Nicki Minaj has weighed in on the coronavirus vaccine, and the nation hasn’t been this relieved since Katy Perry peer-reviewed that swine flu research. For those even more cripplingly out of touch than I am, Minaj is a Trinidadian-American rapper best known for her filthy 2014 single ‘Anaconda.’ Real country anaconda, let me play with his rifle / Put his butt to sleep, now he calling me NyQuil, Minaj raps, and while that’s evidently considered TV-G by our woke censors, there are some things they simply can’t allow to be said.
So it was that anyone who wandered onto Twitter on Monday night found Minaj staring down a mob. Her problems began when she announced that she wouldn’t be attending the posh Met Gala in New York because they had a vaccination requirement and she wasn’t vaccinated. She did say she might get the shots ‘once I feel I’ve done enough research’ and that she was ‘working on that now.’ ‘In the meantime my loves, be safe,’ she said. ‘Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one.’
Remember: it isn’t enough for our cultural elites that you agree with them on some things (i.e. masks). You have to swallow the entire catechism whole. So it was that the outrage-mongers blew their conch horns — and it is possible they were just confused. Another line from ‘Anaconda’ goes so I pulled up in the Jag’ / and I hit him with the jab like. That could be read in 2021 to mean Minaj is some sort of vaccine femme fatale, cruising around town and administering antibodies via blow-dart gun. (Though I have a sneaking suspicion that’s not what she meant.)
Whatever the case, Minaj’s next tweet made her meaning gloriously plain. She said her cousin in Trinidad had also decided not to get vaccinated because his friend had gotten jabbed and it had made him sexually impotent. Then his testicles had swelled up. Then his fiancée had called off their wedding. Then possibly he’d spontaneously combusted, the way his luck was going. ‘So just pray on it,’ Minaj advised, and I will, for the love of God. Isn’t it just like those bastards in corporate America to cover up this sort of thing? Where’s the Ralph Nader of ball-bulging pharmaceutical conglomerates when you need him?
I don’t mean to make Minaj family Thanksgivings any more interesting than they must already be, but I got the vaccine and my head did not touch the ceiling of my car on the way home. Is this a Johnson & Johnson thing? Because we Pfizerites have been walking around with good back posture for months now. And it’s here that journalism requires me to issue the usual disclaimers: impotence is not a known side effect of coronavirus vaccine. If your life gets ruined for more than four hours, consult a doctor.
Minaj’s anecdote might have been, to put it charitably, specious, but then doesn’t the postmodern left regard truth as less important than championing victims of power structures? And while Minaj might be a recognizable celebrity, no one wields more power than a social media mob during a full moon. Yet Minaj was still dragged. MSNBC host Joy Reid ranted, ‘For you to use your platform to encourage our community to not protect themselves and save their lives, my God sister, you can do better than that!’ Meghan McCain finger-wagged, ‘That’s entirely enough internet for today.’
Apparently that ‘I’m no role model!’ individualism goes straight out the window the moment it’s a public health shibboleth that’s at stake. So too with all the stuff about trusting women. And from that perspective, it’s difficult to see what Minaj did wrong. Are not women, especially women of color, supposed to speak out? To make their own choices about their own bodies? I’m being somewhat cheeky here, since I’m as sick of this pandemic as anyone else and I really do want everyone to get vaxxed. But for Minaj to be maligned for playing by what 14 seconds ago were the rules has got to be one of woke religion’s greater paschal mysteries.
Minaj did not take the condescension lightly. She called out Reid for ‘getting ur dumb ass on tv a min after a tweet to spread a false narrative about a black woman’ and told McCain to ‘eat shit.’ In which case, we’re at yet another culture war standstill. Might I suggest a brief detour over to the Met Gala? The soiree Minaj didn’t attend? The Met is renowned for its extravagant fashion statements, though this year it was the political statements that left everyone at home contemplating armed revolution. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s gown was self-unawarely emblazoned with the words ‘TAX THE RICH,’ Megan Rapinoe’s clutch pledged ‘IN GAY WE TRUST,’ and Cara Delevingne’s vest cried ‘PEG THE PATRIARCHY.’
How liberated these women are — to say what everyone else is saying. My point is this: there are worse things in this world than silly anecdotes and COVID misinformation, regrettable though all that can be. I’ll take Nicki’s prayerful if human deliberations over the vacuous certitudes of the bien pensant red-carpet oppressed any day of the week.
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