Lynne Cheney and others were shocked, shocked, I tell you, that Elton John would perform last night at the Grammys with rapper Eminem.

I personally find myself shocked at Lynne Cheney’s ignorance of just who Elton John is.

“This certainly isn’t the first time, but Eminem is certainly, I think, the most extreme example of rock lyrics used to demean women, advocate violence against women, violence against gay people,” Mrs. Cheney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Elton John has been good in the past about speaking out on issues of equality for gay people, on issues of being against violent language against gay people. I am quite amazed and dismayed that he would choose to perform with Eminem.”

Now I won’t go into all the reasons why I find Eminem one of the most detestable performers in the history of the world. I’ve been there. Done that. His record speaks for itself. Yes, he is disgusting. Yes, he is a pig. Yes, he is irresponsible. But not nearly as irresponsible, in my opinion, as the music industry executives who produce his CDs, market and distribute them to our kids.

But what’s with Lynne Cheney and her beatification of St. Elton? Does she not have a clue? Or has she been so blinded by her own family’s experience with homosexuality that she can no longer see the forest for the trees?

Here’s a quick refresher course on Sir Elton: London, November 1999 — Elton John performs on stage at a benefit concert before VIPs at Albert Hall backed up by six teen-age strippers wearing Cub Scout uniforms. The strippers, all young-looking 18- and 19-year-old professional dancers, were introduced to the audience one by one and stripped their “uniforms,” normally worn by Cub Scouts between the ages of 7 and 11, revealing “tight undies,” according to the British Internet publication The Sun.

But wait. It gets worse. The striptease act was performed to the song, “It’s a Sin,” by the homosexual band, Pet Shop Boys, and included suggestive behavior as strippers kneeled before Elton John in obscene poses while grabbing their crotches.

This is the “man” Lynne Cheney holds up as a moral beacon? This is the man that Cheney and others expect to show some judgment, standards, good taste, civility? This man is a moral reprobate — no better nor worse than Eminem.

On the contrary, I say Eminem and Elton John belong together. Are Eminem’s pseudo-violent and hateful lyrics really worse than Elton John’s visual and pseudo-artistic, pornographic exploitation of children?

Of course not.

Elton John and Eminem are two of a kind — users, exploiters, degenerates. And frankly, anyone who tuned in to watch this freak show last night deserves them and the kind of world they would create if given the chance. This was a circus act designed to demean everyone who watches it, to lower your resistance to the world’s cultural non-standards.

It’s reminiscent of ancient Rome and the Coliseum. That’s where the entertainment industry is leading us — back to the “glories” of Rome, the fasces, the cheapening of humanity.

I remember 20 years ago, 30 years ago, when the entertainment industry seemed determined to make a political statement in every TV show, every movie, every interview, etc. Today, the entertainment industry seems determined to strip away from our culture any vestige of decency and morality. Elton John and Eminem are both nihilists. Let’s face it. They would be at home — culturally, morally, artistically — in the Third Reich.

I’m not surprised at their duet last night. Remember the old Mel Brooks movie, “The Producers”? Remember “Springtime for Hitler”? That would have been an appropriate number for Elton John and Eminem to reprise in goose-stepping form at the Grammys.

And, as for Lynne Cheney, all I can say is “grow up.” Stop drawing moral distinctions between losers like Elton John and Eminem. There is no distinction. They both want to take America and the world down the drain with them. They live in a gutter world for which I — and, I hope, most Americans — want no part.

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