Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Being Taylor Swift

Congratulations to the young budding country music artist, Taylor Swift, for her deserving VMA for best female video. I was thoroughly disgusted with Kanye West's behavior as Taylor stood their defeated and in disbelief after she just won an award. Was he even nominated for anything?

This is a great wholesome video for young ladies and girls that tells a beautiful non-overtly sexual story of belonging. I love the video and Kanye West can disappear as far as I'm concerned. And no, Kanye, you don't need hoochie mammas in short tight skirts mouthing bleeping words to win a VMA!

Congratulations again to Taylor Swift not only for the great song and video but for its important message to teenagers and young girls everywhere: you don't have to be a sex goddess to belong.

Disappear Kanye--like now!


rebecca said...

He is such an a**. I've always found his personality too grating for my taste and this is one example of a person whose fame has gone to his head and believes that his inept lack of social grace is acceptable. He needs not to be invited to any award show for at least a year so he could at least learn the lesson. He can keep his fake apologies.

On another note, can you also say Serena Williams? What was up with that?!! You know what, Judith, she lost me as a fan forever. That was so unacceptable and she wasn't even apologetic -- not the first time, not the second time, not the third time. Frankly, I feel she should have been ousted from the tourney completely and not be allowed to play the doubles. But my cutie 6'6" tall Che won the Men's Finals last night!! What a game!!

Judith Ellis said...

"He is such an a**. I've always found his personality too grating for my taste and this is one example of a person whose fame has gone to his head and believes that his inept lack of social grace is acceptable."

I agree with this statment, Rebecca.

Regarding Serena Williams, I have just written about this on another blog. I'll just paste the comment here for your consideration. The conversation was in response to the health care debate and cultural incivility:

“If this is what in fact happens–the recent march on the Capitol may look like a walk in the park.”

Before I even address the more substantive comments in your post, I must admit to laughing aloud at this statement–not, because the voice of tens of thousands of people may not be heard, there are undoubtedly hundreds of millions that will be heard–but because of the lunacy present in Washington last Saturday.

With regards to civility, I just wrote a post deriding Kayne West for his despicable behavior at the VMA. Not only was his behavior not civil, but essentially by his actions he was implying that only sexy girls and women that hump and grind in videos are only worthy of such an award. Taylor Swift’s video, “You Belong to Me,” is great and wholesome. I love it. You don’t need to have pouty lips, a bad attitude, and dress like a hoochie momma to belong or get a VMA. I have been appalled at many videos and even the clothes that some of my teenage nieces have worn.

My teenage nieces know that when I meet up with them that I will subtlety yank on their too short skirts and politely take them aside later and have a little talk. I am given to taking them on shopping sprees and they each know for certain that not one piece of crazy clothing item will be bought on my dime. Please tell me what’s going on with these parents? Do they think it’s cute? Well, it’s not!

Kayne can take his incivility and disappear as far as I’m concerned. But I must also say with regards to Serena Williams that I think there has been a perceived shift in the culture with regards to race relations and the disrespect given to President Obama expressed by both white and black young people. I wonder if Serena has experienced the same disrespect first hand, while even being a darling—-well, not quite–of the tennis world.

Both sisters, for example, have endured not only bad calls like ALL other players, but I have been astonishingly appalled at many overtly racist comments by male and female commentators. By the way, Federer, the reigning king, was himself uncharacteristically uncivil during his match with del Porto. Something’s in the air here that’s for sure. In the culture, incivility breeds incivility. But the exact is also true. Civility breeds civility...

Judith Ellis said...

...Your question about civility brought to mind how an Althea Gibson or Lewis Armstrong handled such things differently. This generation, even with the election of President Obama, has believed that they will be judged differently. I’m not sure that that is altogether true, even though we have made great strides. Thank God.

I was just on my 18 year-old nephews’ FB wall over the weekend and he and his high school friends were debating about the Wolverines and Fighting Irish game before it began. My nephew lives in majority white area and his high school was 5% black. He’s a freshman in college now. This is how the conversation went:

Friend: “Why don’t you get some white paint and paint yourself?”
Friend 2: “hahahahahaha”
Nephew: “Shut the f &*% up, guys.”
Michigan won and the conversation began again after the game.
Nephew: “Who’s laughing now?”
Friend: “But you’re still black.”
Friend 2: “hahahahahahah”
Aunt: Go Blue! (I’m a Michigan alumni!) Hey guys, what’s with all the body paint? You are beyond kindergarten, aren’t you?

Conversation closed.

I have been following both Williams sisters since they burst on the scene those many years ago and they have always been well-mannered even in the face of really bad calls and unbelievable comments. There is, however, no excuse whatsoever for Serena’s behavior the other day and she acknowledges this. But I do I wonder if McEnroe has ever acknowledged his foul behavior on the court? I don’t think so. Instead, he has even gotten endorsements which include his well-known line “you can’t be serious?” We think it’s cute and by the products he’s selling.

Please know that having said the above, I strongly believe in civility. I also believe in sometimes “answering a fool according to his folly.” But such was not warranted in the Kayne and Serena cases. They were both in these situations flatly uncivil and wrong. Serena was justly slapped with a $10,000 dollar fine. Kayne should just go away.”

I remain a Serena Williams fan.

rebecca said...

Yep, Federer also lost it there for a bit and got a litte attitude with the chair umpire, although, I have to say he had a legit question but didn't like being told to quiet/shut up by the umpire. No excuse, however, for foul language.

As far as McEnroe...the guy was a friggin' nut. Him and Connors, though Connors on a less hostile level. I very rarely watched the McEnroe matches because I found him to be too much (bordering on "show" I believe) and was more of a Lendl, Sampras, Borg fan. I like men and women to remain cool and calm because it shows to me much mental strength. I think what happened to Serena that night is the fact that she was at the point of losing and she wasn't happy. She threw a little fit. But the thing that clinched it for me was that in her first interview regarding the incident she smirked when told the line umpire felt threatened. That was not cool.

Judith Ellis said...

Rebecca - I have watched Serena and Venus repeatedly in this very same position, down match points, and the have repeatedly come back and won major matches. They can never be counted out no matter how many errors or the score. This, however, has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with her unacceptable comments.

I do not expect pristine behavior from anyone all the time. I set out daily to do and say things that will display my higher self. Many times I am successful; other times I am not. We are all as Nietzsche said, "Human, All Too Human." But I try again the next day and offer apologies if needed and work to change. This has been my reflective self my entire life and I believe that I am the better for it. I also expect for amends to be made and behaviors to change by others.

In an off-the-record-comment it is reported that President Obama called Kayne a "jackass." You are in good company, Rebecca. :-)

Judith Ellis said...

By the way, there was no "foot foul" that was called against Serena. The call was a bad one. Serena has lost a major for another such call. Then she took it in stride. She should have done so again and not behaved so badly.

Marion said...

I don't watch tennis, so I can't participate in the tennis conversation, but I do have to say that Taylor Swift was a magnificent example of grace under pressure. Her Mama deserves some credit, too, for raising such a well-mannered, cool-headed daughter. And the fact that she went on 5 minutes after Kanye's outburst to perform was also worthy of praise. Our younger generation needs more examples like her. Great post, Judith!

Judith Ellis said...

Thank you, Marion. I agree wholeheartedly with your comment and appreciate you passing through.