Tuesday, January 26, 2016

B.o.B.'s Pro-Flat Earth, Pro-Holocaust Denier Diss Track

So this happened. The rapper B.o.B. put out a diss track targeting Neil DeGrasse Tyson for the mortal sin of noting that the earth is, indeed, round. The track, titled "Flatline" (get it?), also contains quite a few other conspiracy theories, including a shoutout to Holocaust Denier David Irving and the lyric "Stalin was way worse than Hitler/That’s why the POTUS gotta wear a Kipper."

For the most part, I find this more amusing than anything, though I am worried that I may not be able to listen to my two different versions of "Haterz Everywhere" guilt-free anymore. I do want to briefly point out two things, though:

(1) It's amazing how conspiracy theories hang together, and how the Jews always get roped into them. Flat earthism is nuts in its own right, but there's no inherent reason to think its adherents should have any particular views on Jews. Yet of course it is entirely unsurprising to hear Jews pop up here.

(2) The Gawker post actually doesn't mention the Holocaust denier thing at all (they do allude to there being more conspiracy theories in the lyrics other beyond belief in a flat earth). To be sure, pointing that out might kill the buzz of "haha, B.o.B is so stupid and ridiculous, beefing with Neil DeGrasse Tyson." Flat earthism is just dumb, but it doesn't really hurt anyone; anti-Semitism is more of a killjoy. Still, it strikes me as unlikely that other overt forms of racism or intolerance would pass by similarly unremarked-upon. The distinction, I feel, is that pointing out anti-Semitism -- even in such clear terms -- is considered to be gauche. It isn't something that we should keep a critical eye on and interrogate when we see it, it is something that we're all too sensitive towards and should be more willing to let slide.

Now to be sure, I'm not particularly threatened by this musical track (frankly, associating Holocaust denial with "Earth is round" denial is doing me a favor). So in a functioning deliberative space regarding anti-Semitism, I wouldn't really mind simply laughing this incident off. Indeed, (as much as a performative contradiction as this is) I don't think there's much more to say about B.o.B.'s Holocaust denial other than to snicker at how idiotic he's being. But it still stands out to me that it wasn't mentioned at all, and I think that failure is reflective of something worth pondering about.


Binyamin Arazi said...

None of this stuff even surprises me anymore, and that fact by itself is a sign that something is very, very wrong with our culture. Whether we like it or not, antisemitism is once again entering the mainstream, and there's pretty much nothing we can do about it. I have a feeling that it's only going to get worse from this point forward. I despair for the future when I look at recent events.

stickytuesday said...

"Yet of course it is entirely unsurprising to hear Jews pop up here."

I assume this is bc believing in an outlandish theory (like flat earthism) necessitates explaining why no one agrees with you. The only possible answer that preserves the theory is that a) they're brainwashed or b) they're in on it. So you need some kind of cabal powerful enough to spread disinformation throughout the society with such a high rate of success that your opinion is a tiny minority. Like the Illuminati, or the Free Masons, or, of course, the Jews.