One Damon Feldman has made headlines recently by organizing a celebrity boxing match with George Zimmerman. Today, which happens to be Trayvon Martin's would-be 19th birthday, news arrives that DMX has stepped up to the plate. The rapper has promised to "beat the fuck out of" Zimmerman and then, should the referees fail to intervene, subject the acquitted murderer to a variety of ritual defilements.
The match and its ringmaster have been charged with egregious bad taste, and understandably so, although considering the genre of media event, I doubt this assessment is dissonant with Feldman's intentions. The appeal obtains - and rest assured that Feldman is banking on this - in the very real prospect of thunderous annihilation getting visited upon Zimmerman's fat, stupid face. I wouldn't call this a lamentable prospect. On the contrary, I'd very gladly bear witness, and even here in the intellect industry, where it behooves our high horse not to admit to such baseness, I doubt that I'm alone.
The problem of course is that there's no guarantee this is how it will go. Zimmerman is still getting far more of a chance than Martin ever got. DMX has stated in no uncertain terms that he intends on taking justice into his own hands, and thus the match is a double restaging: of Martin's fatal grapple with Zimmerman, but also of Zimmerman's with the criminal justice system that eventually let him off the hook. It's the carnivalesque dark side of the "I Am Trayvon Martin" refrain, with the Prince of Darkness-as-street prophet presiding as judge, jury, and executioner.
His fighting words notwithstanding, though, make no mistake: DMX's involvement here is all about reminding everyone that DMX exists. Anyone who vouches for his artistic relevance beyond the rite of blowing two month's allowance at Sam Goody for ...And Then There Was X is lying to you, the man himself not least of all. Hence the last ditch attempt at the limelight, and all the better from behind the aegis of vulgarized racial solidarity. Not that anyone doesn't expect this. The master joke behind anything modified by "celebrity" is the persistently near-total lack thereof.
The same obviously goes for Zimmerman, who is famous for all the wrong reasons and should not, in a just world, be given any visibility at all. But then, in a just world, we wouldn't have to imagine him killing a white kid in blackface to get him into the electric chair, as he does on the South Park episode "World War Zimmerman." Or, we wouldn't need the electric chair at all, you might gainfully argue. At the very least there'd be no opportunity to monetize the parody of a fairer trial, however cathartic.
But in a world that may very well reprise the racist juridical farce this boxing match is sold as redressing, at least there's a chance we'll see George Zimmerman to get the fuck beaten out of him.