Mayer Says What He Needs To Say

“No, I’m not colorblind. I know the world is black and white. Try to keep an open mind, but I just can’t sleep on this tonight.” ~ from John Mayer’s “Stop This Train”

If you’re late, John Mayer took the lyrics to his song “Say” quite literally to his lips in an interview with Playboy (nsfw). When I finished it, I was confused as to why Mayer spent so much time ranting about John Mayer, and so little time talking about anything else of importance. That’s what troubled me, that he was so narcissistic and borderline sociopathic at spurts.

Not because he proved that skimming key words while avoiding substantive material will cause one to test out at the reading comprehension level of a second grader (He said he knows he doesn’t have a “black” pass, no matter how often he was offered one. That’s it. And, for those who needed it, he apologized). Not because he compared his personal member’s choice to a white supremacist (yeah, it was dumb. And…Rush Limbaugh breathing is way more detrimental to black people). And not because he called my life’s love, Kerry Washington, white-girl crazy (I don’t know what that means. Someone please define this.) and a mastermind of “Heartbreak Warfare.”

Mayer.

He says his struggle might be comparable to one black dude’s….  Yeah, he’s the white Kanye West, more self-absorbed than SpongeBob Squarepants. And this is what sent the Internets atwitter…… Next.

What interests me more is his desire to shape himself as the douchebag that he claims so many see him as with such accuracy. He spoke with candor about everything from his porn addiction to his party-of-one high school jam sessions that led to his fame to his immaculate description of Jessica Simpson’s bedroom performance.

Seriously, I believe he did more for Simpson’s fading star in a matter of 100 words than sex tapes did for either Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian (I’m mad I know how to spell that). There are guys who will replace their bedtime thoughts of their girlfriends, wives and/or beneficial friends with Simpson because of Mayer choice words. And Mayer, he jokingly infers that he’s thought about brokebacking Brad Pitt & Nick Lachey while sleeping with Simpson and Jennifer Aniston, whom he admits to still loving but lampoons as a control freak amid his lust for Simpson.

All this while forcing you to weave through his off-brand humor as he gives a vivid depiction of who he sees himself as and who he wants to be. Suffice it to say I’ve never been this entertained by a celebrity interview. No hyperbole.

It’s strange because we say we want celebs to be straight shooters who give us their uncut thoughts. We don’t like that they often seem as if they were packaged and shipped to us right off a conveyor belt. We want to know who they are. Yet, when one decides to tells us, we flip out because he’s being too honest. But this, this is far better than any 60 minutes of Hilton or Kardashian reality you’ve ever seen and I’ll be damned if you’ll ever get to know who Beyonce even purports Sasha Fierce to be through her words.

This interview isn’t horrific. Sure, it’s nuts. But it’s also enlightening.

This dude decided to give a couple of candid interviews (See: Rolling Stone). Sure, he’s a wordsmith and, for the most part, knew exactly what he was saying. Sure, he manipulated some of what he said (see: Aniston, control freak amid describing Simpson’s freak). Aware of who he is, he chose to paint himself without so much as mirror while letting his unkempt words serve as his brush.

The funniest thing is that at the end of the interview, Mayer says he doesn’t care what people think of him, doesn’t care that people see him as a douchebag. But it’s blatantly obvious through his scotch-induced words that he cares…maybe too much, maybe more than even he understands. He wouldn’t try so hard if he didn’t.

Anyway, it’s fascinating. On some level, most of us are like him, narcissistic at our cores, momentarily unabashed, unashamed of our naked thoughts. We might actually get somewhere if all of us were like this all of the time (It’s how we learn). Though, it should be obvious that somewhere will never be over a post-racial rainbow. You’d have better luck finding a four-leaf clover on the person of the tooth fairy.

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19 responses to “Mayer Says What He Needs To Say

  1. Like most people, I was in no way outraged by this article, but I’m not going to say that it was no big deal. It was chop full of crazy and fun to discuss.

