Please Stop Moshing

Eminem's recent video is dangerously ill-informed and simplistic

The exploits of far-left celebrities are usually good for a few harmless laughs; in fact, many celebrity entertainers are more entertaining when they get caught up in political analysis beyond their capacity for logic. Janeane Garofalo’s wonderfully ill-informed and childish rants about Iraq were vastly more humorous than any of her recent acting work, and Michael Moore’s battle with the word “fictitious” at the Oscar’s was similarly much more interesting than either Fahrenheit 9/11 or Bowling for Columbine.

However, this election seems different. In the past, other conservatives and I merely laughed off the Susan Sarandons and Barbara Streisands of the world, but to do that over the next week, and in future elections, would be extremely unwise. Because of the liberal hate that Bush has been so successful in stirring up, many celebrities who’ve been non-partisan in the past are coming out swinging. These celebrities are new to the game and think that they can influence the outcome next Tuesday. Judging by the content of their outcries and their degree of confusion, I pray that they are wrong. I hope that Americans will ignore these new efforts the same way they always have.

Eminem, in particular, has been at the forefront of the recent news about celebrity activity in the political campaign. Especially noteworthy was the recent release of his video “Mosh”—as incoherent and sophomoric an attempt at political analysis as anything over the past decade. It says quite a bit about our impoverished political discourse that the release of this video was eagerly anticipated by many in progressive circles and is regarded as a legitimate contribution to the campaign against Bush. This is troubling because as far as I can gauge from watching the video and reading the lyrics, Eminem’s contribution to this campaign can be summed up in the following: “Stomp, push, shove, mush, f--- Bush, until they bring our troops home.”

This is precisely the sort of tripe that we should be trying to limit from political campaigns. “Mosh” stands out at the forefront because of its explicitly political nature and catchy tune that is sure to get almost constant replay on MTV and other networks covering the artist’s “valuable” addition to the current campaign. However, while “Mosh” is sure to get a few extra people to the voting booths next Tuesday, are the kind of people who get their political information from Eminem the kind of people we want voting? No responsible political commentator or analyst believes that the answer to our current situation in Iraq, and with the wider war on terror, is to riot, and then to “f---” Bush. How will that stop the insurgents in Iraq, ensure security for the Middle East, or even bring our troops home? The answer is it will not, but rest assured, if we “pump our fists” and throw on a black sweatshirt, as the marchers in Eminem’s video do, all our problems will be solved.

The images in the video itself, if it is possible, are even more senseless and idiotic. Eminem seems to think that Bush is to blame for everything from the Ku Klux Klan, to eviction notices, to Osama Bin Laden. The most troubling image in the entire video is actually of Bin Laden, who is revealed to be a paper tiger on a soundstage along with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. This attitude, conflating one of the most dangerous and determined enemies we have ever faced with a harmless fabrication, is precisely the kind of dangerous naiveté that allowed September 11th to happen in the first place.

I fervently hope that young people will either ignore Eminem’s impassioned, confused and ultimately meaningless plea to “disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call our President” or continue to be simply too lazy to show up at the polls. Judging by the content of “Mosh” America will loose very little if people with perspectives as warped as Eminem’s neglect to vote.

Mark A. Adomanis ’07, a Crimson editorial editor, is a government concentrator in Eliot House.