The new video for Katy Perry's number-one hit "Part of Me," off Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, was released last week, and it showed us a Perry quite unlike the California Gurl we're used to. Filmed at California's Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, it features the singer in full-on G.I. Jane mode, joining the Marines in a paean to girl power — Perry actually trained with real boot-camp instructors in preparation for the role.
But not everyone was impressed. Third-wave feminist author Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth) is calling on Americans to boycott Perry, calling her new video "a total piece of propaganda for the Marines." Wolf wrote on her Facebook page:
"I really want to find out if she was paid by them for making it. It is truly shameful… I would suggest a boycott of this singer whom I really liked — if you are as offended at this glorification of violence as I am."
Pretty strong reaction to a Katy Perry video. Hollywood publicist Angie Meyer had Perry's back, saying:
"Naomi Wolf is a living, breathing contradiction. Her anti-military sentiments against the men and women fighting to defend the freedoms she exercises regularly, speech and protest, is [sic] absurd and disturbingly disgraceful. What an enormous slap in the face for our servicemen and women. Naomi Wolf's blatant disrespect for the United States Military, and her political irreverence should be completely disregarded, and her rants and writings, boycotted."
We didn't see this kind of to-do when Katy Perry shot fireworks from her chest.
Wolf wasn't the only one disturbed by the clip. Damian Abraham, lead singer of the hardcore punk band Fucked Up (who looks like a combination between wrestler George "The Animal" Steele and Jello Biafra), had some pretty harsh words for Perry. He tweeted, "Seeing Katy Perry as a soldier in 'Part Of Me' really makes me think that we need to start a war so she can go die." Reflecting on what he wrote, an hour later he tweeted, "Yes I'm aware my last tweet was kinda dumb but so is glamorizing war to sell records to idiots. Katy Perry Still Sucks." He then went on to retweet the various death threats he received from a number of Perry fans.
The only reaction I have to this bizarre beef is: why was Damian Abraham watching a Katy Perry video in the first place?