How indeed. I have a few thoughts on this.
Does anyone know why Snoop Dogg is famous, I mean, before he became the cute, cuddly, pot-loving, high school football-coaching, funny-tizzalking, Huggy Bear-playing cartoon character that so many seem to want to wish in their heart of hearts that he is? Well, for those who don’t/can’t/won’t recall, he made his fortune as a recording artist, a rapper whose stock in trade was spewing forth profane lyrics that glorified violence and misogyny. A cursory listen to some of his “greatest hits,” or a perusal of his video catalogue, would be more than enough for anyone of reasonable intelligence to conclude that Snoop Dogg is probably not the most socially enlightened of individuals. And as much as he probably wants the world to believe that he’s changed, in order to seem more acceptable to the mainstream and to grow his brand (he does, after all, have his mind on his money, and so forth…), he is who he is and what he is. You don’t even need to take my word for it. As I was pondering writing this little opinion piece, my point was being proved for me, as I saw on the news this morning that that rascally Snoop caused another hubbub by complimenting a female CBC camera operator, opining on her “thick”-ness, and encouraging the giggling bro-dude-homies flanking him to “look at the shit on that critter.” (Aside: This behaviour is indefensible, but again, not shocking at all.) So, yes, be outraged by Snoop Dogg’s attitudes towards women, and rightfully condemn his spreading ideas that promote hate. Just don’t be shocked.
Now, allow me to play devil’s advocate for a bit.
I actually became aware of the meme in question a day before the media picked up on the Snoop Dogg connection, and in kind of an odd way. I saw it on Facebook. What’s so odd about that? Bear with me for a minute. The meme begins as congratulations to another recording artist, Akon, and refers to some project that he has financed to help people in Africa. (Sounds noble) It also bemoans the dearth of media coverage as relates to this endeavour. (Sounds reasonable) Then it ends by juxtaposing this with the attention garnered by Caitlyn Jenner, referring to Jenner as a “science project.” My first thought when I read it was, “That’s not very nice,” quickly followed by, “Why am I seeing this?” A closer inspection solved the mystery. Try and follow me here: a Facebook friend of one of my Facebook friends shared it, and my Facebook friend “liked” it. Now here’s the odd part; this particular friend of mine is one of the nicest, most tolerant people you could ever meet. Granted, we’re not BFFs or anything, but I’m fairly certain that she’s not some awful closet hatemonger. What’s more, she’s extremely intelligent. (She has an advanced degree in English Literature for crying out loud.) So, what gives? Well, sometimes the simplest explanation makes the most sense. After thinking about it for a bit, I came to the conclusion that she, like a lot of people on social media, gave the thing a glance, didn’t really absorb the whole thing, clicked a button, and didn’t give it another thought.
So, what it comes down to is, if I’m going to give someone with a Master’s in Eng. Lit. a pass for not reading something properly, I should at least entertain the thought that a dumbass like Snoop Dogg might have done the same thing.
Finally, just this: why does anyone care what Snoop Dogg thinks?