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Objectively Correct Lists

A Brief History of Things Sam Smith Does Not Know

If pop culture operated like school, then Sam Smith would be the kid who always shows up on time, behaves in class, does all his homework, and still somehow gets a D.
Emma Garland
London, GB
29.2.16

If pop culture operated like school, then Sam Smith would be the kid who always shows up on time, behaves in class, does all his homework, and still somehow gets a D. He tries, doesn’t he, Sam Smith. He just wants to live in a nice society where everyone is equal and rewarded based on merit rather than status, and good clean romance existed instead of Tinder. Don’t we all, Sam, don’t we all. As an openly gay man in the entertainment industry, Smith will sometimes use his platform to raise social justice issues, which is generally a good thing. The only problem, though, is that Sam Smith doesn’t actually seem to know all that much about the world he lives in. So when he touches on social justice issues it never lands quite as well as he intends. Sam Smith is sitting bolt upright in English class with his arm thrust furiously into the air – “But sir,” he is saying, so excited by his insight that he can barely contain the words, “but sir, isn’t Hemingway a bit sexist?”

Annoncering

Smith has been gifted with a voice that has lifted him up and carried him all the way above the shitstorm of racism, misogyny, transphobia, and general current of injustice that a lot of people battle against on a daily basis, and it has put him on a platform so high that these struggles are often no longer visible. Occasionally, though, he will peer down and accidentally catch something sad, something that, in his eyes, stopped happening decades ago. He will observe a friend getting abused racially in London and be rendered “absolutely speechless” by the fact that racism still exists in this day and age – this time of Kendrick Lamar and Form 696 and #BlackLivesMatter.

But the thing is, he means well. He is a hopeful face in a cruel society, the cult member who genuinely believes the punch bowl is for refreshment. The answer to this sort of thing lies, as always, in education. Unfortunately we can’t lock him in a room with a computer that only has access to Jstor and Gawker, but we can make a list of things he doesn’t know so he can look them up. So let’s do that.

THAT OPENLY GAY PEOPLE HAVE WON OSCARS BEFORE HIM

Jimmy Napes (left) is all of us.

Sam Smith, along with Jimmy Napes, won the Oscar for Best Original Song on Sunday night for their Bond theme, “Writing’s on the Wall”. Smith’s acceptance speech began – as so many great acceptance speeches do – with the words, “I read an article recently”. This particular article featured comments made by Sir Ian McKellen addressing prejudice in Hollywood, and that it might be to blame for the fact that no openly gay man, such as himself, has ever won in the Lead Actor category. That article ran in The Guardian back in January, so I guess in the time between reading and giving a speech the message had watered down in Sam Smith’s head to: “No openly gay man has ever won any Oscar, ever” – making him the first, right? No. But when he picked up the award he dedicated it accordingly anyway. To be fair, this all did come with a precursor in the form of: “If that is the case, and even if it isn’t the case,” so we can’t really drag him for making bold assertions in absolute confidence.

Annoncering

But we can jovially dig his ribs a little for being blissfully unaware of the list of prominent and openly gay people who have won Oscars for various things before. Including but not limited to: screenwriter, director, producer and LGBT rights activist Dustin Lance Black who won Best Original Screenplay in 2009 for his work on the critically acclaimed gay rights historical drama Milk. And then there was Bill Condon, Alan Ball, Melissa Etheridge, John Schlesinger, Stephen Sondheim, and Elton “I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man” John. So, you can see why some members of the LGBT community especially might be pissed that the achievements all of those individuals were essentially erased and replaced with the Bond theme song, of all things. Smith was informed that he wasn't the first on the red carpet afterwards and responded with: “Shit! Fuck that! Two’s my lucky number, so it’s all good. Who was the other person?" So at least he might now know who one of those people are.

THAT TOM DALEY IS NOT AVAILABLE TO CHIRPSE, AND IS IN FACT ENGAGED TO THE OSCAR-WINNING SCREENWRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, AND LGBT RIGHTS ACTIVIST DUSTIN LANCE BLACK, WHO SAM SMITH FORGOT ABOUT WHEN MAKING HIS OWN OSCAR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

Hey @SamSmithWorld, if you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé. Here's a start: https://t.co/8hGTRtIaMK

— Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) February 29, 2016

WHO THOM YORKE IS

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Has Sam Smith listened to Radiohead's #Spectre theme song…

Annoncering

Has SAM SMITH listened to Radiohead's "Spectre" theme song? #GoldenGlobes

Posted by

Variety

on Monday, 11 January 2016

Jimmy Napes is quite possibly the unsung hero of the last twelve months. The man deserves an entirely separate award for having to coexist with Smith’s acute cultural blind spots as they stand side by side at awards ceremonies of international repute. Here, they are at the Golden Globes, and a journalist is asking what Smith thinks of Thom Yorke releasing Radiohead’s unused Bond theme song on Christmas day.

“Thom Yorke”, says Smith, in the same non-committal tone my nan uses when pretending she still remembers something that happened over a week ago. “Radiohead,” Napes replies, visibly swallowing an egg-sized ball of frustration and then redirecting his gaze to the floor. “For fuck sake,” he is thinking now, visions of headlines from The Independent and Noisey dot com flashing before his eyes – 'Sam Smith Baffled By Mention of Thom Yorke', 'HA HA SAM SMITH DOESN’T KNOW WHO RADIOHEAD ARE' – while Smith umm’s and lip smacks his way through a response. “Not again.”

THAT RACISM EXISTS IN BRITAIN

Just experienced my friend getting verbally abused racially in London. I am absolutely SPEECHLESS.

— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) January 20, 2016

I feel like I have to shine some sort of light on it. The police were so unhelpful in the situation and its deeply shocked me.

— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) January 20, 2016

Annoncering

As we all know, racism, worldwide, stopped in the early 1900s, and hasn’t been much of an issue since, especially in Britain where racism pretty much never existed anyway. We were all shocked then, back in January, when Smith discovered some racism on the streets of London and posted about it on Twitter. “I never ever ever ever thought that would happen here” Sam wrote, but nevertheless he vowed to “shine some sort of light on it”. Watch out racism… Your days are numbered.

ABOUT CHRIS BROWN

Back in 2014, Chris Brown posted a cover of “Stay With Me” to his Instagram with the lyrics changed to: “Oh, won't you stay with me / 'Cause I bought your new weave / Now I'd done spend my cheese / Bitch, you owe me". It has since been removed for reasons unknown, although given that Chris Brown is only famous for being two things and they are A) under investigation for battery, and B) quite good at dancing, I wouldn't be surprised if they were direct orders from his lawyer. Anyway, after hearing it, Sam (who, for what it's worth, once tweeted at Chris Brown asking him to "Turn gay! please?") told radio show In:Demand at V Festival: "It was amazing, I love it. It's really weird because I'm a massive fan of his music. I love Chris Brown's music so much, yeah. I'd love to meet him so possibly, who knows? It would be cool to collaborate."

That collaboration is yet to happen, which is probably for the best.

HOW TO STAY ON A SEGWAY

& to make matters worse. I fell off a fucking Segway thing today and I think I've sprained my hand. Got this shit on ICE right now. Kills

A photo posted by Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) on Jul 17, 2015 at 8:15pm PDT

Okay, I'll give him this one. We've all been there tbh.

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