When Nicki Minaj flailed around satanically onstage in front of a scared fake priest at the Grammys last week, the Catholic Church was understandably upset. “Whether Minaj is possessed is surely an open question, but what is not in doubt is the irresponsibility of the Recording Academy,” Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote. “Never would they allow an artist to insult Judaism or Islam.”
Donohue is right. Christians”but especially Catholics”are the last bastion of people you can comfortably offend. Piss Christ wins awards sponsored by the National Endowment of the Arts, but when Van Gogh’s great-grandson makes an arty film about Islam, he gets a rapier in his chest. Racism is even more sacrilegious. Can anyone even conceive of a Piss MLK winning awards? What about a Shit Oprah? I”m annoyed by the Get Out of Jail Free Card that Catholic-bashers and nonwhites get, but Minaj’s performance reminded me of an even less talked-about victim: dads.
That’s right: dads.
Insulting the American dad is more than acceptable; it’s viewed as laudable. Minaj wasn”t insulting her dad, because she doesn”t really have one. Minaj was mimicking Madonna’s relentless taunting of the Catholic Church. Madonna’s motive for her blasphemous imagery was a reaction to her oppressive Catholic father. I realize that saying Minaj’s bizarre performance made me feel bad about dads is a bit of a stretch, but I needed a segue. Plus, I”m a dad and our feelings are valid, goddamnit! We”re mad as hell and we”re not going to take it anymore!
When did saying, “Fuck you, dad” become a symbol of strength and independence? Why is depicting the American father as a retard a comedic mainstay? I”m not talking about deadbeat dads or all the self-indulgent boomers who trade in your mom for a younger model when her looks start fading. I”m talking about shoe salesmen such as Al Bundy in Married…With Children“men who stick by their family and are the only breadwinner in the house. He has stinky feet stuck in his face all day so his family can have a roof over their heads. Ha ha ha, what a nobody.
Homer Simpson isn”t simply dumb. He is less capable than someone with Down syndrome, but if the nuclear power plant he works at ever experiences a China Syndrome, he’s the only family member in danger. Ha ha, what a loser.
The Irish Catholic dad in Family Guy is equally useless, though he works in shipping at a brewery, one of the more dangerous jobs in America. Ha ha ha, he got crushed under a forklift while paying the bills. Black dads such as Bill Cosby tend to be a heartwarming combination of humor and wisdom, but if you went by American pop culture alone, you”d think us white dads lose all our brain cells when we ejaculate and as soon as we get our wives pregnant, we become the baby.
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