    When John Mayer first became famous, he had a very understated sense of humor. He would joke during his concerts, and I found him to be hilarious. He would make appearances on tv, and was similarly funny. He was goofy, but it was always with a smart edge. Somewhere along the way, he got the memo that he was funny and decided to take it to the next level. I feel that he tries way too hard to be and it’s no longer funny. It’s not offensive, just not funny.

    I don’t like celebrities apologizing for things they don’t need to apologize for, but I kind of like what he said about trying to intelectualize things and failing. Even though he was talking specifically about using nigger, I felt that it applied to everything he said.

  2. Awesome post Damon!

  3. “You’d have better luck finding a four-leaf clover on the person of the tooth fairy.”

    I love that! This was a wonderful post to read.

    I didn’t read the interview, maybe I will once I leave work but I don’t REALLY care about what he said. The most important point I feel you touched on was that Rush Limbaugh is more detrimental to black people than Mayer. By the way that twitter was going off I was under the impression that he had beat an old black lady and told her to get to the back of the bus.

    It makes me sad that we can get so worked up about what some celebrity says in an interview (and not even an interview in mainstream media) but I don’t see too many people commenting on the racist things that are said on Fox News every day.

    • @tam: You need to read the entire thing for the entertainment value of it all. I gave away some of the goods, but it’s still worth it to read it because it’s the best celebrity interview in years….

  4. The one thing that this article does is highlight two very important things. It shows how terrible are education system because somehow adults lack basic reading comprehension skills. Secondly, it shows that people are intellectually lazy and didnt even read the whole article, let alone the sentences directly preceding or following the sentences. It really is terrible.

  5. I wasn’t necessarily offended by this interview but I do think he tried to hard to add shock value to it. IMHO, it was unnecessary to use the ‘N’ word, he could have used any other synonym or even just used the phrase “The N Word” and he could have gotten his point across just the same. I think much of his lingo and way with words was unnecessary, but hey, it’s Playboy. I’m not going to boycott his music or look at him differently, but I must say, he was alot sexier with his mouth shut….

  6. Agree w/ Peyso. It seems that a lot of black people became enraged when he said he doesn’t sex black women. Who cares, I don’t remember seeing or hearing black women fawn over him anyway. When he used the N-word, a lot of people went “keyword” on him & disregarded even the basic concepts of reading comprehension (Forget everything before or after the word, only the word matters).

    Ultimately, we have got to get over letting that word hurt our feelings. It seems like no matter how well we are doing as a people & no matter how right we are in a given situation, all a person has to do is call us a N-word & we self-destruct, we lose whatever battle we were in because we let it control us, the “Pontiac Game-Changer” if you will. Its like Pee Wee Herman’s word of the day, we just lose all control & perspective whenever its said. Don’t let it control you like that.

    • @Oates

      I don’t think it’s the use of the actual word that annoys me, it’s the fact that 99.9% of the time that word is used in reference to black people. Sure we could go on and on about how some of us use it as an endearing form of camaraderie, but the bottom line is that a N@gger can be anyone, at anytime according to its dictionary definition. That’s the only thing that gets on my nerves when we hear other races of people say it. If the term is going to be loosely used and be considered ‘not a big deal’, then it needs to have a new connotation associated with it that includes everyone….

    • @oates: I will say that I don’t think people should use the word… especially when directing it at people. That’s where the problem is.

      Mayer used it as a device within a sentence to prove and extremely valid point. He probably still shouldn’t have said it because most people aren’t smart enough understand what he said. But in no way was it racist.

      Insensitive to stupidity? Sure. But who cares about that. Most people need to look up the definition to racism and burn it into their memories.

      • We are all taught that we should be sensitive to people with diseases. Stupidity is the #1 disease affecting our global society

      • ‘He probably still shouldn’t have said it because most people aren’t smart enough understand what he said. ‘

        ~~~~

        I definitely got his point, but there is ALWAYS a better way to do things and he definitely took the shyttiest way possible. What I want to know is, why some people are so quick to forgive this type of language and shrug it off as nothing. Yes, we live in a society where the first amendment should be exercised but let’s not forget the hurtfulness of that word in our history. It’s like some of us just mentally azz kiss so people don’t call us angry or small minded….it is what it is, and no one should have to stomach being uncomfortable for the sake of how the ‘mainstream’ may stereotypes us….sorry, I’ve been on my black panther kick all month and the fiance’s got me listening to old Malcolm X speeches….there’s too many pansies amongst us…

        • eh, there’s always a better way to do things, but how often do people take that route? And it wasn’t the worst route possible. He easily could have actually directed the word at someone. That’s where the problem really would be.

