By now you’ve probably seen, or at least heard about, Lana Del Rey’s almost universally panned performance on SNL last weekend, as it was the talk for the internet for some time earlier in the week. Now, Whitney Cummings, someone who knows a thing or two about being loathed by the internet (She did single-handedly kill Community after all — no one denies this) has come to Del Rey’s defense, posting the rhetorical equivalent of Chris Crocker’s “Leave Britney Alone!” video to her Tumblr.
I can’t really judge her performance. I am not qualified to do that since I’m very forgiving of performers because performing is FUCKING HARD. It takes a long time to get good, and even when you are good, you can be challenged by new venues and being televised, and cameras, and the uh…fear and terror of being slammed by critics and bloggers, plus if you are a woman you also get fashion criticism and if you’re a pretty woman you’re accused of having plastic surgery and if you’re not you’re “busted” and people blog about how they don’t want to fuck you…it’s not ideal.
I am intrigued by Lana Del Rey. She seems very odd and self-made and scrappy which I like. Her style is bonkers. She always looks so fresh and original. I think she’s from either Brooklyn or the future. Her stylist must be Baz Luhrmann. Her nails are fresh for life. Zoe Lister Jones showed me the video games video a long time ago and we were very smitten with her face and mystery and the cool video for it and legitimately good lyrics and song. We were for sure annoyed by how pretty she was but we checked that nasty competitive shit right away because the song was cool. She earned for us to not objectify her and get petty. Because something about this girl brings out the petty in us. Her quick rise? Her pretty face? Something is pissing people off about this girl and I just think it’s an opportunity for us to learn from ourselves and grow. (LOOK AT HOW MUCH OF AN ADULT I AM NOW!)…I just think whether someone sucks or someone doesn’t we should be kinder to them. So whether or not Lana sucked, I think we should be encouraging and patient. Other peoples success doesn’t fuck up our lives and other people failures should not brighten them.
Lets forgive her for being human and all be kinder to each other. Let’s all just have more love and less venom all around, eh?
Okay (takes deep breathe).
Look, criticism of people who make their living creating art — whether it be music or paintings or films or food — has been around since people began making a living creating art. It’s something that just goes with the territory. If one wants the fame and fortune one can attain by being a famous singer or actor or whatever, one has to be prepared for the fact that some people are going to be critical of the performances they create. I’m sorry, but you just can’t have it both ways. Even the guy who immigrates from India and opens a small restaurant in his town has to live with the fact that a local food critic or a Yelper may write that the lamb curry he serves tasted like an old man’s sweaty a$s and may cause diarrhea. Hell, even bloggers have to deal with criticism — in comments, in emails, on Facebook and Twitter, etc. — and people have been known to say, if you can believe it, hurtful things. IMAGINE THAT! It’s all no different — go sell insurance or something if you’re too thin-skinned to deal with criticism. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a Utopia where only love and affection exists. The only remedy is to try hard not to suck so as to give the fewest number of people reason to complain.
As I stated in my post the other day, I felt sorry for Lana Del Rey. She was obviously not ready to be on SNL, though she has some talent. In my mind, her being on the show before she was ready to be on it is mainly the fault of others (This includes the people who book musical talent on SNL) who, if they had her best interests at heart, probably shouldn’t have scheduled her on the show. However, huge public mistakes are often learned from and built upon, and this experience could possibly end up being one of the best things to ever happen to Lana Del Rey as an artist and a person. We’ll all just have to wait and see.
Additionally, I can’t tell you how many people have told me in the last week some variance of this: “I had no idea who Lana Del Rey was until I read what you wrote about her, but I listened to some of her recorded tracks and they weren’t that bad.” There’s an old adage about there being no such thing as bad publicity. I don’t think that’s always the case, but a lot more people now know who Lana Del Rey is than before Saturday night. So there’s that!
Last but not least, Whitney really is a bad television show. Deal with it, Whitney Cummings.