Opinion | Top 10 things more offensive than ‘Montero’


Kent Nishimura | TNS

Lil Nas X poses for a portrait at Cactus Cube Studio on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, in West Hollywood, Calif.

By Alex Dolinger, Senior Staff Columnist

Lil Nas X has made a triumphant return to the top of the charts with his newest song, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” This one is a slapper. Like most of the songs Lil Nas X puts out, it’s catchy as heck and will most definitely be added to the playlist I listen to while I try to learn how to rollerblade, as it inspires confidence.

More importantly, you may have noticed that this song is shrouded in some controversy, most of which is hilarious. The music video and the “Satan Shoes” made with human blood have sent a portion of the country into “Satanic Panic,” which sounds like a cool brand of hair dye but is actually just an excuse for people to be homophobic. In the video, Lil Nas is seen pole dancing into hell, where he bottoms for Satan and then kills him. I get that it’s not historically accurate, but art usually isn’t, so I have a sneaking suspicion that something fishy is going on.

No matter who you are, you know that we live in troubling times. If a cool music video has you worried for your children, I suggest you take a walk in someone else’s pentagram-emblazoned shoes. There are a lot more pressing issues to publish silly little tweets about, so here are 10 things more offensive than Lil Nas X’s “Montero.”

  1. The worldwide roller skate shortage

I don’t know what got into us at the beginning of quarantine, but we literally caused a world-wide roller skate shortage because we got bored. The roller skating industry was not prepared for the sudden desire to recreate my favorite scene in “Funny Girl” and honestly? Neither was I. This is offensive because my impulsive demon brain was not able to receive the instant gratification of roller skates being delivered to my front porch. I had to work for it. And now I still don’t know how to roller skate because I fell in front of a pretty girl in South Side and now I’m embarrassed.

  1. Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Taylor Swift really re-released all of the songs that defined my childhood the month that I graduate college. I will be reporting her to the principal’s office, because my feelings are hurt.

  1. The lack of Major Biden coverage

I am a very simple man. I love dogs. I don’t care who they are. I just want to see them. President Joe Biden’s dog Major is particularly adorable and he keeps biting people in the White House. Aren’t you desperate to learn more about that? We definitely have more pressing news being reported at the moment, but I want the meme energy we gave the Suez Canal directed at Major Biden. He’s not seriously hurting anyone, which I am taking as permission to laugh. I like to imagine that he’s trying to push a radical agenda, but at this rate, we’ll never know. Where is the Oprah interview?

  1. My 22nd birthday

Lil Nas X and his Satan Shoes are not something to lose sleep over. You know what is? The fact that I’m turning 22 in two weeks. This has a lot of implications. First, it means that I’m an adult and if you read my columns regularly, this should concern you. I’m going to have an entire college degree in two weeks as well, which means I have to stop publishing my diary through The Pitt News for money. Second, it means that I’m probably going to cry genuine tears over Taylor Swift’s song “22,” which means that the word “hipster” is going to re-enter my vocabulary, which could cause the butterfly effect that makes John Mayer release another album.

  1. The Snyder cut

I am absolutely incensed that we as a society have allowed Zack Snyder to create a four-hour version of “Justice League.” Now everyone is going to want to make four-hour remakes of films that are more aligned with their artistic vision. Think of the film students you know. That’s all.

  1. Calling someone a “smol bean” without their consent

As a proud nonbinary individual, I have opened myself up to a whole host of weird nicknames. I have been called an “enby baby” by people who I do not know on multiple occasions. The infantilization of trans people — often seen in trans men — is that insidious type of offensive where the offender thinks they are showing allyship because they aren’t calling people slurs. There are a lot of different ways to unpack this, but this is supposed to be funny, so all I’ll say is that I think I would actually rather be called a slur than a “smol bean” or a “gentlethem.” I am a grown-ass man. 

  1. Catcalling

Picture this — you’re walking down a picturesque South Oakland street of your choice. Broken glass is glinting in the sunlight, your shoulders are bare and you’re about to go pick up a battery for your defective smoke detector. Then, suddenly, your heart leaps as a man in the oldest car you’ve ever seen cranks down his window to bark at you like a dog. I think there are a lot of ways to respond to this behavior, and none of them include offering my hand in marriage, so what’s the point? What is the goal? 

  1. Target only having some of those zodiac candles

My latest and greatest hobby has been going to Target with absolutely no agenda or restraint and spending money that I don’t have on items that I don’t need. One of the items I’ve been coveting is a zodiac candle that I see every single time I go. But I am not able to act on my demonic impulses because my zodiac sign is not always represented in the current stock. I’m a Taurus, which has given me the skills I need to deal with this disappointment, but it is an affront to Tauruses everywhere that no one is talking about.

  1. Leaving your laundry in a communal machine

This is just cruel. There is a special place in hell for people who let their laundry sit in a communal machine, and it is not the cool hell that Lil Nas X created where you get to pole dance and party with Satan. You have a timer on your phone, Rebecca. You don’t even live in this building. This grinds my gears so thoroughly that I want to start cutting the crotch out of a different pair of underwear every hour it sits in the washing machine collecting mildew.

  1. The anti-trans legislation being passed all over America

You may have clicked on my column for an escape from all the horrible things happening in the world, and I feel you. But the world is horrible. It’s horrible in many ways, but as a trans person in America, I have to point you towards the horrifying anti-trans legislation that’s popping up throughout the country. Alabama seems likely to outlaw affirming health care for trans kids, and several states are attempting to bar trans female athletes from playing on women’s sports teams. I am baffled by the number of tasks that we have to complete as a nation, and even more baffled by certain lawmaker’s determination to bully children instead of completing those necessary tasks. That said, if you find yourself getting overly concerned with Lil Nas X’s expression of the religious trauma that’s imparted on a good deal of the LGBTQ+ community, I would suggest directing that anger almost anywhere else. 

Alex is a senior theatre arts major with a creative writing minor. They primarily write satire about how the world is ending. You can write to them at [email protected].