CULTURE

You Can't Change My Mind: Banksy Is Lame

His popularity undermines the supposed anti-establishment message of his art.

Update 7/15/2020: Banksy's latest piece promoting mask use and COVID-19 awareness defied the pattern of his recent work to be his best creation in years.

Entitled "If You Don't Mask, You Don't Get", the scene of stenciled rats using masks as parachutes and spraying sneezes around a train car in the London underground was executed by the acclaimed artist and an accomplice dressed as cleaners and disguising their paint as cleaning fluid.

Banksy sprays coronavirus-inspired artwork on to London tube www.youtube.com

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Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died on Wednesday at age 56, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. With his numerous contributions in technology, finance and the music industry, Jobs has been revered as one of the premier minds of our generation, leading to countless tributes and memorials over the last few days. One DJ has decided the most appropriate way to celebrate his life and help mourn our collective loss is by incorporating Jobs' memorable words with an of-the-moment "inspirational" pop duet. "Nicki Minaj x Sketchomatic: A Steve Jobs Tribute," takes Jobs' commencement speech to the Stanford University Class of 2005 and sprinkles its most poignant thoughts throughout Nicki Minaj and Rihanna's "Fly." Strange bedfellows is an understatement, but the Nicki-RiRi track is supposed to be about overcoming obstacles, preparing to soar, etc.—even if the biggest takeaway is not to get a leopard print dye job before a video shoot—so naturally the advice of a computer wiz is relevant to a new generation about to enter the workforce is fitting. Or something.

We're not going to lecture about the right and wrong way to grieve, nor diminish the value of tribute songs that commemorate a notable loss, though. There's a precedence for inspirational commencement speeches getting monstrous radio play—"Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)," the Mary Schmich essay-Kurt Vonnegut MIT speech that Baz Luhrmann turned into a successful single in 1999—but since Minaj and Rihanna's song was notable before getting the remix treatment we're not entirely convinced this will replicate that success, not approve of the odd coupling. Listen for yourselves, below.

[PopCrush]

Steve Jobs, the co-founder, former chairman and former chief executive of Apple Inc., one of the world's pre-eminent computer software and consumer electronics companies, has died today at age 56. The Apple home page has been replaced with a tribute picture of Jobs, leading to a quote about the legendary innovator saying that the company had lost "a visionary and creative genius," while the world had lost "an amazing human being."

Though more of an icon in finance and technology, Jobs also had an incalculable effect on the music industry through his company's introduction of iTunes and the iPod. Jobs predicted in 2003 that the iPod would "go down in history as a turning point for the music industry," and he couldn't have been more right. Since Apple's innovations were introduced earlier in the decade, a previously unthinkable amount of music has come to be purchased, transferred and consumed electronically, allowing entire basements' worth of CDs, vinyl and cassettes to be contained within a portable, hand-held player. Meanwhile, iTunes has come to be the nation's pre-eminent record store, with waiting in line to buy the new Guns n Roses record at midnight at Sam Goody or Tower Records being replaced by waiting on line to download the new Rihanna single at midnight on iTunes.

What's more, Jobs was huge fan of popular music himself. The Beatles, whose music was finally introduced on iTunes in 2010, were not just a favorite band of Jobs', they were his personal inspiration. "My model for business is The Beatles," he once commented to 60 Minutes. "They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people." And in a more direct tie-in to the music world, Jobs also allegedly dated famed singer/songwriter Joan Baez in the early '80s—in her memoir, And a Voice to Sing With, Baez thanks Jobs for "forcing me to use a word processor by putting one in my kitchen."

Here's a YouTube of a series of Jobs mentions of The Beatles and Bob Dylan, two musical heroes he often took the time to pay tribute to in presentations and addresses: