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Last night, non-binary singer Sam Smith doffed a hat with devil horns for a performance with trans performer Kim Petras at the Grammys. There were flames, Petras in a cage, and dancers dressed in what were effectively slutty demon Halloween costumes. On Twitter, right-wingers reacted as if Smith had literally sacrificed a baby for Satan on live TV.
And yes, some thought that literal Satan was literally involved.
Some were taken aback that the segment was seemingly sponsored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, hated by right-wingers for *checks notes* making COVID vaccines. (While Pfizer did sponsor the Grammys, it didn’t specifically sponsor that segment.)
Right-wing media personality Benny Johnson tried to link Joe Biden to the Grammy spectacle.
This dude, meanwhile, went after Madonna, who introduced Smith and Petras’ performance.
Ishtar? Wait, Madonna once dated Warren Beatty. Maybe this was a reference to his famous flop of a movie. Or, I dunno, just a hairstyle?
A handful of right-wingers professed to be bored by the whole thing.
Get with the program, guys; this was literal SATAN at work (allegedly); you need to be soiling your diapers like real right-wing pundits.
Anyway, congrats to Smith and Petras for winning a Grammy for best pop duo/group performance. It was a big night for trans folks, marred only slightly by Dave Chappelle also winning a Grammy for a transphobic Netflix special. You win some, you lose some.
Meanwhile, Beyonce took home her 32nd Grammy (no, really).
Over here, Sam Smiths is a brewery that makes really nice beer. So when all the palaver started a few weeks back and I was just picking up snippets I was really confused.
“They’ve done what!”
It’s actually a relief that music is demonic again. It was kind of weird that these very Christian old pople were embracing rock and roll. Old farts are supposed to hate pop music.
I, on the contrary, was sorry the performance was toned way down. Although not surprised, because while it’s relatively mild compared to the reality many people inhabit, ain’t no way is this getting on network TV:
The only thing evil and wicked I see in the video is the cheating rich bastard husband. Which Republicans are of course perfectly fine with.
I think the reason some of them are complaining is that secretly they were turned on by it so they’re going “LOOK SQUIRREL!” to distract. I don’t remember even seeing any kids in the audience except maybe Brandi Carlile and her wife’s (adorable). Which, well… they don’t care about those children either.
I’m sure they clutched all possible pearls at the gigantic salute to OG rappers, with, like, everyone, inaugurating the Dr. Dre award. Yes, the kids who started rap are all pretty old now.
I would not have known that was Madonna if she hadn’t been introduced. I mean, she’s been famous for decades, so I know what she used to look like. WTF?
@Alan: You are obviously not down with the yoof of today, since Sam’s English!
@Dave: I know. Now they can stop talking about “their” music and get back to their actual music, which is terrible country and even more terrible Christian “pop” and even more even more terrible white bread Jesus songs. Which I say as a person who listens to Handel’s “Messiah” every year and used to pay to go to sing-it-yourself renditions. I just recorded an old special of Aretha doing gospel. The history of Christian music is long, distinguished, and beautiful, except among White evangelicals.
I think my favorite thing about the explosion of kitschy Satanic imagery is that the reason it’s so popular is because so many people of my generation and younger grew up with the humorless, hate-filled, holier-than-thou assholes who are reacting to Sam Smith and Petra’s performance exactly as the artists knew they would. Dear assholes: they aren’t worshiping Satan- they’re mocking you.
An extra heaping helping of GFY to Joseph D. McBride, Esquirt, for his hateful nonsense about Inanna Ishtar. I’ve heard the same ignorant claptrap from white Evangelical Christians directed at pretty much every deity worshiped by non-Christians, especially if we happen to worship a female deity or deities. Something about worshiping a goddess really seems to set off white Evangelical Christians… it’s almost as though what they really worship is a deeply misogynistic white nationalism, with a bunch of Jesus-y language slathered on top to make it more palatable.
When I was growing up, no network would dare show something like this on TV, for fear of the inquisitors of the Satanic Panic. It pleases me immensely we’ve grown past that, however much certain people (Q Anon types and their kin) would like to drag us back there, or to even worse places.
Personally, I like the subtle antisemitism: “You’re either worshipping Satan or worshipping Christ. “
I suspect the definition of “old fart” changes with both geography and time. My 80 yr old Australian husband is very much a grumpy old fart when it comes to music. He’s firmly of the opinion that rock music died along with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
He thought himself admirably tolerant as a parent during our daughters’ years of Rage Against The Machine and other 90s performers.
Funny thing how they stick to this image of the devil.
Well, they were already yelling at the Stones for Sympathy for the Devil.
I guess some of they would have yelled at Gounod for “Le veau d’or” aria.
