Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Decline and Fall of the Bling Empire

Good lord, hasn't Mickey learned his lesson from panicked updates past? Maybe you should just let sleeping embarrassments lie. (I know I do!) Anyway, another timeline:

1) Mickey approvingly links to some absolutely awesome commentary on how Obama will finally destroy the rap music and stop the tattoos and will get all these damn kids off my lawn and no-I'm-not-a-racist-I-hate-all-people-who-like-black-music, etc.

[Mickey doesn't trust Obama to stand up to congressional Democrats, teacher's unions or Money Liberals, but he's supposed to singlehandedly change black culture? -- ed. Clearly, Mickey's just another Obamabot, treating Obama like he's the *Messiah* or something ...]

2) Mickey gets made fun of.

3) Mickey, eleven months later, willfully misinterprets a WSJ story about rappers and the recession (the Wall Street Journal being Black America's paper of record) to mean that bling culture is dying -- and Mickey was right all along!

4) Mickey gets made fun of, again. E.g.:

This is the same Mickey Kaus who argued that Destiny Child's "Pay My Bills" was proof that welfare reform worked.

5) Mickey, eyes swelling, begins swinging wildly:

All we know for sure from the WSJ story is that hip hop artists have less money with which to buy bling. That could be because of the recession, or it could be because of the decline in the music industry in general ("Internet piracy cutting into musicians' record sales") or it could be a change in hip hop fashion--or it could be because hip hop specifically has been falling out of favor and the ascension of Obama is delivering the coup d' grace.

Say you're Lil Wayne -- rapping, shopping, flying hard like geese erection, etc. According to Mickey, the reason you "have less money with which to buy bling" is:

(a) the recession -- as people have less money to spend, they spending less on your product (makes sense); or

(b) the decline in the music industry due to file-sharing -- people are spending less money on your product in general (also okay); or

(c) a change in hip hop fashion -- uh ... don't really see how this ends up with less money in Lil Wayne's pocket, as opposed to the makers of the blingity bling, but maybe Mickey is advancing this as an explanation for why hip-hoppers aren't buying the bling anymore (iffy, possibly irrelevant); or finally

(d) hip-hop has fallen out of favor -- well, that would put a dent in Lil Wayne's pocket, but the evidence for this is ... where exactly? It doesn't seem to be here.

Ah, but there's the rub. We're in Kaus-land, where evidence for his assertion comes from his assertions themselves, so naturally the evidence-free (d) is the correct answer here. And if you've been following, Mickey's narrative has gone from "Obama's election kills bling" to "Obama's election kills hip-hop" to "hip-hop is dying anyway and hey Obama's election would be a fun little data point for our posthumous line graph".

Nobody said that turning a wish into a conclusion into a hypothesis into evidence was easy.