          It’s a word, one that people shouldn’t use. But it gets used…by too many people, black & white. It’s not that people shouldn’t be slightly putoff by its use. But it’s a word, and people should be able to understand how it is being used…even when it could be avoided.

          Beyond that, it’s about knowing when to pick your battles. If people want to run off a cliff chasing John Mayer because he used the n-word in a dictionary-style sentence, go ahead. I’ll watch.

          • Damon,

            Yes, it is a word and no, it’s not worth putting energy into beyond sitting on the throne for a spell, but my point is that we don’t need to get conditioned to just shrugging this stuff off. You don’t like it when I get on my agenda kick, so I’ll leave it there, but de-sensitizing a people to something that should be offensive is the easiest way to control them….moving on…

            • @ jlbd – I agree with you but I just dont think that it applies to this situation

              • @peyso

                No, it doesn’t apply to THIS situation, but THIS situation IMHO is indicative of how easily we have been conditioned to trying to maintain the image of remaining ‘open-minded’ and ‘not angry’ in a ‘post-racial’ society.

                As I stated previously, I did not get offended by Mr. Mayer at all, I think the interview was wacky and while reading it I was making every confused expression possible, but his use of the ‘N’ word was soooo unnecessary. The only thing that is amazing to me is how many of ‘us’ are trying so diligently to look around that part of the interview, but fail to realize that ‘that part’ still exists….

                Sidenote: I heard he spazzed out on stage and apologized emotionally for using the ‘N’ word in this interview…

            • Just to play devil’s advocate for a second:

              Is it not the fact that the word offends that gives it, its control?

              I’d venture to say that those that use it for negativity, use it deliberately to piss us off; to take control of our emotional state. If we refuse to be offended by it; refuse to let it get us emotional and up in arms, are we not removing the power from it?

              Not saying I’m wrong or right, just offering a different point of view.

              • @T. Jackson

                I could agree with you only if:

                Jews weren’t offended by anti-semetic remarks,
                Italians weren’t offended by Jersey Shore and the ‘G’ word,
                Latinos weren’t offended by the ‘S’ word and ‘WB’ word,
                Native Americans weren’t offended by the ‘I’ word (and I’m not talking about the word Indian),
                Arabic people weren’t offended by the ‘CF’ and ‘SN’ words….

                Bottom line, we have RIGHT to get offended by something that is offensive, but it seems like we put alot of energy into trying to NOT be offended…

                • I agree with you totally that we have the right to be offended. And for anyone that was offended, I see justifiable reason why.

                  But, I also believe that we have the right to not be offended, if it truly doesn’t offend us, without it being viewed that we are trying to avoid the situation.

                  By not getting offended, I’m not justifying Mayer’s use of the word, it’s just that personally I do not get offended every time someone uses the N-word. For me it is more so the intent behind what they are saying that determines how I feel. To Damon’s point earlier, I’ve never heard Rush Limbaugh use the N-word, but almost everything that he says out of his mouth in regards to race offends me.

                  on on another note: I was more appalled by Mayer’s view of women than by his use of the N-word.

                  • I hear you, and like I said previously I’m not really offended by this either but I think we need to be mindful of our current society. Comparing Rush to John is really like comparing apples to oranges, and acknowledging how annoying Rush is to dismiss John is ineffective to me. They both did or said something dumb, regardless of who offended who more. But, observe your surroundings of late…There have been alot of slip of the tongues lately and they’ve fixed each one by issuing a quick apology and the matter is forgotten until the next slip occurs. The boundaries are being tested. I digress…

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