Saturday, June 23, 2007

Marty, Marty, why ya buggin?

Martin Peretz is desperately out of touch.
I CONFESS. I didn't know who Darryl McDaniels was until I read an article about his political opinions in this week's New York Observer. I am not exactly sure that I know now either. But, to put other rap illiterates in the neighborhood like me, he's the founder of Run-D.M.C., which the weekly paper for the rich Upper East Side characterizes as "the immortal, pioneering rap group [that] ... smashed Billboard records with songs like 'Walk This Way,' 'Raising Hell' and 'My Adidas'." Wow! As I said, I didn't know any of this. And, of course, like those of you to whom I've just given this information, I now understand why the Observer ran a 2/3 page article with the headline, "A Rap Legend Digs Hillary - Also, Obama."


D.M.C. is also for Hillary "because it's gangsta." A wonderful compliment, truly wonderful. And the "rap legend" came to her fund-raiser at the "swanky Capitale nightclub in Manhattan" (how come I never heard of it?) "to experience something I can talk to my grandkids about."
Sad. Surely Peretz realizes there's a reason he might not be getting invites to swanky nightclubs, right? The man's never heard of "Raising Hell"--the triple-platinum album that not only opened rap up to skinny, pale white boys like me (it was the first cassette tape I ever bought), but also reinvigorated the career of Aerosmith--so why would anyone want to hang with him at a nightclub while he complains about how loud the music is and how it sounds like a "shoe in dryer"?

Of course, Marty knows (and is saddened by) the fact that far more people listen to to Darryl McDaniels than read the magazine he destroyed through a dedication to "contrarian" liberalism, a.k.a. neoconservatism. Think of all the greats whose writing once graced the pages of The New Republic: Auden, Hart Crane, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Joyce, Mencken, D. H. Lawrence, Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Yeats, Edmund Wilson, etc. But, since Marty took over, it has dwindled to the point that, when Stephen Glass was busted for making up stories, it was only shocking in Washington. In the real world, people saw two column inches in their local paper and thought, Is that still being published? And, when it turned out the only person who thought that Lee Siegel (who coined the term "blogofascism") was worth defending was his own alter ego, it was funny to bloggers, but it barely dented the credibility of the magazine since, after all, it could no longer claim any credibility. Or readership.

Yet, all the young dudes and the punk rock mafiosi know that it's McDaniels not McDonalds ('cause the rhymes are Darryl's but, on the other hand, the burgers are Ronald's).

D.M.C. went on to explain in the article that supporting Hillary is "gansta" because it means he "ain’t doing what everybody else is doing." So, not only do more people care what the rapper has to say about the election than have even heard of Marty Peretz, McDaniels, by saying it's "gangsta" to support Hillary is, in effect, saying it's the contrarian thing to do. Poor Marty. Nobody likes him or listens to him and the rappers are stealing his moves.

Well, lucky for Marty, there are still some people who, like him, are not only out-of-touch, but proudly so. Neither "Patterico" nor Ilya Somin know who Jay-Z is, for God's sake. Hell, Patty has never even heard of LeBron James!

I wonder: How do Republicans or pseudo-libs like Peretz plan to go about what Walter Lippmann called the "enlisting of interest" in their causes if they are so distant from the "low culture" of "rap music...trashy movies and sitcoms" from which so many Americans get entertainment? And why are they still surprised they're being left out of the goings-on in both the Capitale and the capital?


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