Snax responds to the haters on You Tube.
“I hate niggers”-3rbjeh
“FUCK YOU FAGS!!!”-douggie7772010
What might sound like jeers and epithets bellowed out by an ignorant heckler at a gay or civil rights rally, or perhaps even from members of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, are actually reactions to nothing more than a 3:41 party jam recently unleashed on You Tube.
To quote one of the internet’s many acronyms, “WTF?!!”
The video in question is for “It’s Time To Get Paid,” a collaboration between myself, Snax, a gay white American musician and performer, and Shunda K, an out lesbian African American MC. Little did I know when I was coming up with the basic track one day in my East Berlin studio, and then later sending it to Shunda to add vocals, that the song and accompanying video would produce such a litany of hateful comments.
It’s an exaggeration to say I’m shocked. We’ve all seen endless verbal brawls on blogs, chat rooms, Facebook, etc. on almost every conceivable subject. The disappointing truth about all this, though, is that the promise of the internet being an open and lively forum for healthy debate is too often betrayed by screaming matches between impetuous and arrogant cowards hiding behind anonymous screen names, never having the balls to mouth off in the real world.
Of course, this is not directed to those who expressed valid opinions on the music and video itself. Everyone is entitled to that. There’s lots of love there, too, and some comments were even humorous (“this is the most useless public service announcement i’ve ever come across”-CocoaLuv22). I wish I could say that the truly mean spirited reactions come from the proverbial one or two ‘bad apples’ that are ‘ruining it for everyone else’ like so many bad kids in the back of a pre-school reading class. Unfortunately that’s not the case.
How can comments like these, never mind how they barely mention the work itself, be considered anything else but hateful and wildly inappropriate?
“I hate queers. I can’t figure out why you do what you do? I think you are mentally ill. Please don’t give me an std. Keep your distance, for your own safety. No one wants to even think about what you do. It’s disgusting.”-jonmasonmason
“You sick fags, and you dumb assholes wonder what’s wrong with this country. Get your own island and call it in my booty land”
“a nigger and a faggot making shitty music, go figure”
And on and on.
Most unpleasant of all was this, referring to my apparent Jewish heritage:
“how long would it take to get Dachau up and running?”-MrJsnzbrsky
And I’m not even Jewish!
Perhaps I’m naive. I should be used to this by now. After all, I was once a member of a queer rock group called Fagbash, and believe me, that name alone produced colorful reactions from a number of people of all persuasions. I must admit, however, that the quantity of volatile reactions to my latest work with Shunda, plus the speed at which they appeared, took me out of what I like to think of as my creative, intelligent and well rounded comfort zone populated with thoughtful and articulate people. Hatred is alive and well out there, and it’s remarkable to me that it only takes a disco track, (which, by the way, uses the word “gay” once in the entire song) and a lo-fi video thrown together in a day to bring this out the worst in people. Have they nothing better to do?
My guess is we were in trouble from the start, being featured on YouTube’s front page in honor of National Coming Out Day. As another outraged viewer wrote:
“I LUV IT WHEN THEY COME OUT. Easier to get them in the crosshairs +++”-4armSmash
It’s not just limited to hetero homophobes and racists either. One gay viewer, apparently believing that Shunda and I were somehow trying to speak for all gays and lesbians of all races everywhere wrote,
“ITS PPL LIKE YOU SICK FUCKERS THAT ARE MAKING PPL HATE GAYS NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR UGLY WHITE ASS FUCKING ON YOU TUBE
AND Y DO YOU HAVE ALL THAT CASH IN A FUCKING WALL MART
STOP MAKING US GAYS LOOK BAD AND JUST DIE”-1990LIGHT
How eloquent. And, ohhh, you really bring the point home with no punctuation and ALL CAPS! Can’t this moron think of any other more effective and meaningful way to say that he simply doesn’t appreciate the humor in a video? Has the internet allowed us to flush all traces of etiquette and decorum down the toilet with a mere mouse click?
Now it certainly has not gone unnoticed to me that plenty of people are contradicting the haters and God love ’em. Kudos to the one who wrote:
“There’s tons of straight affirming vid everywhere you look, including YouTube. That hasn’t occurred to you? You only see it when others come from YOUR perspective, but can’t see it when they don’t? Shallow. Very shallow.”-wellthenif
Nonetheless, I have to ask myself, how do I personally respond to this…or do I at all? If it was a few isolated comments, I wouldn’t be bothered. After seeing this avalanche of negativity, though, I’m compelled to beg all those who think hatefully, comment hatefully and who are simply hateful to stay as far away from me and my art as possible. I can’t stop you from doing anything. Know this, though; your tossed off, poorly written and childishly expressed ranting is nothing more than hurtful, destructive and sets back the supposed advances in technology we’ve come to take for granted about a million years.
But if that’s the way you want it, I suppose all I can do is “speak” in the only language you understand…acronyms.
F. O. A. D.