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An Open Letter to Otep Shamaya


Otep The Gauntlet has brought on our good friend Otep Shamaya for the coming weeks/months/until she gets tired of us to host a guest blog. Of course having someone like Otep speaking her mind is sure to raise trouble, however we didn't expect it from our own camp. Our pal and frequent Gauntlet columnist over at Spine Language has issued an 'Open Letter to Otep Shamaya.'

WARNING: Those of you expecting this letter to be humorous will be severely disappointed - and for that, I am sorry. But fuck you.

Dear Otep,

Buenos tardes! Is this a bad time? I hope I'm not interrupting one of your spoken word brainstorming sessions. When's your next Def Poetry appearance? I'll TiVo it.

Anyways, just wanted to check in and see how things are going. Heard you've got a new album coming out. I won't be buying it, or listening to it for that matter, but - good for you. What's this one about? You don't have George Bush for lyrical inspiration anymore, so I'm guessing maybe it's a companion album all about Cheney. No? Damn. I know, I hate 'em both too. I guess I better watch the video you just released to get a better idea.

Hmm. So clearly we're still playing the "America is bad" game. I'm cool with that. The song sucks though. Just saying.

But after watching that and reading your new blog post, some things about you just don't add up. See, I was under the impression that you were anti-establishment (anti-"control machine" if you prefer), but it seems in this post that you're a pretty staunch supporter of Barack Obama and his policies, if not wholly then at least on the subject of health care reform. I also saw that you were at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Why they allowed you to speak, I'll never know - but I guess if the Republicans allow Ted Nugent and Chuck Norris to be their spokesmen, the Democrats might as well have you.

Back to the point: why criticize (and justifiably so, I might add) George W. Bush but refuse to do the same for Barack Obama? Why pretend to be anti-government one year and then be pro-government the next? Why subscribe to a "control machine" like the Republican/Democrat dichotomy if you're going to base the title of an entire album on doing the exact thematic opposite? Truly, it boggles the mind.

This is the kind of reaction I had when Tom Araya went all Jesus fish on the metal world; it devalued Slayer's music. Unfortunately, the difference between your band and Slayer is that they actually wrote good music a couple decades ago, whereas you...well...you still haven't written a good song ("Blood Pigs" was tolerable, I guess). I hate for it to have to be that way because I honestly do think you're an intelligent woman, and you should be applauded by the people who think what you do is amazing. I won't be one of those people, but I'm sure you're cool with that. I just want to know how you can feel legitimate as an outspoken critic of the American government after writing that post. Your words are poetic and heartfelt, there's no doubt about that, but your opinions are straight out of the mouths of MSNBC talk show hosts.

Let's get some things straight first. I'm not a Republican in any shape or form, nor am I a Democrat. I don't call myself an Independent, a Patriot, or a Ralph Nader fan either. I'm just me - an individual. I think health care reform is crucial to our stability as a nation, but I don't agree with Barack Obama's policies nor his handling of the issue from a public relations standpoint. I think both Republicans and Democrats (the Obama administration included) are trying to stifle the free speech of their opponents by using media bullhorns like FOX News, MSNBC, and CNN in addition to a billion other blogs, newsletters, and "unsolicited e-mails" to polarize groups of people against each other. They are deliberately distracting us from the real issue in order to cause conflict. Why? Because out of conflict comes control. But you probably know that. I mean you've written so many god damn songs about it you'd have to...right?

Well, if you actually did know that, I can only assume you wouldn't have written another partisan rant against right-wing nutjobs (as if there aren't any nutjobs in the opposite wing) - and that's not what you did. No, instead of educating your fans on the real issue you chose to be nothing more than a Rachel Maddow impostor, trying to stir up anger against conservatives at the behest of our dear leader (remember when Bush tried to do the same thing to liberals?). That's fine if you want to do that's your freedom of speech and you can do what you like. But if you're going to be partisan (something Barack Obama said he was strongly against but now can't seem to escape for one reason or another), change the message of your songs. You can't "smash the control machine" from only one side and expect people not to notice.

In short, you confuse me, Otep Shamaya. Many "prostate gods" like myself used to think you were hot for both your looks and your opinions, but now I don't think either of them are all they're cracked up to be.

Peace and love,

CM

You can read more of Spine Language's blog at this location

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Tags:  OtepOtep shamayapoliticsblogspine language

    August 19, 2009

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