Boy George

The Awkwardness Exchange: Boy George at EMI

This video (of unknown provenance, AFAIK) of Boy George and his manager Tony Gordon going in for a meeting with Daniel Glass has been doing the rounds. It’s worth dwelling on this, watching and rewatching it, just to try and pick apart the discourse of awkwardness which so often characterises this kind of encounter.

What is it about this exchange that’s so excruciating?

The art versus the commerce? (YouTube commenter mystic23LanaD: “if this is what one has to endure to create art and music i’d rather be tortured”)  – maybe, but tedious by now, surely.

The friction of cultural norms? (Plain-speaking Brits up against the ebullient vegetable-loving MBA positivity of the US exec) – definitely some of that in there.

Something about (in)authenticity? (George: “the music starts to sound weird, it doesn’t sound as good as it did when you made it”)  – closer to the mark, I think.

There’s something there about the music – and the ‘mere artist’ (if you can describe BG as such) – displaced and out of context, that gets us.

“It’s just so weird”.