Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Wisdom of Weezer

I learned several weeks ago that its not appropriate for a conscious person of color to like Weezer. It was an interesting exchange that I had with someone who once felt I was an ally in the struggle for social justice against whiteness, but now somehow saw me as a traitor because of my affinity for Weezer.

Is Weezer white people music? Prior to this moment I would have openly agreed with this characterization. It is really white ass pop rock music. But after I was prohibited from listening to it based on my status as a critical person of color, I now must stop for a moment and think about this. What makes it white people music? Those who buy it? If this was the case, then wouldn't mainstream rap music then be white people music, since white people tend to purchase most of it? Is it the people who make it? But then you'll find inconsistencies in that as well. Would Dave Chappelle's blind KKK character then make white or black music if he came out with an album? Or is it just that certain genres are white or black? Is all pop music white based on its level of mainstream appeal and play? Is then the characterization one of power? Therefore underground music would be black and above ground music would be white?

Obviously I have no answer to this, and no sure way out.

On a personal level, I'll continue to listen to Weezer just because at least five of their billions of songs have the ability to burrow into my brain and not leave for several days.

On a political level I find Weezer very useful in my theoretical work. Hopefully in a few days I'll share more on this, when I describe how their song El Scorcho helped me to develop my conception of patriotic blowback.

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