Monday, December 12, 2005


For the last couple of weeks, there's been some coverage of the so-called Eminem Killer, and once again much of the coverage has been jumping to half-assed conclusions. The murderer, Christopher Duncan, was convicted of killing Jagdip Najran; and because he made some cash as an Eminem impersonator, those two dots have been joined to suggest cause and effect:

The Old Bailey heard that Ms Najran, who had a crush on Duncan, made a "terrible misjudgment" by going home with him after watching his performance at a karaoke evening at a City pub. Later that night he fractured her skull with a metal baseball bat and shut her in a suitcase, where, medical experts believe, she lay unconscious for at least an hour and a half before dying. The scenario resembles the video of Eminem's song Stan, which features the singer dumping his girlfriend's body in the boot of a car after killing her.

Except, of course, the video for Stan doesn't feature the singer doing any such thing - his alter-ego kills his girlfriend by locking her in a boot, and driving the car off a bridge. And there's a coda where Eminem suggests this isn't actually a clever thing to do. But then, if you've already decided there's a link, you'll be quick to see how the video "resembles" the murder to prove your point, even if that resemblance turns out to be quite slight.

Indeed, it seems less likely that Eminem was the cause of the murder - certainly, the prosecution didn't make the link (Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: "There is no sensible explanation for what he did") and it seems that rather than being goaded into turning into a murderer because he'd seen 8Mile once too often, Duncan had more pressing problems:

Duncan told psychiatrists he had had an abusive childhood involving drugs and alcohol. But Wendy Joseph QC, defending, said: "If there is anything monstrous in this defendant, may I suggest it may be something created rather than something that was born. Things in his life were falling apart. He was a murderer waiting to happen."

Certainly, listening to Eminem - and in particular some of Marshall's more knuckleheaded hate-bile from earlier in his career - would have been unlikely to calm Duncan down, but does anyone really believe that Najran would still be alive if he'd listened to Hear'Say instead of Eminem?

Moby does, apparently:

"Misogyny is not funny. it is not a joke. and it should not be treated lightly," he writes. "And now we find out that a British man who is obsessed with eminem killed a woman with a metal baseball bat
And stuffed her body into a suitcase. Am I being 'too uptight' for not seeing the humour in this?"

"Before this British man brutally killed this woman he was singing Eminem songs in a karaoke bar. Maybe there's no connection. Maybe there is. It's disgusting that we even have to ask that question. It's disgusting that people in the media and the press have celebrated and glamorized music and musicians who write lyrics that glorify misogyny and homophobia."

Of course, Moby is not just leaping to conclusions, but also pulling a fast one - defensively lashing out that anyone who might argue with him that Eminem singles, whatever else they do, don't turn people from mild-mannered types into killers is somehow thinking the terrible death of a young woman is humorous. But Moby, what about someone who uses that death to continue a point-scoring fued with another singer? Are we being uptight in thinking it's a bit beneath you to jump to such a tabloid conclusion?


karl said...

There's a section in a book that Moby's apparently keen on, something about turning the other cheek... Maybe he hasn't had that bit read to him yet.

Anonymous said...

eminem are a bad man,he told on a web site,that chr. duncan still do what he do and he must still sing.

christopher duncan is empty.
and i blame eminem.

eminem is'nt good.

Anonymous said...

eminem told me that he's not a women hatter,if he's not a women hatter why must singin misogynist words.

now eminem get away from rape and i'm glad.

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