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Jack White is a thin-skinned asshole

Jack White had some choice words for OU's student paper, The Oklahoma Daily, at his concert in Norman Monday night.  It all started when the paper used OU's open records policy to obtain and publish a copy of White's bizarre concert rider.

Most people know that riders like these are oddly specific on purpose, to insure the things requested actually get done. We all had a good laugh about it. Louis even tried the terrible guacamole recipe provided in the rider, and were quickly back to looking forward to the concert.

I would put direct quotations of what the Grammy-winner said about the OU Daily, but photos and videos of the concert were prohibited in -- or even outside-- of the building during the show, thus no recording exists. However, as one of around 5,000 or so witnesses who was crammed into the uncomfortable, hot McCasland Field House, the whole thing when a little something like this:

After the opening band, Chicano Batman, and before the main event, Jack White's tour manager came out on stage with some chips and the infamous guacamole from the concert rider. He casually ate the guac while explaining the strict anti-phone, anti-pictures policy. He didn't address the OU Daily or TLO directly, but the implementation of the guacamole was a clear reference.


The show started and Jack White's guitar wasn't working, he frustratedly threw it down and ran over to the piano on stage right, where he played the opening riff to "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground." They continued with the song and the guitar was fixed just in time for the solo, however technical issues with the guitars and microphones permeated the rest of the show.

Not long after the opening, Jack White mumble-shouted into the microphone something to the effect that he was reading a free copy of the OU Daily backstage with a magnifying glass, and that he read something about freedom of information. I'm not entirely sure what he said after that-- but he gestured towards his crotch and said something along the lines of he had something they could get with their freedom of information act.

After half time, Jack White stormed the stage with his band again, donning his White Stripes-era tight black t-shirt-- and this time when he called out a group of students in front of all their peers (who adore him), White was a little more audible: He urged everyone in the building who is still a student to, if they can afford it, take at least one philosophy class. Then he said something like "If you're a law student, just because it's legal jargon, that doesn't make it right." I assume he was referring to the term "freedom of information." Then he said if "You're a journalism student, just because you can type it on a computer, that doesn't make it right."

Each time, the crowd responded uproariously. In a perfect world, students would defend their own news organization's right to information from a primadonna bully like Jack White, but unfortunately, we're not in a perfect world. The last thing OU's journalism students need is Jack White egging on the anti-freedom of speech sentiment that's already on that campus.


Like most of the audience last night, I'm young enough to have grown up on the music of The White Stripes. I guess a part of growing up is also realizing your heroes are kind of dicks in real life. It's a shame, all The Daily did was publish information from a publicly-available document.

But the paper wasn't the only target of Jack White's rage, he also took umbrage with OU's outdoor smoking ban. "Did we ban exhaust from cars and air conditioning units too?" he asked. "Is it even okay to talk to strangers at OU," he wondered aloud like he was a clever fuck.

Jack, just because you can stand up on a stage and shout it to 5,000 fans, that doesn't make it right.

Maybe the guy just has to get pissed about something in order to energize himself enough to pull off a two and half hour concert. I don't know. But what I do know is a Grammy-winning musician came to OU last night and left a hand full of students facing overwhelming and undeserved criticism from a mob of their peers. All those young journalist at The Daily will have to deal with it. Jack White won't have to deal with it, though, he's playing in Las Vegas tonight. I hope he enjoys his guacamole.

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