You've probably heard the news that Vanilla Ice, aka Robert Van Winkle, was arrested yesterday for domestic assault. The temptation is to chuckle and add this to the rolling disaster that is Mr. Van Winkle's career/life/legacy. But not me. The truth is, I think we're all a little responsible for the tragedy of taste and talent that is VI. And I think we should each give him a dollar.
Look, it's our fault. Through a spectacular societal lapse in judgement, we somehow allowed Van Winkle to sell 15 million copies of Ice Ice Baby. This despite the fact that he was the worst rapper in the history of the genre. Just awful. I mean, have you actually listened to any of his music? It's like hitting yourself in the face with a hammer repeatedly, because it feels so good when you stop.
So, when everyone inexplicably bought this terrible music, it must have convinced VI that he had some talent, or at least some ineffable mass market appeal. Everything he has done since is an attempt to recapture his fleeting popularity, to prove that he is, in fact, a legitimate recording artist. Which he isn't. And since we all understand this implicitly, Van Winkle's quest is a neverending experiment in futility and frustration. Hence his drinking, crying on 'The Surreal Life' and reprehensible treatment of romantic partners.
Who knows? If we had all done the responsible thing and let Ice Ice Baby flop, Van Winkle would have figured out he totally sucked. And then maybe he could have redirected his energies into something he was good at instead of pursuing a 'music' career that never was. How does Vanilla Ice Attorney at Law or Vanilla Ice MD sound? Yes, vaguely terrifying. But only because of what we did to him. There's probably an alternate dimension where Robert Van Winkle is a productive, stable member of society. Maybe when the CERN Large Hadron Collider comes online later this year we'll find it. But until then, we must continue to contemplate the burnt-out wreckage of Mr. Ice.
And I'm just not comfortable with that. So here's what I propose. Everyone out there, go find a dollar. Mail it to Vanilla Ice. Maybe write 'I'm Sorry' on the envelope. For less than the price of a cup of coffee, you can end the suffering.
Oh, and if you happen to have Van Winkle's address, leave it in the comments. That would be helpful.