November 20, 2012

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani

Now, I carry no water-filled cups for Victoria’s Secret. I buy their stuff because, even with duty, taxes, and shipping, mail-order underwear is still a better deal than having to touch, see, and smell other (alleged) human beings at the mall. I preferred Frederick’s of Hollywood”€”they”€™d been around longer and made better quality yet trashier-looking stuff“€”until they decided, about 10 years ago, to start imitating Victoria’s Secret.

So for my 24 dollars, the meatier story is this one:

The band No Doubt just ditched the video for their new song “€œLooking Hot”€ because it featured lead singer Gwen Stefani “€œdressed as a Native American”€ and was therefore “€œracist.”€

Before you could say, “€œAnd Cher wept,”€ No Doubt”€”you”€™ll never guess”€””€issued a statement”€ which I assure you is not an excerpt from a Tom Wolfe novel:

Being hurtful to anyone is simply not who we are. As a multi-racial band our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures. Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history. Although we consulted with Native American friends and Native American studies experts at the University of California, we realize now that we have offended people.

When John Updike wrote his short story “€œA&P,”€ No Doubt lead singer and for-some-reason beauty icon Gwen Stefani was the type he had in mind when he penned that immortal line about “€œthe kind of girl other girls think is very “€˜striking”€™ and “€˜attractive”€™ but never quite makes it….”€

But that’s not why I hate her or what elevates this particular “€œracism”€ “€œcontroversy”€ above Level One, i.e., “€œMust Be Tuesday.”€

It is that almost 20 years ago, one of my favorite performers was called an anti-Native American bigot by a smug, bratty, and even homelier up-and-coming singer named…Gwen Stefani.

Fans of future Radio Hall of Famer Adam Carolla treasure his every four-letter word, and his 1995 “€œinterview”€ with Stefani and her band”€”when he asked if Stefani’s boyfriend/guitarist was “€œan American Indian or a 7/11 Indian,”€ refused to apologize, then tripled down by calling himself “€œa guinea, a wop, and a dago”€”€”has retained minor classic status in the Aceman-ishads.

Carolla, with considerable justification, rarely avoids the opportunity to gloat. In the puny wake of Stefani-quiddick, fans switched on his November 6 podcast eager to hear their hero take a long-time-coming audio bow. But the best reaction came from one of Carolla’s guests after they”€™d watched the “€œcontroversial”€ music video and hashed out the details.

On the show to promote his new album, “€œa tribute to the great black songwriters of the 20s, 30s and 40s,”€ gravelly-voiced old white singer Billy Vera said, “€œI”€™ve got a little Cherokee in me, and I could give a fuck.”€



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