An Open Letter to Rebecca Black (And Anyone Who Wants to be Like Her)

She's everywhere! Make it stop!

April 8, 2011

Music’s dead.

At least, pop music is dead. I know, I know. Every generation thinks its music is crap. I’m too old if I start whining about the kids and their music and their Beibers and all that. Yes, I know that we’ve always had crappy music and the really good stuff is the stuff that gets remembered.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to dismiss the utter crap fest I’ve been hearing on the radio.

I stopped listening to the radio in about 1999, back when every other song was Backstreet Boys. I swore off radio and the closest thing I used for a while was Pandora. I really have only a cursory knowledge of popular music in the last ten years aside from what I see on TV, in movies, or happen to read about.

So, Rebecca, as a concerned artist, I want to tell you to stop.

You’re a celebrity. Congratulations. So’s Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Kim Kardashian. Nice list. They’re pretty much famous for making fools of themselves. And you’ve joined them whether you want to admit it or not.

Let’s go down the list of things done wrong, shall we?

Rebecca Black: Friday by ~mexicanpryde2000 on deviantART

Your parents paid for the music video and recording.

Someone else wrote the lyrics.

The video is just one notch above “middle school project with a camera and pirated copy of Final Cut.”

All you did was get dressed and sing. And you didn’t even do that! You got Auto-Tunned for half the song!

Look, I know Auto-Tunning is the latest, best thing to happen to people who want a music carrer. Without it, Ke$ha would be an alcoholic with a camcorder drowning in her own vomit. Even without it, she’s nothing special. You, Rebecca? You had a dream. You wanted to be famous. Did you practice singing? Train yourself in poetry and songwriting? Listen to the classics of pop music?

No. Your parents forked over $4,000 dollars to get your face plastered on a song where your own voice isn’t even heard. It’d be like me paying someone to write Charcoal Streets over a weekend, then putting my mug all over the cover.

Rebecca black by ~ItalianxGal on deviantART

Plus, the lyrics? I’d ask for my money back.

(Yeah, Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ark)
Oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

I already have a headache. It’s the lyrical equivalent of white noise. It also proves that if you have nothing to say, say nothing at all.

7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal

Gotta have my bowl? Are you smoking weed? Are you on the dope!?

Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’

Yup. You’re stoned off your gourd, aren’t you, Rebecca?

Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

You remind me of that scene in Knocked Up where Paul Rudd’s character gets freaked out by the number of chairs in the room. Just pick a damn seat!

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Also, people look forward to happy hour, 5 o’clock, lunch time, and the week’s episode of Criminal Minds.

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Okay, a few things. First of all, you’re thirteen. You’re frakking thirteen years old. What “partying” are you doing? Unless you’re snorting coke off a Justin Beiber CD or smoking that bowl from earlier, you’re not “partying.” You’re hanging out with friends at Chuck E. Cheese.

7:45, we’re drivin’ on the highway
Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun

Well someone’s been reading The Secret. Hey, I can think about fun all I want, but it won’t make it so. I suppose one could make the argument that by moving faster, as you suggest, you could indeed use time dilation to make time outside your vehicle move at a much slower rate… But I doubt your songwriter knows how to spell relativity.

You know what it is
I got this, you got this
My friend is by my right
I got this, you got this
Now you know it

I’m sitting in a chair. My hands touch the keyboard. My fiancé is at work. Okay, now your turn to spout out more blatantly obvious observations. Also, any point to telling us your friend is on the right? And, from a grammatical viewpoint, what is “this” you are referring to? I’m sorry I don’t speak “street.”

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

Wait, you’re hanging out with high schoolers? You’re what? In seventh grade? How are these friends of yours driving?! …Hold on. I thought you were already in the car. What-

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday

Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Friday isn’t the weekend, Rebecca. On Friday AFTERNOON, you can start enjoying the weekend. People still work on Friday. If you’re so stressed in eight grade that you look forward to getting down on the weekend, you’re either in a very work-intensive middle school or you have no concept of what it really means to be stressed.

I’ve never seen a more blatant example of clutter in my life, too. There are words and phrases here that are just taking space. It’s like the writer simply got the beat for the song, then played Mad Libs trying to fill the void… and the void stared back and said, “Screw you.”

Friday by ~PeaceLoveMulan on deviantART

Look, these lyrics were obviously written by someone who wanted to appeal to teens who think the weekend is about partying all the time and dancing in a brightly lit room, but clubs are full of sweaty idiots who smell like Bud Light because they can’t stomach real beer. Real parties with teens typically have one idiot who brought a controlled substance.

Everyone has a dream. I have mine. You, Rebecca, obviously have yours. And I’m not being unfair by critiquing this. “But she’s just a kid,” I can hear some of my readers saying. “Leave her alone.”

No. You put this out there, you get the same amount of scrutiny the rest of us get when we put something out. I’m not about to give you a bronze medal just because you tried.

You, and Beiber, and Ke$ha, and your ilk are overproduced performers who go hyped to the top. You’re like Episode I, but more annoying because I can choose to not hear Jar Jar. I keep hearing this stupid song everywhere!

Let’s clean out those brain lobes with some linkage.

  • And finally, let me leave you with two of the most awesome things in the world: classic Michael Jackson and Transformers. See you Monday!

High School is so Gay

April 6, 2010

High school sucks.

