I'm so frigging sick and tired of hearing about Rihanna, every two seconds its "Rihanna this Rihanna that... Rihanna can't sing, Rihanna into bad boys, Rihanna has too many tattoos, Rihanna sells her soul, Rihanna felates a banana, Rihanna single handedly cripples the global economy...!! I CAN'T take it! I feel like if I have to hear about Rihanna again I will pull my toenails out one by one with a pair of pliers. I don't want to hear about her anymore!!!
I know there is a small subculture of people in Barbados (I like to call them the Anti-Rihanna society) who are probably nodding in gleeful agreement when I say I'm sick and tired of hearing about ras-hole Rihanna... well you people can kiss my arse! This is NOT an anti-Rihanna rant! And for those of you who run around talking about your "Ri Ri"... wunna could take a ticket and pucker up too, because she ain't my Ri Ri I don't know her personally and besides she is a growed (yes growed) woman and only her mother or her man should be calling a growed woman "Ri Ri"
This little vitriol is not even about Rihanna, per se, so much as it is about the ridiculousness, willful blindness and red herringism (My phrase) that surrounds her. I think (surprise surprise) that there are a number of valuable and meaningful reasons why we (Bajans) could scrutinise the phenomenom that is Rihanna.
The policy makers and politicians (both parties, we are non-partisan) for example. You know the ones I mean, the ones who for the last however many years have been running around talking about "Cultural industries" and dreaming up various "cultural policies" and "acts" and "complexes" and "super-complexes", all of which appear to assume that our "cultural production" (enough with the quotation marks :) is supported and organised enough to be called an industry. None of which seem to acknowledge the need for, or encourage investment in the arts at the grassroots developmental level.* These people would do well to look at the fact that Rihanna was fifteen when she was picked up but that we didn't hear a peep out of her until she was seventeen. Two years of investing in and developing the artist before expecting a finished product.
Some of our lazy arse artistes, who feel that they could just come and sing, dance, act, write, make movies, with out ever having spent the time to learn and fine tune their craft, could also take a look at Rihanna's invisible two years in which she was voice trained, and learned about performing, and they could pick sense from that!
The folks frantically looking for "the next Rihanna" could consider that Robyn Fenty was discovered and Rihanna was created...and recreated... and recreated again (her image keeps changing) and pick sense from that too!
Some of us creative people who seem terrified of sharing ideas and working together should look at how Rihanna expanded her fan base through collaborations with other artistes.
Our business people who refuse to invest in the arts and our artists who refuse to acknowledge the business of art would both do well to consider that it was through examination and manipulation of market trends and the application of new business model (Internet distribution and dissemination) that Rihanna was able to smash Madonna's previous (long standing) sales records.
As I say there is a lot we could seriously look at where Rihanna is concerned, instead we all fussed up over the fact that she said "CUNT" (and yes I spelled it out) and then said (or was reported to have said) that Bajans don't find the word offensive. But we don't... well sometimes we do, but not all the time... consider how I discovered this story: a friend looked up from his laptop and said to me... "You $2 yah cunt (term of endearment) Rihanna does do nuff cunt (descriptive)" . Funny enough he had barely told me that when the story of her posing for Esquire magazine broke and people were vexed at Rihanna for exposing her OWN bubbies yah cunt!
I just don't get it there are so many valuable lessons in the Rihanna story and we keep getting distracted by a barrel of red herrings... and for the record if you really think that world wide fans are judging Barbados based on Rihanna's personal antics ("she letting down Barbados" being one of the mantras of the petty) you may have an over bloated idea of our importance and the seriouness with which people take celebrities.
Don't get me wrong, we are all entitled to our opinions and if you want to get your panties in a twist over the (rather tame) behaviour of a young pop star that is your business... me personally I DON'T GIVE a C**T!
Nala (The $2 Philosopher)
*There is actually a Cultural Policies bill (draft) circulating now It (in my opinion) needs work, If you are an Artist of any kind you should take a look at it and offer our policy makers your input!