Wednesday, February 10, 2010

John Mayer sings the blues with foot in his mouth

Below are my thoughts, originally stated on Twitter, about John Mayer's controversial statements in his interview with Playboy.

In an interview with Playboy, singer John Mayer said "My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart & a fuckin’ David Duke cock" when asked about his interest in black women. Here’s a link to the full interview -

John Mayer doesn’t owe me an apology for being an A-hole. But he does owe me the $5 back that I spent on bootleg of his 1st CD

Plenty of black people on here can only love other blacks. Plenty of whites can only love only whites. I find them all idiots but live & let live.

If you are able to find the humanity in another person, potential for attraction is there. If you can't see the humanity, such potential is vanquished.

To those so blinded by love for John Mayer that they don't "get" uproar over his Playboy interview, let me explain. Yes, it's true that nobody cares if he's attracted to/dates black women or not. That isn't what has gotten anyone upset. What's disturbing is John Mayer's inability to express who he is or isn't attracted to w/o bringing David Dukes, head of the KKK, into it. Do you get it now?

I'm guessing maybe Mayer was drunk or on something when doing Playboy interview. It’s one thing to think something, another to say it aloud. And if you depend on people buying a product you create to make a living, it doesn't seem wise to cause animosity where none previously existed. Nice move Mayer.

This is a “taken out of context” world we live in. People often get their news in sound bite flashes. So to those who say Mayer’s quote was taken out of context I say if you haven't read the full interview, you’re probably in the majority. This means all you have to go by are Mayer’s quoted words, and they aren’t very melodic.

Based on his persona I'm prepared to accept Mayer was trying to be funny in his own way. But common sense should dictate when not to go THERE.

You don't say something like what Mayer did without desire to alienate, even if it’s subconscious, even if you later try to hide behind "I was just playing".

I don't see Mayer getting an immediate pass from people regardless of their race who aren't “fans” of racism. Those who love the guy blindly will continue to do so. Eventually just about everyone will forget all about it. He’s one hit song or relationship with fellow celebrity away from giving most of us amnesia.

When Bill Clinton made questionable remarks during primaries I gave him a partial pass because I saw it was from desire to fend for his wife. Mayer has no such excuse.

There are about 7 billion ways to say who you're attracted to and who you aren't particularly attracted to w/o offending a single soul.

The real problem isn't really when those who have made one decent album make ignorant remarks. The problem is when those elected to run this country do. But still, not helpful.

In case Robin Thicke and John Mayer were grappling over the white boys with decent black fan base title, I'd say Thicke is about to pull way ahead.

btw - I personally don't strongly connect artists to their art as a rule. If writer/painter/film maker/etc. is genius, personal life doesn't change my opinion about that.

So although he may quite possibly be an A-hole (or else someone with serious explaining to do), I'll always dig Your Body is a Wonderland.

If I still shake my ass to old school R. Kelly and sing along to best of Chris Brown, I'd be hypocrite supreme for boycotting Mayer's music. But there's a very good chance that all three of these guys mentioned are serious A-holes.

What struck me regarding Mayer’s controversial remarks was that he brought up the subject of his relationship to black folk, not the interviewer.

He chose to describe himself as "very", then said that's why black people love him (they do? All of them? Really?). He could have stopped right there. Instead Mayer rambled about having vs. not having a "hood pass", so interviewer asked about his collaborations with black musicians, not women.

Mayer proceeds to talk about definition of being black, as if there is such a thing, as if he's an authority on the subject. Interviewer then brings up black women, asking if they throw themselves at him like white women presumably do. Mayer could've given simple yes or no answer but instead - "My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart & a fuckin’ David Duke cock".

So taking all of this into consideration, no, I do not give Mayer a pass for his moronic offensive statements. That said, he comes off in the interview more insecure and self centered and god complex having (pretending to be humble is the best way to brag btw) then white supremacist.

A couple points I’d like to make. 1) If Mayer was only attracted to / comfortable with black women over white & brought up David Dukes to make this point, he is equally an a-hole. 2) If Mayer was black & brought up Dukes to explain exclusive attraction to EITHER black or white women, he's equally an a-hole.

Are black women now going to start throwing themselves at John Mayer to make him change his mind? I'm guessing no, but one never knows, do one?

It's possible that John Mayer has come up with the most brilliant way to make sistas chase him of all time. We want most what we can't have.

Dear @johncmayer – You are in a unique position to hook up with countless women. I highly recommend you diversify & grow up. Just avoid Tila Tequila.

Next thing you know we'll be finding out that Adam Lambert isn't attracted to ANY women. I don't think I could handle that. :-)

To those who say Mayer's intent wasn't foul, just his phrasing, I say all words can either be benign & malignant. Phrasing determines effect.

Mainstream media & Twitter (at least my stream of it) not really in synch. On MSN the feature story I see is "Mayer talks candidly about Jessica Simpson".

Lately a number of high profile people have made news for making racially insensitive remarks. I could devote a blog just to that topic if I wanted to. Harry Reid is one prominent example, but I pretty much defended him whereas I’m ripping Mayer a new one. If Reid says "black" or "urban" rather than "negro", his incident is a non-story, a matter of semantics. If Mayer leaves out David Dukes I'm okay with his remarks, but he didn’t leave Dukes out.

If the interviewer asked about black women out of blue and perhaps took Mayer off guard, I’d say his only sin was trying to be too clever/cute in spur of the moment. But he broached the topic so I think his awful metaphor was preplanned, conceived in advance of interview to be worked in whenever he got the chance.

John Mayer is a songWRITER. Unlike some, maybe many, maybe most, WRITERS usually say what they mean & mean what they say.

Even when saying something tongue-in-cheek, your words are still your words. Always own up to them even when dumb, especially when dumb.

I'm throwing stones at John Mayer today, but by no means from a glass house. Since joining Twitter I've defended comments I didn't see as racist but others did, & criticized remarks some found acceptable that I found offensive.

There is no black & white when it comes to racism. Patches of Grey. Every situation has its own context. Various factors affect translation.

John Mayer eventually took to Twitter to defend himself, tweeting “And while I'm using today for looking at myself under harsh light, I think it's time to stop trying to be so raw in interviews...”

Then Mayer tweeted “It started as an attempt to not let the waves of criticism get to me, but it's gotten out of hand and I've created somewhat of a monster.”

My response to @johncmayer - While you're going on about the so called "N" word, John, don't forget 2 apologize for David Dukes reference & we'll then call it a day.

@johncmayer Do you want to play the guitar for people, John, or the world's smallest violin for yourself? This is worst apology ever. Man up or shut up.

For those who think it doesn't matter much what Mayer said, look at his follower count (3,035,344 as of this writing) . No doubt at least 5% of them are impressionable, no?
Video of Mayer's public off-Twitter apology at a concert - - Seems sincere enough even though I supspect he's still doesn't entirely get the point, being too caught up in feeling bad about the fact that he made people mad at him.


  1. Cool post you got here. It would be great to read a bit more concerning this matter. Thank you for sharing this material.

  2. John Mayer is a major douche every couple of months he manages to put his foot in his mouth.

  3. Mayer like a lot of famous male artist particularly suffers(ed) from a God complex. Think they can say whatever they want, be cool, get the hot chicks, blah, blah, blah. I like Mayer's music. He broke my heart at the Michael Jackson tribute performing 'Human Nature.' Everybody's got their 'ish' Keep your mouth shut boy. Keep it at home with the friends and family like everybody else does.