So, the latest ridiculous pop cultural controversy out there is over the Lil Nas X “Montero” video, which has right wing conservative social media throwing holy water, exorcisms, and epithets in equal measure at the singer who shot to fame with “Old Town Road.”
As one person cried on Twitter, Lil Nas X has completely disappointed them because their kids loved “Old Town Road,” which also featured Billy Ray Cyrus, whose daughter, Miley, has been the target of some of these same holy rollers trying to condemn pop cultural provocateurs.
Which is… EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO DO.
This whole thing is an obvious and blatant publicity stunt.
And, honestly, I love it for that.
You want to get some attention? Tweak a group with a short fuse and a big mouth. Either extreme — right or left wing — will do. Trigger them with something, and just watch as your Google search ranking goes up, as clueless morons throw fits over your button-pushing and give you all the attention you desire for your new project.
And that’s all this is.
The “Montero” video is a massively produced, expensive bit of CGI publicity stunt meant to hype a so-so song with meh lyrics that hit upon a topic as well-tread as that old town road.
It’s blatantly obvious the song is your typical tune written by an artist that’s just achieved massive fame and realizes that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, and feels like they made a deal with the devil, and they have to work hard to retain their sense of self and creative control in order to overcome the demons of the entertainment industry.
Only, Lil Nas X paints that picture LITERALLY in the video.
In the vid, which probably cost millions, the singer plays the part of Adam in the garden of Eden (i.e. an innocent musical artist), seduced by the devil (i.e. the music industry), and corrupted along the way (i.e. poisoned by the industry), before retaliating at the end and, after lap-dancing Satan (i.e. pretending to go along with the program of the industry), taking the crown of hell and ruling as leader (i.e. taking over creative control of his work and becoming even more famous than before.)
This song, video, and subject, is beyond beating a dead horse, it’s a horse corpse frappe. Probably 90 percent of ALL artists, after their big breakthrough, write some song or album about how the industry is grinding them down and how fame isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, whether it’s Stone Temple Pilots’ “Big Bang Baby” (which is a really cool song and video), or the awesome Sex Pistols’ “EMI,” or Pink Floyd’s “Have A Cigar,” or Nirvana’s “Rape Me,” etc. etc. etc.
And in this case, for whatever reason, Lil Nas X has decided to name his industry protest album after something that sounds like a car endorsed by Ricardo Montalban in the 1980s. Which makes it even more difficult to take seriously.
As for the video, and its scandalous imagery?
The Lil Nas X “Montero” video is FREAKIN’ HILARIOUS. It’s so over the top ridiculous and contrived to offend, it’s impossible to take seriously. It’s totally batshit crazy and intentional, and it always amuses me to see provocateurs push the buttons of the easily triggered, which is all he’s doing here.
I mean, c’mon, he makes out with a gay Satan in the Garden of Eden, then slides down a stripper pole to give the devil a lapdance, before killing him and taking his crown of weaves.
How on earth could any reasonable human being take this seriously? Honestly. It’s so blatantly a button-pressing joke and publicity stunt.
And yet, there are millions of people out there, taking the bait, saying that Lil Nas X is somehow indoctrinating gullible teens into demonic possession and gender fluid activities with entities from hell.
But, that’s also the point of the antagonists, that this is entirely a symbiotic relationship.
Fox News and all the rest NEED people like Lil Nas X. For the same reason Lil Nas X and artists like him NEED Fox News and the other right wing pearl-clutchers. One peddles outrage to an audience that gets off on being outraged, the other blatantly peddles the thing to outrage to curry favor with an audience that wants to be shocking and get a rise to make their mark in the world. It’s like a shark and a lamprey, only with more glitter and outtakes from the “Spawn” movie.
And good on him. You go Glenn Coco, four for you, Lil Nas X. You fire up that outrage, you create that controversy, you work those album sales.
But no matter what you do, no matter how far you go, you’ll never quite generate as much controversy as this guy and THIS VIDEO
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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.