WARNING: Graphic words ahead. May not be suitable for children or for sensitive readers (like me).
There are times when I think to myself, "Am I being the best Bianca I can be? If I just work a little harder, maybe people would see how great I am, and things will turn out okay."
Then comes the John Mayer interview, and I no longer feel there would be a payoff from my working any harder at all.
When I first read about John's apology, which was featured on Yahoo's front page, I was confused. I don't keep up with the regular day-to-day nonsense of John Mayer, from his mockings of paparazzi to his incessant tweets. I'm not even sure when his last album came out, or if anyone would care about him if he hadn't done two famous blond ladies. So I had no idea what John was apologizing for, or why it was headline news.
Tonight while I was watching The Soup, I read John Mayer's entire March 2010 Playboy article. None of it is flattering to John, but here is the excerpt that made my skin crawl:
MAYER: I grew up in my own head. As soon as I lose that control, once I have to deal with someone else’s desires, I cut and run. I’m pretty culpable about being hard to live with. I have had a good run of imagining things into reality. I’ve got a huge streak of successes based on my own inventions. If you tell me I’m wrong or that I’m overthinking something, well, overthinking has given me everything in my career. I have a hard time not looking at anxiety disorder as being like an ATM. I can invent things really well. I mean, I have unbelievable orgasms alone. They’re always the best. They always end the way I want them to end. And I have such an ability to make believe, I can almost project something onto my wall, watch it and get off to it: sexually, musically, it doesn’t matter. When I meet somebody, I’m in a situation in which I can’t run it because another person is involved. That means letting someone else talk, not waiting for them to remind you of something interesting you had in mind.
PLAYBOY: Masturbation for you is as good as sex?
MAYER: Absolutely, because during sex, I’m just going to run a filmstrip. I’m still masturbating. That’s what you do when you’re 30, 31, 32. This is my problem now: Rather than meet somebody new, I would rather go home and replay the amazing experiences I’ve already had.
PLAYBOY: You’d rather jerk off to an ex-girlfriend than meet someone new?
MAYER: Yeah. What that explains is that I’m more comfortable in my imagination than I am in actual human discovery. The best days of my life are when I’ve dreamed about a sexual encounter with someone I’ve already been with. When that happens, I cannot lay off myself.
Okay, so that wasn't the statement he apologized for. It was still creepy, though. Dude has is-sues!
Here comes the super skin-crawly part:
PLAYBOY: If you didn’t know you, would you think you’re a douche bag?
MAYER: It depends on what I picked up. My two biggest hits are “Your Body Is a Wonderland” and “Daughters.” If you think those songs are pandering, then you’ll think I’m a douche bag. It’s like I come on very strong. I am a very…I’m just very. V-E-R-Y. And if you can’t handle very, then I’m a douche bag. But I think the world needs a little very. That’s why black people love me.
Oh, really? Am I the only one who missed the throngs of black John Mayer fans? He's not freaking Justin Timberlake. By looking at his fans, sadly John is more akin to Hootie.
The oversharing continues:
PLAYBOY: Because you’re very?
MAYER: Someone asked me the other day, “What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?” And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, “I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’"
PLAYBOY: It is true; a lot of rappers love you. You recorded with Common and Kanye West, played live with Jay-Z.
MAYER: What is being black? It’s making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that’s seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you’ll die inside. Not to say that my struggle is like the collective struggle of black America. But maybe my struggle is similar to one black dude’s.
And which black dude's struggle would that be? Malcolm X's? Medgar Evers's? Michael Vick's?
The best is yet to come:
PLAYBOY: Do black women throw themselves at you?
MAYER: I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.
PLAYBOY: Let’s put some names out there. Let’s get specific.
MAYER: I always thought Holly Robinson Peete was gorgeous. Every white dude loved Hilary from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And Kerry Washington. She’s superhot, and she’s also white-girl crazy. Kerry Washington would break your heart like a white girl. Just all of a sudden she’d be like, “Yeah, I sucked his dick. Whatever.” And you’d be like, “What? We weren’t talking about that.” That’s what “Heartbreak Warfare” is all about, when a girl uses jealousy as a tactic.
For the record, I have never thrown myself at John Mayer. I have never loved John Mayer. I don't love John Mayer now. And unless he saves some babies from a burning ship, I doubt I will ever love John Mayer in the future.
The twisted, yet honorable, part of the whole debacle is that he was telling the truth. And I know from personal experience that he is not the only guy--regardless of color or fame or nationality--who feels that way. Hence, the skin crawling, the resentment, and the heartache. But mostly, this reinforces the persistent sick feeling in my stomach when I encounter people who deny the privilege that they have, simply by being born into the right demographic.
Finally, a quote from a commenter on the thread following the article, "When Racefail Meets Playboy: The John Mayer Interview," by AJ Plaid, Racialicious:
"The bitch of it is Mayer’s comment is–yet again–another pop-culture 'confirmation' that Black women are undateable, which translates to utterly undesireable and unfuckable."
And the world goes to great pains to make sure black women never ever forget it.
Happy Black History Month!