L.Hill

Singer Lauryn Hill is back in the news of late for all the wrong reasons – from her eviction to her facing jail time due to tax troubles – but throughout it all, no matter what troubles have come Hill’s way she’s made two things clear:

  1. She’s an artist.
  2. It’s never the artist’s fault.

Case in point, the brouhaha over Hill’s new song “Neurotic Society” and it’s seemingly anti-gay lyrics, like “We’re living in a joke time, metaphorical coke time/ Commerce and girl men / Run the whole world men” and “Greedy men and pride fiends / Program TV screens / Quick scam and drag queens / Real life’s been blasphemed”

From Huffington Post:

Lauryn Hill has responded to recent speculation over whether or not her song “Neurotic Society” makes anti-gay references by reasoning that it does not target any one specific group but rather “everyone in our society who hides behind neurotic behavior.”

Controversy sparked last month when the 38-year-old debuted the single and BET writer Monica Miller questioned if Hill was sending an anti-gay message by referencing “girl men,” “drag queens” and ”social transvestism.”

Over the weekend, Hill took to her Tumblr to explain the meaning behind the song.

“Neurotic Society is a song about people not being, or not being able to be, who and what they truly are, due to the current social construct,” she wrote. “I am not targeting any particular group of people, but rather targeting everyone in our society who hides behind neurotic behavior, rather than deal with it.”

Now, you may wonder why at times it’s so easy for celebrities (like Hill) to come up with excuses for terrible behavior and to just trot out those excuses without shame or self-awareness. You could blame the delusion that years of worshipful adulation can do to a person. But that might involve some self-awareness and self-awareness, as all shallow people know, is the devil.

Because being fair, nice, forgiving, Christ-like (if you like Christ) or moral (if you like morality) is a lot of work, and it is often work for which a paycheck does not come. Turning the other cheek may make you the bigger person and could even win in the end (and about ten other clichés), but what about right now? Right now in this very moment where you feel bad and the only thing that could make you feel better is being a complete, selfish a-hole?

I would say don’t be a jerk because I can’t be jerk (intentionally) without someone consenting to being treated like crap. Usually, you need to be crappy to me first. And even then I might turn that other cheek and shine on because everyone knows that living well is the best revenge, unless nobody cares about what/who/why you’re getting revenge but you.

But just because I can’t be a jerk doesn’t mean you can’t. Who am I to stand in the way of you finding satisfaction? So I decided to make a little list for you to help you on your way because behind every bit of bad behavior is a shitty excuse that you don’t really mean, but toss out anyway because … screw ‘em, that’s why.

COPY CODE SNIPPET

Here are the top excuses for any and all terrible behavior:

Cut someone off in traffic? BAD DAY.

Chronically late for everything and generally a lazy person? MYSTERY ILLNESS. (Maybe you have a thyroid problem. It could be serious! Or you’re anemic. You’re not sure. But it has to be something, right?)

Didn’t pay your taxes? SUPER LIBERTARIANS TOLD ME I DIDN’T HAVE TO.

Too cowardly to face problems? PARENTS MESSED ME UP.

Tweet mean things to ex-friend/celebrity/Barack Obama/innocent person. I WAS HACKED.

Did something that made your partner mad so you said you’re actually mad at them too to deflect (you’re not actually mad). When they ask, “What are you mad about?” Be cryptic and say ominously, “You know why.” BLAME YOUR PARTNER.

Can’t stop cheating on your partner, but nothing is really all that wrong with you. You just like sex a lot, but demand a “monogamous” relationship with your partner. Still, admitting you’re a horrible person is hard. BLAME SEX ADDICTION.

You keep rudely speeding in pedestrian zones in your family-friendly neighborhood, steadily increasing the chances one day you will run over a child, small animal or parent with their child and/or small animal. THAT WASN’T YOU. (TYLER THE CREATOR DID IT.)

Yell at someone for no real reason, maybe they were annoying you. I don’t know. You just felt like yelling. It’s that time of the month, again, for the third time this month. Blame … LADY PROBLEMS.

Do something obviously rude, like talk out-loud during the movies, curse out your kids in public or cat-call women on the street and when someone calls you on it you answer, IT’S A BLACK THING. YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND.

Hit someone in anger like you’re some 10 cent version of a Basketball Wife. FACE RAN INTO FIST.

Refuse to admit you did something wrong and get caught in a lie. ACCUSE OTHER OF BEING CRAZY.

Went through your husband/boyfriend/lover/sex partner’s phone/email/garbage and found … I mean, does it matter that you found nothing. You just didn’t feel like you could trust them right? And anyway, when you do something crazy like scream “WHO IS SHE?” when you see you beloved out to lunch with another woman and he’s like, “Keisha, this is my mom.” And you’re all, “You must think I’m stupid! That woman looks too young to be your mother.” And his mom is all, “I don’t know whether to thank you or cuss you out, girl.” And so when you pick up your face your excuse is all … I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH.

Really, it’s that easy to be terrible like the famous people you admire/mock/love/hate. I still say don’t give it a try, but where’s the fun in that?

 

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  • Buttons

    By the way, my comment was in response to “loyalcitizenofzamunda”

  • reflective

    I am a Lauryn Hill fan at least to a point. Miseducation is the still one of the most classic albums ever. However, I think she should also be held accountable for her lyrics that offend others the same as any other mainstream artist. People are complex–just because you promote consciousness in some areas doesn’t mean you do it in everything you do and that it gives you a pass not to be critiqued. I’m not sure if she supports LGBT folks or if she is someone who believes in a religious or personal doctrine that doesn’t support LGBT folks. Hip hop culture itself has misogyny and homophobia in it and she’s a part of that. I could see how someone who may actually believe in equality and acceptance across gender and sexual orientation lines still use lyrics antithetical to it in their music–but another topic of conversation. My guess is that she might be like a lot of African Americans who support racial equality, gender equality, etc, but just can’t support LGBT people.

  • Buttons

    @ Guess

    Oh I’m just speaking my thoughts, that’s all. But, let me say this: One situation can set a precedence or the stage for another. It will be just a matter of time before NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) will be protesting and demanding “equal rights” as well. So, to all of those who think that certain behavior will not have an impact on society, when you wake up one morning and you see a grown man dating or married to a little boy, don’t say that you wasn’t warned.

  • introspectivegoddess

    I have noticed that with this particular author, she tends to use broad generalizations and likes to compare apples and oranges. I sometimes read her articles and have trouble following them because they usually go off on some random tangent, anyway it sounds like her lyrics were interpreted and this whole article is based off of speculation, poor journalism in my opinion