One Joke Over The Line
by MOLLY LAMBERT
Trying to explain privilege to some people can sort of be like trying to explain the Matrix to somebody who is in the Matrix. They're like "whaaa?" because it has literally never occurred to them that their mode of being might differ from other (non-white, non-male, non-straight) people's experiences of the world. Nobody likes to be condescended to. That's why the number one killer of love is contempt, and why I used a Matrix reference instead of something more snobby and indirect.
That's why people like John Mayer, who can't help but be contemptuous of everyone else for not being as totally awesome as they are, don't generally find love. There's an intersection between narcissism and misogyny that ends up with bachelors like Jack Nicholson and Alec Baldwin, who both repeatedly fantasize in interviews about falling in love and getting married again, oblivious to why that's not gonna happen.
Hilarious profoundly sexist made up words like mansplaining and mantrums do sort of get at some real issues. Kanye West had a burgeoning alcohol problem to blame for his VMAs mantrum. Does John Mayer have a cocaine problem? Or just regular run of the mill blogger mental issues? I mean I've been interviewed a couple times, but not in person, and I can imagine saying some easy to quote out of context shit if actually tape recorded. I doubt I could possibly be this offensive or entertaining.
Even more so than Lady Gaga, John Mayer's life is performance art. And for years now it has been the performance of an incredibly insecure and simultaneously incredibly arrogant guy. Funny, mean, and obliviously defensive. John Mayer's whole interview schtick is a sustained act of attempted mansplaining. He just cannot say anything nice without backstabbing somebody in the process.
Mayer's well aware that he has perennial foot in mouth disease. He has tried to channel it into comedy, and then gets mad at the audience for not 'getting' his jokes and making him mansplain them. The Kumail Nanjiani thing is profoundly cringeable. White guys just don't get to make racist jokes. I don't care what VICE told you in 2001. Try that shit around some brown skinned people (DON'T).
Saying that the concept of a white artist like John Mayer having a "hood pass" is racist is not racist, dropping the n bomb is a never particularly good idea. Saying that your dick is a white supremacist (specifically David Duke) is where I draw the line, in terms of empathy. Gabby Sidibe should step on his balls in high heels.
Ever the normie, John Mayer's taste in women runs to the blonde and Aryan. Of course he wants to bone Taylor Swift. Honestly we all know he should because the guy who takes that girl's virginity is already doomed and this way we'd probably get some rad songs out of it about princes stabbing princesses to death with unicorn tusks.
Of course Jessica Simpson was his sexual ideal, she's built like a porn star and programmed to shut up on command by her scary preacher dad. Then there were those blind items about how John Mayer encouraged her not to talk during their relationship by telling her that she looked prettiest with her mouth closed (YIKES).
Kanye and John Mayer both made incredibly personal, one might say oversharey, breakup albums. Divisive albums, especially for such popular mainstream favorites. Kanye's autotune bullshit was a screen to hide behind so he could be vulnerable.
"I am human and I need to be loved, just like anybody else does"
Likewise John Mayer talks mad shit about Jennifer Aniston on Battle Studies and outs her as a wine drunk, but also pines for her in a creepily authentic way. He tells Playboy they broke up because "one of the most significant differences between us was that I was tweeting." He also says Jen "wishes it would go back to 1998" (YOWCH).
Both the Kanye and John Mayer albums are such pure expressions of post-breakup angst, oscillating wildly between sadness and fuck youism. There's a lot of regret and saudade strung up in both. Neither one is Blood On The Tracks or anything (or Sea Change or last year's Two Suns) but they're interesting artifacts at the least.
Mayer suggests that if you find "Daughters" and "Your Body Is A Wonderland" condescending, you're not going to be "into" him. But what are both those songs if not incredibly condescending to women? Girls become lovers who turn into mothers? What the fuck are you talking about? He even made a television pilot that is expressly just him being a (hilariously) condescending dick to his fans. I hope Jennifer Aniston is laughing on Gerry Butler's dick right now in Cabo.
"You guys into the Animal Collective? I'm more of a Deakin man myself"
The whole thing about John Mayer is that he acts far too cool for somebody who makes the kind of music he makes. His persona suggests an indie culture snob, somebody who wouldn't be caught dead listening to John Mayer. But he is a populist and I contrarian (I can relate). He thinks liking mainstream Billboard charts music is revolutionary, whereas your modern actual music snob knows this is just one part of your balanced eclectic diet. We'd all hate him more if he tried to hip us to Grizzly Bear or Beach House or something.
My suggestion is that John Mayer spend the long weekend snowed in with Wanda Sykes so that he may emerge somewhat more knowledgeable about race, gender, orientation, and being fucking clever. I'm sure Wanda also knows ways to make women cum that John Mayer has never heard of.
I'm not saying Jessica Simpson fakes orgasms, but would you really be surprised? My other solution is that John Mayer and Kanye make a sex tape together.