Here, this 80’s song could have give them heart attack, if they believe it is really worshipping…
La salsa du démon
Have a nice day.
Why am I not surprised that right-whiners can’t even understand mockery when it slaps them in the face… oh well. Congrats to the artists for the award!
it’s quite funny to me that this reads like a rare moment of self-awareness.
I realised how far the overton window has shifted in terms of plastic surgery the other day when I was reminded about how striking and news-generating Heidi from The Hills glow-up transformation was, when she looks like any average influencer now.
Madonna seems to be going for “beauty that’s in fashion now” rather than “a younger version of her naturally beautiful self”. I think whatever dark marketing forces at work are close to achieving the goal of ensuring the accepted beauty standard is something you absolutely *have* to purchase.
Holy crap these
braveculture warriors shit their pants in fear every time they see something outside of their comfort zone.
RW Culture Warrior: *sees someone with dyed hair, shits his pants*
RWCW: *sees interracial family, pants continue filling at volume*
RWCW: *hears that being transgender is possible and other genders exist, turns into a firehose of shit and spreads it everywhere*
Someone: “Hey dude, please stop shitting your pants and spraying it all over.”
RWCW: “CANCEL CULTURE! WAAAAGH! *shitting continues, now frying it on a gas stove*
Like many here, I am old enough to remember the last fading whimpers about “classic” rock being Satanic.
As a child I remember whenever my parents took me to this one restaurant that had an actual jukebox, I would go over and look at all the album covers. You know, like that Dio one with the chained priest in the lake, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, Danzig, Ozzy Osbourne, AC-DC, etc, etc, all with Satanic overtones. Nobody gave a shit at this point, it was too mainstream
Such delicate little snowflakes.
Especially laughing at the bit about “Madonna mocking the Virgin Mary” by… going by her birth name?
I’m at work right now so I can’t watch videos of the performance, but at least going by the screenshots this was, like, Harvey Comics “Hot Stuff, the Little Devil” levels of “satanic imagery.” One would have to be a really determined pearl-clutcher to be shocked by it.
Thank you for affording me a cue to leave this here: L.A. band Twin Temple perform good old-fashioned 1950’s-60’s malt-shoppe sock hop party doo-wop. About Satanism (in fact, they’ve made it clear that they’re honoring a venerable tradition of rock and roll as The Devil’s Music.) I suggest the social experiment of putting this on the sound system at the neighborhood backyard pool party and seeing how long it takes someone to notice the lyrics:
The song is about an extramarital affair and the music video is just as much if not moreso dressed in sexual imagery, so the right wingers are behind the curve on this one. Should’ve had their meltdown months ago.
Seriously though, this performance simply fits the theme of the song which, weirdly, the pundits haven’t said anything about. Hmmmmmm wonder why.
That’s a most excellent music video. I’m so glad I’m not a RWCW (Skiriki, your comment made me lol!) who’s afraid of art!
I’m so weary of people who don’t like stuff in popular culture whose first, last, and every reaction is to frantically try to cancel it while screaming about being cancelled. As the Specials said way back in 1979:
Stand there like parked cars if you want to
We can’t force you to enjoy this music
Take it or leave it we’ll carry on regardless
If you don’t like it you don’t have to use it
I especially love it when they get mad at Madonna for calling herself Madonna after the blessed virgin. I mean yes, she does, but her name is Madonna Ciccone. Not saying they did here, it’s just one of my favorite 80s Satanic Panics.
Honestly, that performance and song are pretty tame. And I don’t mean that to be dismissive of the performance or anything. It’s just… Really? They’re scandalized by this? I feel I could give them a heart attack by showing the average album cover in my CD collection.
I mean, I’d suspect that this is all a grift to keep the outrage money machine going, but the lack of perspective on display…
Excellent job, right-wingers. Now do Underwood deviled ham.
I don’t see any kids tho.
The same type of people who didn’t get that Satanic imagery in 1980s heavy metal was for show, to make the bands look dangerous. The guitarist for Primus used to play in Possessed, and he said his old band was just drunken suburban kids trying to be heavy.
Same Goa’uld system lord, shiny new host?
Eh … do you have any vegan options?
It’s odd how the same people who spend so much time trying to “trigger the libs” can’t seem to figure it out when the libs turn right around and purposely trigger them.
Donald Trump Jr, Fox News and sundry right-wingers lose their shit over obvious parody twitter account calling for Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” to be removed from Spotify.
When it comes to Aretha, Don Trump Jr needs to learn a little….
(The one redeeming scene in an otherwise terrible film)
For Samuel Sey: What if you don’t believe in either God or the devil? Or what if you hate them both? Riddle me this, Mr. Smarty-pants!