushes. I am not one of those girls who goes gaga over celebrities (Donnie Wahlberg excluded, of course).

But I am also not a fan of witch hunts. And I hate ignorance. And I despise when folks all jump on the lets hate someone bandwagon without knowing all the facts.

I don't know John Mayer personally. I have no idea if deep down he is a good guy, or a complete a$$hole.

But I read the interview. And I don't think he deserved the beat down he got for it.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know, I'd love to hear your thoughts, and am certainly willing to consider your viewpoint.


Nicole said...

People just LIKE to get bent out of shape about everything. Maybe JM likes to get them riled up. It certainly would be fun, especially if whatever you might say will be taken out of context anyway.

PS You are so articulate. I wish I could word things as well as you do.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you; so many are commenting on this without reading the article and while things said were not appropriate, it is not what the press is making it out to be. He is very talented, and I don't know why the press goes on and on about who he dates; he is a single man after all. He is the victim du jour, who will it be tomorrow?