Tag Archives: Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X: Make Everyone Laugh at the Haters

Laurie and Debbie say:

In case his music isn’t your thing, Lil Nas X is a highly talented rapper and singer, and a two-time Grammy winner. Along with his musical proficiency, he has a lesser known but equally finely-honed talent: he’s brilliant at trolling racists, white supremacists, and homophobes– which he gets plenty of opportunity to do, as he is both Black and gay.

Jazmin Tolliver has a short piece at Huffington Post about one of Lil Nas X’s latest ripostes. A group of anti-LGBTQ protesters showed up outside his Montero tour stop in Boston this past Sunday … and he had his team bring them pizza! And tweeted about it.

Now here they are, hypocrites if they accept the pizza, fools if they reject it. So they rejected it. And here’s the extra zinger.

Of course, homophobic and white supremacist movements are extremely dangerous and must be taken seriously. That being said, nothing disconcerts these people more than being set up to be laughed at, and it’s a great tactic when used carefully. This makes us think not only of some other stunts Lil Nas X has pulled, but also of the K-POP Army that undermined a major Trump rally in the lead-up to the 2020 election, and the time-honored technique of getting your supporters to pledge donations based on the number of counter-protestors who show up.

The pizza gift isn’t only a good strategy to discomfit and dismiss the protesters, it’s also a way to make Lil Nas X and his staff and fans feel good about themselves, which matters.


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‘Cause It’s Always Gotta Be Blood

Laurie and Debbie say:

In April of this year, gay Black musician Lil Nas X released a limited line of Nike shoes in collaboration with art collective MSCHF. The shoes featured a pentagram design and a sole filled with red ink and “one drop of human blood,” provided by members of the art collective. The 665 pairs of shoes sold in less than a minute (the 666th was supposed to be given away–gotta love Lil Nas X’s flair!), but the homophobic right-wing outrage was almost as quick and Nike halted the sale of all shoes that hadn’t been shipped.

Now, straight white skateboarding star Tony Hawk has sold out a limited edition of 100 skateboards, designed with paint which includes Hawk’s blood, and outrage is noticeably absent. (Read about this in Raffy Ermac’s article at Out, Lil Nas X Points Out Lack of Outrage for Tony Hawk’s Blood Skateboards.)

Needless to say, Lil Nas X is right: racism, homophobia, and double standards are all at work here, and we support him unconditionally.

At the same time, this makes us think about the role of blood in human culture(s). The title of this post is from Spike, a vampire character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spike expands on that quotation by saying:

Blood is life, lackbrain. Why do you think we eat it? It’s what keeps you going, makes you warm, makes you hard, makes you other than dead.

So it’s no accident that blood-infused consumer goods are cropping up in the time of COVID-19, when being “other than dead” is on the mind of virtually every human being on the globe, including the affluent and comfortable, and the rich and powerful. It’s no accident that the complex and confusing aspects of COVID stem in large part from it being a vascular disease (i.e., a disease of the bloodstream), which is why it affects so many different human systems and has such a wide variety of symptoms and severity.

Spike (or his screenwriters) are correct when they say blood is life. Blood is a centerpiece of religions across the world, from the Jewish/Islamic conviction that menstruating women must be sequestered, through the Christian rituals of drinking the blood of Christ, to religions that demand blood and scarification. Blood is simultaneously unclean and purifying, terrifying and essential.

If two famous men in two very different subcultures have created consumer goods with blood in them, and both have had commercial success, you can bet your last late-capitalist dollar that more of these goods are coming. They will take many forms, and they will get many reactions: when women start getting on the bandwagon, a whole new set of horrified responses will appear on the scene … especially when it is menstrual blood.

It took 21st century technology and a global pandemic to quicken this trend; now we all get to watch it unfold. Somewhere, Spike is snickering gleefully.


Thanks to Alan Bostick for suggesting the Spike quotations. Follow Debbie on Twitter.

Follow Laurie’s new Pandemic Shadows photos on Instagram.