This morning, I woke to Rihanna Instagramming photos of herself on the banner of today’s Sunday Times and on the cover of The Sunday Times Magazine (above).
The Barbadian pop-star had this to say:
badgalriri: When your face is pic-stitched to Princess Diana’s on the cover of The Sunday Times…. I mean… #extraordinaRIHbehavior
badgalriri: Just so happens I came home drunk to this in a pile of papers outside my hotel room! My lil Bajan behind, never thought these many people would even know my name, now it’s next to Princess Diana’s on the front of a newspaper! Life can be such a beautiful thing when you let it be #yourejealous :)
But I don’t get the impression she actually read the article. What caught my eye was not Diana or Rihanna but Camille Paglia! Paglia makes the call that “Rihanna is the new Diana,” primarily based on the claim that “both developed a false intimacy with photographers and the public and began to cannibalize themselves in their futile search for security in love.” I don’t think Rihanna should be so flattered, after all.
There’s something intrinsically manic about fandom, isn’t there: for example, Eminem’s haunting “Stan” (above) or Lady Gaga’s gruesome take on her own “Paparazzi” at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards (below)? Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” Does the proper performance of fandom demand “dying” to become the admired other?
Do you know where you’re going to?
Has anyone ever noticed how Eminem’s “Like Toy Soldiers” and its corresponding music video rhetorically shift the meaning of Martika’s 1989 #1 pop hit, “Toy Soldiers”? Various outlets report “Toy Soldiers” is about losing a friend to drug addiction, and it emphasizes a Reagan-era message of personal responsibility for one’s actions:
If I don’t stop, the next one’s gonna be me…
Eminem’s “Like Toy Soldiers,” however, deletes drugs from the song (where it was only implied, anyway), and its music video displaces the message of personal responsibility to one that addresses the external conditions that make martyrs of too many young rap artists. Call it “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” theory.
But is blaming “the game” really code for contemporary Americans’ inability to take responsibility for playing with fire?
Florence Welch’s rhetorical theory: “Words are empty air.”
The First Lady says, “Swerve.”
(Source: The New York Post)