[Editor’s note from Zac S in italics]
Late last night, I got an email from an individual who wanted to be known only as HandlebarMustache420. He/she wanted to share an article that had been rejected at several other blogs, and asked if we at Boston Bike Polo would post it on our blog. I love R. Kelly and I love scattered ramblings so I’m going to take a chance on this anonymous blogger and hope that the people out there are receptive to this type of insanity.
Here BBP presents to you: Polo and R. Kelly, by HandlebarMustache420.
I think a lot about the culture of bike polo. What kind of people are we? And what kind of people do we aspire to be? Generally speaking, I think we are an active, athletic, and friendly group of people. I try not to let a few bad apples ruin the bunch, and for the most part we can all be very charming, and very alluring to people looking for new hobbies. Bike polo also has a dark side; the sport sometimes displays qualities one might find in an abusive partner (not my analogy, but I like it a lot). You have unexplainable cuts and bruises on your arms and legs, and you keep trying to rationalize all of the emotional and physical pain. I haven’t even mentioned the money: where does it go? Travel costs? Mallet equipment? Beer fund? Most importantly, the sport often makes decisions that impact you without asking. At the end of the day, though, bike polo whispers sweetly, “you’re body is callin’, baby,” with an R. Kelly-esque knowing wink.
Yeah, I know R. Kelly is allegedly a rapist, and make no mistake, it breaks my heart. He is one of my musical idols and the composer of my favorite karaoke songs and middle school jams. We all know that bike polo is co-ed, and most of my best friends in the polo world are women. I have a lot of respect for them as people, and even respect for their talent and toughness on the court. I am not a “feminist” in the traditional sense, so does it make me an accessory to sexism if I listen to his new album, even though most of the songs on Black Panties celebrate women and their bodies?
Ok, you’re right. R. Kelly doesn’t really “celebrate” women. For the most part he only honors a very specific part of the female anatomy. The really odd thing is, R. Kelly will sing a song about proposing marriage to a girl’s vagina (seriously— the song is called Marry The Pussy and it’s on his newest album, “Black Panties”), and on the next track fall to his knees and pray for forgiveness from his dead mother in heaven. It’s perplexing, but to me it’s completely enthralling. I want to believe that R. Kelly is just a character whose sexual antics I can laugh about, but deep down I know he has urinated on 15-year old girls, and obviously I do not idolize or even condone that kind of behavior. And I especially do not want to be on the receiving end of a golden shower, no matter how much Cristal there is poppin’ in the stretch Navigator.
That said, am I a bad person for blasting his jams on speakers at polo tournaments? I don’t want to be insensitive to anyone, and so far I haven’t run into anyone that doesn’t “toot toot” and “beep beep” when Ignition (Remix) comes on. Is there really nothing wrong with a little bump and grind? Or am I perpetuating a precedent: that women are to be objectified and disrespected and reduced to sex objects?
With the recent gender kerfuffle in the polo world, I just wanted to let all the wonderful ladies out there know: I care about the issues. I swear I do. They mean more to me than you might expect. And statistically, women live longer than men, meaning that they will have to live with the repercussions of the Polo Don Drapers of the world for on average three to five years longer than everyone else. So the next time you feel like saying something biased, prejudiced, or just plain stupid, compare yourself to R. Kelly and do the exact opposite of that.
[Editor’s note again, Zac S]
Wow… that went places I wasn’t expecting. Anyway I agree about women being awesome, but I think R. Kelly should be left in the jukeboxes and off the polo court. And that’s coming from someone who loves screaming Bump ‘n Grind at the top of his lungs.