Arts & Entertainment

February 20, 2001

Nothing Like a Good Murder
   by leischj <>

You can't beat a good murder. Or at least the depiction of one.

When you find one, you know it. It climbs inside you and envelops you; keeps you warm like a down jacket. It stays with you, at least subliminally, forever, waiting to come out when you least expect and recreate itself through you. In the long list of natural highs one can attain, a nicely planned, brutally vicious killing is tough to beat. Moreover, the depictions of said murders are the dope that deliver the side effect.

Take, for example, the poor hungry soul who was slain by Vincent Vega while eating a Big Kahuna Burger in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. That was a beauty! How about Paul Krendler's "northern exposure" during the climax of this year's Hannibal? (If you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about; if not, I have no interest in playing spoiler.)

These films had a great impression on me. I am patiently waiting for my opportunity to release the spirit that lurks inside me - that which yearns to simulate these fine works of murderous art. One day, I have faith, my time will come. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Hopefully, by now, you're under the impression that my mouse is a few clicks to the left. I assure you, however, before you notify your local authorities, that I write the above lines in jest only. I write the above lines to illustrate that in reality, people who mock murderous acts depicted on film (or any other media) really do not exist.

Recently, however, people have become irrational. They've discovered something that absolutely must mean the end of civilization as we know it. His name is Eminem. You've heard of him. He's the latest rapper in the long line of those whose popularities spike momentarily and then return to flatline. His oft-quoted rhymes include those in which he rapes his mother, hates gays, and kills intimate family members. Eminem can be seen February 21 performing at the annual Grammy Awards.

Those "Grammies" will be picketed by GLAAD, the popular gay and lesbian activists group, and possibly by one or more women's groups as well. There are several flaws in the logic used by members of these groups. First and foremost, at best, Eminem's album must be considered a work of art; ie, this is no different than Tarantino's slayings in Pulp Fiction, or Ridley Scott's brain dissection in Hannibal. They, like Eminem, are not describing something that they did or plan to do. They all created a piece of art to be used for entertainment purposes only.

The other flaw with their logic will be seen in full color during the 2001 Grammies. Who will be sharing a stage with Eminem? None other than the prominent (and phenomenenly talented) gay musician, Elton John. Isn't that a slap in the face to the picketing members of GLAAD? How can you complain, with a straight face, about the work of Eminem, when one of the most respected and talented representatives of your lifestyle is not only condoning Eminem's work, but embracing and applauding it?

The answer is you can't. When you do, you sound paranoid, frenetic, and just plain stupid. Eminem and his music should not scare you. If you open your mind (ironically, the very thing you've been begging your friends and family to do), you may discover that it can actually teach you rather than scare you.

You should instead be afraid of people like Salon's Eric Boehlert, who are irrationally threatened by Eminem's expression. They're the ones who will raise kids that mastermind the next Columbine. They're the ones who are so unable to accept the views of somebody who's different, that they are lobbying to make the effort unavailable to all of us. They are the ones who basically want a government-run operation to oversee what is suitable for us to watch and hear.

They're the ones who don't want you to listen to Eminem or watch Pulp Fiction. They're the ones who didn't want you to read Catcher in the Rye. They're the ones we all need to fear.

Now excuse me, Eminem told me I have to go lock my wife in the trunk of my car. Damn! It really is true: you can't beat a good murder.

Published: February 20, 2001
Editor: stacy

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