By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
>>> Lynne Cheney is panting over Eminem again. Yep, the newly crowned Second Lady is all flushed and squeaky because the so-called Slim Shady has received a Grammy nomination for his white-trash, encyclical The Marshall Mathers LP. Have you seen her squirming on the cable talk shows, her voice crumbling into a trembling croak as she recounts—in titillating generalities—the taboos and tortures Eminem suggests in his made-to-shock diatribes? Whoa, this old chicken is getting off!
And it isn't the first time. Last fall, Cheney got similarly hot under the helmet hair in front of the Senate Commerce Committee. She distributed a lyric sheet from Eminem's song "Kill You" and then indulged her lower nature by paraphrasing his descriptions of "killing his wife," "raping his mother" and "painting the forest with blood"—all the while humping for more regulation on the marketing of violent media to kids.
Eminem thanked her for the publicity and then told her to go make him a sandwich.
This is not to endorse Eminem's pathetically small-minded and outrageously violent—and, don't forget, premeditatedly moneymaking—viewpoints on women and gays. But it is worth pointing out that Cheney's cold, hard politics come from many of the same directions as the world's hottest rapper. Her ultraright-wing, profit-motivated agenda of snap-judgmentalism doesn't provide a solution to any of the problems posed by Eminem's poor, uneducated attitudes. Cheney opposes trigger locks on guns, argued against raising the minimum wage in 1996, and has called welfare "extremely damaging" and abortion a "tragedy." She opposes hate-crime legislation and last summer tried to deny that her homosexual daughter, Mary—who formerly worked in gay and lesbian outreach for Coors Brewing—is openly gay. Of course, Cheney supports school prayer.
Meanwhile, Lynne has been boinking Dick Cheney for nearly 40 years—and here may lie the reason that she gets so lathered up about Eminem: to overcompensate for her attraction to him. As a great bard (Snoop Dogg, we think it was) once said, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." And it seems pretty obvious that Slim Shady reminds her of a young Dick Cheney. Gangstas don't come more hardcore than Mr. Vice President—a title that would work pretty well as Cheney's rap alias. Vices? This dude is all about shot-callin', big-ballin' and the Benjamins. He used to be secretary of defense, and we don't mean with Public Enemy. Cheney made those brassy Pentagon generals his bitches, ordering and activating the world's most ruthless killingware in a classic Clint Eastwood monotone. Remember when all those smart bombs were smacking down all those Iraqi civilians 10 years ago? That's the big Dick Cheney who came home to Lynne every night. And after leaving "public service," Cheney went into the "private sector" (feel free to invent your own corrupt and sexual double-entendres for those terms). He took a job at Halliburton, where his connections increased the company's business with the Defense Department from less than $300 million per year to more than $650 million. Don't you know what kind of heavy-duty diamond artillery that kind of bank brought home to Cheney's bling-bling hoochie, Li'l Lynne? On top of all that, according to the Wu Tang name-generator website (www.recordstore. com/cgi-bin/wuname/wuname.pl), the Wu name for Dick Cheney is Bilious Bad Janitah!
And Lynne Cheney wants us to worry about the damage a Grammy for Eminem might do? Not unless it qualifies him for a Cabinet position. Meanwhile, we're too terrified by the prospect of four years of Dick Cheney as the de facto president of the United States. The only thing he and Slim Shady have in common is the color of their hair. But it should be enough to keep the Second Lady all shook up. (Dave Wielenga)
>>>THE MORE THINGS CHANGE . . . "Its victims, in my opinion, can be treated successfully only like the dog with rabies—with a dose of lead. Whether it is simply a passing phase of our decadent art culture, or an infectious disease which has come to stay—like leprosy—time alone can tell." Lynne Cheney tearing into hip-hop yet again? Nope. Actually, those are the sentiments of a late-19th-century magazine editor, as told in the mostly excellent Ken Burns PBS documentary Jazz, on that vilest form of music ever known to man, on that sound spawned straight from Satan's semen: ragtime! The fuss was about semantics: ragtime encouraged couples to dance closely together, rather than in groups, and you know what dancing closely leads to! Really, this was some scary, immoral shit back in the day. Wonder what this cat would've thought of mosh pits and stage diving. (Rich Kane)