Oh, it does. If you enjoyed high school, I’d like to know what you were smoking. It’s difficult to enjoy your youth. Social cliques form lines more oppressive than the Berlin Wall, and no matter how much you want to tell yourself that none of it matters and you will one day leave that place, it still hurts. Even if you’re strong enough to focus and believe that, you would at least like the freedom to be left alone if that’s what you wish, the tolerance to be yourself. High schoolers aren’t known for their acceptance of the weird, but it’s a goal.

So if high school already sucks because of the students inside, why do the adults insist on making it more difficult?

This video is from a few weeks ago, and there had been some… well, disturbing developments.

Basically, Constance’s school held a secret prom and sent her to the “regular” prom… with only her date and some students with learning disabilities. Apparently, they gave her the time and address for the prom for the special kids. Everyone else went to the regular prom and kept that little fact hidden from her… except for the fact that the students posted pictures on Facebook and some let it slip in conversation.

cheat. liar. by ~rainbowlullaby on deviantART

…Ladies and gentlemen, wake up the kids and take a screenshot. I am speechless.

If you read this site with any frequency, you’ll know how I feel about the freedom to express yourself, to be who you want and make the choices that affect you without having to worry that others will come after you. Feel free to disagree. If you think Constance should stick to the boy-girl relationships, it would be rude to debate her on the subject and try to convince her otherwise, but that is THE MOST YOU’RE ALLOWED TO DO.

Some weeks ago, I had a conversation with a few people and the subject turned to same-sex marriage. I argued that if a couple wanted to spend the rest of their lives together and this union did not hurt me in any way, there was no rationale to deny it. The response? Basically, I was told that if we let people be gay, soon they’ll be shooting up drugs.

For a few seconds, I thought I’d slipped into a parallel universe and another conversation. It got more, uhm… logical when I was told that gays could be gay and marry… they just couldn’t hold hands or kiss or do anything that told the world they were gay.

I don’t think the closet’s big enough for them, Skippy.

OK to be gay by ~KamillaHansen on deviantART

Let’s ignore for a moment that gay, lesbian, and transgender teens hear gay slurs an average of 26 times a day or that thirty-one percent of gay youth has been injured or threatened at school. These teens are also three times more likely to attempt suicide. Basically, GLTG teens have to deal with all the crap in school and the extra crap just because of who they chose to love.

Maybe you think homosexuality is a sin. Great. I have another one for you. So’s divorce. Think we should ban divorced people from getting married again? Maybe they shouldn’t be able to take care of children. Is there a watch-list for them?

Oh! Even better! Think we should exclude the Sons of Ham for seeing Noah naked? After all, their skins are dark with the sins of their ancestors, right? Hey, I know we have a black president, but rules are rules, right? They’re supposed to be slaves.

I got it! Women should remain subservient, just like Paul said. After all, they can’t think because, you know, they have those pesky ovaries and lack the superior Y chromosome. It’s in the Bible!

love is patient by ~xquisitex on deviantART

I try to maintain a tone of logic and civility in a lot of these posts, make an argument without resorting to emotion too much, but if I may…

To the parents, students, and administrators of the Itawamba County School District in Fulton, Mississippi:

You are the highest class of cowards I’ve ever heard of. You got beat by a teenage girl who had the truth and basic human decency on her side. You knew what you were doing, and what did you gain by using tactics I can only describe as middle-school-level in absurdity?

“Here (snicker), here’s the address to the party… Shhh! Shut up, you guys!”

You have national attention on you. And, like the kid who passed notes in class, you are now being asked to stand in front of everyone and explain yourselves. So? Let’s have it.

This isn’t the first time you’ve had an issue with someone’s sexuality.

You ran out a mother and her children because her son was transgender and dressed in women’s clothing. He was a student for less than twenty-four hours and you ruined his and his family’s life. Like Constance, he was different. You labeled him a trouble-maker simply because he existed.

Did Juin Baize and Constance McMillen shatter your worldview? Did you think you too had to become gay or dress in “gender inappropriate clothing?” Guess what? If gay marriage becomes legal or even if just Constance and her girlfriend could dance together, if they could spend one night with their peers and just be high schoolers and have that one night to look back on with fondness, it doesn’t mean that YOU have to become gay. A society does not have to be homogenous to be harmonious. My guess is that you’re doing this for religious reasons. It always comes to that, but you hurt the name of the one you worship by resorting to underhanded cruel tricks and manipulation of youth.

She beat you. She’s right. The country knows she’s right. This isn’t the tyranny of the minority coming down and destroying your world. You can still go to church. You can still meet at Grandma’s for Sunday dinner. You can still watch Fox News and rot your brains.

A girl wanted to dance with her sweetheart. That’s it. She wasn’t asking for a marriage license. She just wanted one night to show the world who she was. And you lied and tricked her and were too stupid to not post the pictures on the internet. No matter what excuse you come up with, you’re still bigots with no concept of how it feels to be set aside and hurt like this. Shame on all of you.

Maybe Constance is bigger than this. Maybe she will get over the whole series of events. I hope so. As for the rest of you, I hope that the next time someone different comes along, someone who makes you examine your beliefs, you at least have the balls to a face-to-face debate instead of this childish sneaking around.

May all your Miller Lite be flat and your children inbred.