Friday, October 19, 2012

BOOM BOOM BOOM: I may not be a Katy Perry fan, but then again I have nothing against Katy Perry. Every time I come down with a "gosh, she is an oddly robotic performer," it ends up being exactly counterbalanced by a "say, her cover of 'Black and Gold' is not the hate crime I expected." But if there were ever anything to push me off the fence in re: Katy Perry, it would have to be this wonderful clip from Jon Stewart's Night of Too Many Stars, in which Katy Perry duets on Firework with a little girl with autism. Not just because she showed up and did it, which in itself is great, but because she bothered to learn some of the harmony parts to her own song, and then worked her ass off in the performance to match them to the kid singing lead.


  1. Fine. Whatever. I'll well up with tears at my desk if that's what you want.

    I don't really have any personal experience with kids with autism, but based on Jodi's story I'm guessing it's a big deal that she gave Katy a HUGE hug at the end? That's the moment I choked back a sob at least.

  2. I was really struck by that, how well she was doing on the fly with the harmony. Really sweet clip.

  3. My older daughter is on the autism spectrum (high-functioning/Asperger's-ish) and for many kids, Amy, it's a HUGE deal to initiate or even accept physical contact like that. I couldn't stop crying while I was watching it. I give Katy Perry a ton of credit for not overshadowing the girl and for participating in what was probably not the easiest collaboration!

  4. Sorry, I clearly need to fix my commenting profile here! -- Heather P

  5. Jason Carlin2:29 PM

    If that doesn't move you, you may be a robot. That's remarkable.

  6. I'll also note that I think that's the most clothes I've ever seen Katy Perry wearing.

  7. Marsha4:21 PM

    What a remarkable video. That girl has a tremendous gift, and I cannot even imagine what that meant to her and to her family. Kudos to Katy Perry for all the things everyone said - she pulled that off brilliantly.

    And yes, crying at my desk.

  8. Jason Carlin5:28 PM

    Cripes. I posted that on my tumblr and got a couple negative comments. I thought it was a sweet thing, but some see it "inspiration porn". I just thought it was moving to see Jodi engaging with the world so beautifully and bringing attention to a good cause.

  9. Jordan5:34 PM

    For whatever reason (late on a Friday), I read that as a response to Matt's comment. Which would be, um, interesting.

  10. isaac_spaceman5:43 PM

    One would have to have a pretty black heart to define "inspiration porn" to mean "anything where a person with a disability or special need gets to do something really f'ing cool." And I say that as a person with a pretty black heart. I mean, I hate it when judges (e.g., SYTYCD judges) mistake "I'm happy that you are doing this cool thing on a (literal and figurative) giant stage" for "inspirational," because it feels very condescending, but that doesn't mean that doing the cool thing on a giant stage is itself a bad thing. I liked that video in exactly the same way that I liked the Chatroulette/Call me Maybe video, in that somebody did something that made one or more people really happy and made nobody less happy. DON'T HATE ON PARETO SUPERIOR, HATERS.

  11. isaac_spaceman5:44 PM

    Or you may be Ben Wyatt's boss on P&R.

  12. And if a benefit for autism isn't the time for a child with autism to display her special skills and meet someone she admires, exactly when is that time?

  13. Maddy5:53 PM

    Sure, not every situation where a person with disabilities gets to do something cool is inspiration porn, but this performance is positioned to be inspirational and everyone is giving Katy Perry sooooo much credit for deigning to be onstage with an autistic girl. I just think it's significant that many of the people who have problems with this video/Night of Too Many Stars in general are actually autistic.

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  16. Chelsea5:11 PM

    But to view Katy as "sweet" or "heroic" for inviting an autistic girl to sing with her? No one would say this patronizing shit if Jodi were neurotypical. So yes, it is inspiration porn.

  17. Chelsea5:34 PM

    Also, people love to make Jodi seem more talented than she really is, just because she is autistic. Many politically correct NTs think it is horrible to consider an autistic person's performance is any less than perfect, because it will break their fragile "special-needs" heart. And I say this as an autistic woman who really hates the idea that we should be extra-nice and sugarcoaty to autistics. It is just another way to patronize us, and act as if we are completely unable to learn to handle criticism.

    Some people are not going to like Jodi's singing, and that is okay, as long as they do not say something absolutely vile where she can hear/read it. I actually think she is a good singer and piano player, but like every other musician, she will need years of practice before she can reach star-like talent. And she will also need to deal with the fact that she cannot please everyone. And that is how you treat autistic people with respect rather than pity.