According to news reports, "Hip hop mogul 50 Cent, Universal Music Group and several of its record labels were sued on Wednesday for promoting a 'gangsta lifestyle' by a 14-year old boy who says friends of the rapper assaulted him." The lawsuit claims these folks "bear responsibility for the assault because they encourage artists to pursue violent, criminal lifestyles."
Yes, I can see the logic here. It's not good logic, but where there's money to be made, it isn't the quality of the logic that matters, but getting paid. It made me think about different musicians who could be sued for "encouraging" certain behaviors that when applied to the average dolt lead not to stardom but to bitter disappointment. Henceforth, my BIG PAYDAY.
Here are five frivolous lawsuits I would enjoy being part of if they were to go "Class Action":
Amy Winehouse for encouraging a "Wasted Lifestyle": I've gotten drunk. I've taken pretty powerful prescription meds. I've not combed my hair for days. I've worn thrift store clothing. It didn't lead to a better way of life. It didn't make me famous. It didn't make me sing any better. Can I blame Amy?
Black Sabbath for encouraging "Satan Rock": If you play their albums backwards, it gives you the address for the Lucifer Club where you too can waste time worshipping Satan. What it doesn't tell you in those fancy brochures is that selling your soul to Satan doesn't guarantee you success. I looked everywhere for the "Results not typical" disclaimer when it showed how Robert Johnson, Black Sabbath and some guy named Anton LaVey all benefited from their "association with the dark lord." Most people I know who've subscribed to this crap just sit around in the dark and complain a lot.
Nirvana for encouraging kids to give up and become "Slackers": I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody. But just after I finished college, Kurt Cobain arrived on the scene and told me that everything I believed in--God, Job and Country--was a big vicious lie and that the way to true happiness would be to throw it all away and be my own man. Which consisted of sitting around other people's apartments in old clothes wondering when the government cheese would get there. (Apparently, you have to apply for government cheese, it doesn't just magically appear. An extra step that no "slacker" would ever undertake.) Little did I know that Cobain had no intention on sticking around to see how it would all turn out. Thanks, pal.
Paris Hilton for encouraging kids with no talent they can have a "Career": OK, maybe I should've checked my bank account and my appearance in the mirror before attempting the "Paris Hilton Lifestyle." I've never been admitted to an exclusive club. I can't even cut the line at the local pizza joint. I can't sing. I can't act. Why am I NOT famous yet?
Bob Dylan for my "Liberal Arts Degree": Here's where I have an open and shut case. "Do you want fries with that?" is not "How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?" And no one is more responsible for encouraging kids to drop out of practical college majors such as Business and Law and switch to an unemployable one such as English than Bob Dylan. I thought I'd CHANGE THE WORLD with my deep insights, my natural gift for TURNING A PHRASE. Instead, I have mastered how to work a soda dispenser. As Bob Dylan also might say, "It's Unbelievable."