The Grammys’ Good Taste Police

If the performers have any brains and conviction, they would boycott the Grammys.

As it turns out, Janet Jackson has been invited NOT to attend this year’s Grammy awards because of her Super Bowl half-time stunt. And I am certain there are many who applaud this decision.

But I wouldn’t clap too soon.

Janet Jackson did nothing more outrageous or in poorer taste than is done on television every day. As a matter of fact, much of what passes for entertainment on prime time TV is insulting, degrading and reflects the worst in humanity. But it sells.

Blockbuster hit television shows such as the Survivor, Bachelor, Bachelorette, Fear Factor, Paris Hilton . . . etcetera; celebrate, encourage and reward greed, duplicity and selfishness. The more extreme the better.

Even the huge American Idol show is more about embarrassing and demeaning would-be Idols, than it is about real singing talent. True, some great entertainers finally come to the surface at the end of the series, but to reach them, hundreds of hopefuls have to be publicly humiliated in the process.

Ed McMahon hosted Star Search out of Disney World for several years, where unbelievably talented and accomplished singers, dancers, comedians and beautiful models strutted their stuff. No one was humiliated in the process of picking a winner. And everyone who watched every week was treated to superb talent.

For some reason though, polite and refined Star Search is second banana to rude and crass American Idol. This says a lot about what the producers think we want to watch.

The Grammys will be giving their awards this Sunday night to Rappers who have no idea what music is really about. They all sound alike, and do their rhymes to the same repetitive beat. Nonetheless, the Grammy organizers will be honoring groups which sing encouragingly about cop killing, rape, gang wars, wild sex and drugs.

The singers will be showing up wearing gangster garb, near naked dresses, huge hanging jewellery, and enough tattoos to make a longshoreman jealous. But to the television network and advertisers, this will be great fun and family entertainment.

Now for the censorship of Janet Jackson:

If the performers have any brains and conviction, they would boycott the Grammys. This censorship and punishment imposed upon Janet Jackson will come back and bite every one of them in the ass. Us included.

Who other than the viewers and listeners should decide what is in good or bad taste? If it were up to some, they’d yank most of the crap that is already on the air. Some would ban Howard Stern, while others would ban Michael Savage, and the Sopranos would never have seen the light of day. The list would never end.

It isn’t Janet Jackson who’s to blame, or should be blamed for bad taste. It is the entire industry and the people who view and listen to it. Many, I’m certain were outraged by Madonna’s open mouthed lesbian kisses last year. So, why isn’t she banned from the Grammys; both her and her two cohorts?

I won’t hold out much hope for a boycott of the Grammys by the big-name performers, since they all have too much greed and too little principles to stand up for what is right. But I could be wrong.

The Grammys’ producers and wrong. They are not the good-taste police or the judge and jury for good taste. If they were, they would have to be impeached.

Don’t misunderstand me. I think that what Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake did was tasteless and should not have happened. It was crass and demeaning. But it was also nothing more than the entertainment industry has been promoting for a generation.

The solution to deal with what Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake did is simple: Don’t book their acts. Don’t buy their records. Don’t produce their records. And don’t constantly showcase them on popular television programs like Entertainment Tonight. Or listen to what the people want, and treat the entertainers accordingly. Don’t invite them to perform at “family” events.

There is obviously a market for certain types of entertainment. So just know your market. But if you’re intent on playing with fire, don’t cry when you get burned.

To ban Janet Jackson from the Grammys is an outrage.

And speaking of outrage. Why has Janet Jackson been singled out for this horrible treatment but not her co-conspirator and partner-in-crime Justin Timberlake, who is up for a series of Grammys?

I never watch the Grammys because I am not a fan of what passes for music, and I really don’t like the entire hip-hop gangster drugged-out scene. But; if I normally watched, because of the treatment of Janet Jackson, I wouldn’t.

1 Comment

  • As I told you before, you would know the right decision. I think you made the correct one. I will never seek public office again either, although I am frequently encouraged to run again. I choose not to for a lot of the same reasons you did. I agree with your decision. The hardest thing about running for office is people assuming you are crooked–and they do. I’d rather raise hell as a private citizen–then there is no doubt that I am not a bought and paid for puppet.

    Teri Newman, Belleville IL

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