Grammys Ceremony Like a Terrible Curse That Ruins Even Good Ideas

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There’s been a lot of post-Grammys snark around the interblogs, and of course there were a million things to hate about last night’s broadcast. So here I am, trying to think of a “Top 5 Good Things About the Grammys” post; you know, “accentuate the positive” and all that. But I can’t do it. Every time I think of something halfway decent that happened on the seemingly endless broadcast last night, I remember something that disqualifies it. Take, for instance, Kanye and Daft Punk. A funky, jazzed-up combo performance by the eccentric rapper and the French techno duo, followed by a heartfelt ode to Kanye’s mom: what could go wrong? But the imitation Daft Punk pyramid looked like it was made out of cardboard, and its goofy game-show-reminiscent opening-up to reveal the duo in their light-trimmed suits just looked cheap. Right afterwards, Kanye sang his heart out, but they had to accompany his performance with a laughably cheesy projection of a slo-mo angel; did they think the “MAMA” shaved into the back of Kanye’s head wasn’t going to be a big enough clue?

The best part of the Grammys, Amy Winehouse, wasn’t even there: her winking, energetic performance of “You Know I’m No Good” and “Rehab” took place at an intimate London club, done up with little lamps like a cabaret. While the reason for the “remote” was lack of a travel visa, it seemed like a tacit acknowledgement by the producers that everything done inside the arena was going to suck.

Can I at least talk about one of the things I completely hated? Please? Okay: NARAS president Neil Portnow, seemingly trying to soften up his image after last year’s stern “don’t download, kids!” speech, gave this year’s still-pretty-ornery (and self-serving) soliloquy accompanied by the lilting sounds of Eldar on the piano. Like, maybe I won’t be offended by your attempt to tie your cause to the writers’ strike if there’s soothing new age tinkling in the background? Arrrgh! And I’m going to shut up now before I start talking about “Professor” will.i.am’s Grammys-history “rap.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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