There was supposed to be a podcast in this space this morning. However some one changed all the passwords and now I have no ftp access.
For Father’s Day he’ll be changing them back.
We regret any inconvenience this might have caused.
There was supposed to be a podcast in this space this morning. However some one changed all the passwords and now I have no ftp access.
I was going to do this long, ponderous thing about some stuff I’d been thinking about, but I got blindsided by everybody who came back from the Memorial Day weekend with a vengeance. Therefore my internal monolog cam off a whole lot like this.
Otherwise it seems U2 was in town last night. (This is something we learned on Friday – not being fans kinda keeps that stuff off our radar.) The last time that happened His Holiness Pope Bono-dict had breakfast at a place here in the neighborhood. We were not there when the crowds gathered to see if they could reach out an touch the hem of his sunglasses. When we did drop by a few days later the help was still buzzing about his visitation and we tried to make polite noise as they told us how his countenance shown like the light off a velvet painting.
As I said – we’re not fans. At a Roxy Music concert in the late 70s I got an offer of free tickets to see this new band from Ireland. I was mildly interested since most bands from Ireland have a tendency to blow up on the launching pad. A quick listen to their record didn’t do much good as they seemed to be another Chuck Berry – somebody recycling the same licks repeatedly. At our local greasy spoon I kept all that to myself lest they spit in my ham scramble.
Yay and that would be most vexing.
McLUHAN: People are beginning to understand the nature of their new technology, but not yet nearly enough of them—and not nearly well enough. Most people, as I indicated, still cling to what I call the rearview-mirror view of their world. By this I mean to say that because of the invisibility of any environment during the period of its innovation, man is only consciously aware of the environment that has preceded it; in other words, an environment becomes fully visible only when it has been superseded by a new environment; thus we are always one step behind in our view of the world. Because we are benumbed by any new technology—which in turn creates a totally new environment—we tend to make the old environment more visible; we do so by turning it into an art form and by attaching ourselves to the objects and atmosphere that characterized it, just as we’ve done with jazz, and as we’re now doing with the garbage of the mechanical environment via pop art. The present is always invisible because it’s environmental and saturates the whole field of attention so overwhelmingly; thus everyone but the artist, the man of integral awareness, is alive in an earlier day. In the midst of the electronic age of software, of instant information movement, we still believe we’re living in the mechanical age of hardware. At the height of the mechanical age, man turned back to earlier centuries in search of “pastoral” values. The Renaissance and the Middle Ages were completely oriented toward Rome; Rome was oriented toward Greece, and the Greeks were oriented toward the pre-Homeric primitives. We reverse the old educational dictum of learning by proceeding from the familiar to the unfamiliar by going from the unfamiliar to the familiar, which is nothing more or less than the numbing mechanism that takes place whenever new media drastically extend our senses.
PLAYBOY: If this “numbing” effect performs a beneficial role by protecting man from the psychic pain caused by the extensions of his nervous system that you attribute to the media, why are you attempting to dispel it and alert man to the changes in his environment?
McLUHAN: In the past, the effects of media were experienced more gradually, allowing the individual and society to absorb and cushion their impact to some degree. Today, in the electronic age of instantaneous communication, I believe that our survival, and at the very least our comfort and happiness, is predicated on understanding the nature of our new environment, because unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute a total and near-instantaneous transformation of culture, values and attitudes. This upheaval generates great pain and identity loss, which can be ameliorated only through a conscious awareness of its dynamics. If we understand the revolutionary transformations caused by new media, we can anticipate and control them; but if we continue in our self-induced subliminal trance, we will be their slaves. Because of today’s terrific speed-up of information moving, we have a chance to apprehend, predict and influence the environmental forces shaping us—and thus win back control of our own destinies. The new extensions of man and the environment they generate are the central manifestations of the evolutionary process, and yet we still cannot free ourselves of the delusion that it is how a medium is used that counts, rather than what it does to us and with us. This is the zombie stance of the technological idiot. It’s to escape this Narcissus trance that I’ve tried to trace and reveal the impact of media on man, from the beginning of recorded time to the present.
This is, give or take a day, my 11th anniversary of having some kind of blog or another. For the next few minutes we’ll once again re-examine the idea that it was either this or a metal detector and I made the wrong choice.
There’s about a 75% chance that I’ll be going to a convention this fall. The other 25% hangs in the balance as the whole sheebang might not come off and if it does I might not go. My general concern is that there’ll be any number of people there who will want, as they constantly say, “To pick your brain.” Over time I have found no good way to tell them that picking my brain is no different than looking around the bottom of your glove box. All you’re really going to find is a busted ballpoint pen, three peppermint Lifesavers, (still in the torn wrapper), and a lint covered penny. Beyond that there is the small problem that I really don’t have much to tell you about what I do every day and if you openly admit that you know even less about what I do than I do then you’re in very, very deep trouble.
And since I mentioned lice picking in the last post I shall spare you my other analogies that I could use at this point which wholly depend of certain aspects of primate behavior.
If the event happens I’m thinking about getting business cards made up which list my title as “Media Theorist.” Not that it’ll do much good as no one reads business cards, but at least I can point to the line with the title and say, I think you’ve mistaken me for some one else. At which point I can walk away from being Zombie Chow for yet another day.
Seriously, if i thought there was any money in it I would be a media theorist. But McLuhan got in the game early and really didn’t leave anything for the rest of us. The only thing I have going is the constant nagging thought that affinities do not make us tribes. Backing up a step – as you remember McLuhan said eventually electronic media would detribalize humanity. Douglas Coupland said that this was true as the Internet let people connect who had never connected before. Coupland says that the Net’s ability to bring together adult Lego builders and all the people who play with trains in the basement.
All well and good but I do not think that a tribe consists of a collection of people bound by their affinities. People can go about holding onto those affinities while not renouncing their citizenship or identifying themselves by their profession. (i.e. Hello, I’m DOCTOR Bob.) McLuhan said that radio was a very tribe-making medium and he used Hitler as one example. Hitler, per McLuhan, worked best on the audio medium because the audio medium aims for the gut. But that overlooks the point that Hitler’s message was that Germans needed to be better Germans as Germany had been insulted and only the Germans could do something about it. Make no mistake – uniting weirdoes of a kind is one of the best and most efficient things the Internet(s) can do, but Hitler’s kind of galvanizing message would be a non sequitur to a 37 year-old guy who builds prehistoric swamp dioramas out of Legos, but who still carries an Ohio drivers license and a US passport. After all while Gomez played with trains in the basement, he was still first and foremost an Addams.
And governments who would retribalize their own people in order to cut corners are on a fool’s errand.
But that is another topic for a different time.
In grand blogging tradition I shall now relentlessly bitch about an article in the New York Times that I could scarcely be bothered to read.
With all due respect to those of you who’ve had long standing political issues with The Newspaper of Record, I have long found that the more serious sin it visits upon us is the endless amount of emotional abuse it doles out each Sunday. One section alone of the week’s largest edition begins with endlessly prattling about how there’s nothing but heartache behind every closed door in America and end with a parade of wedding photos from ceremonies that were far, far more perfect than anything you were ever attached to. Today that section brought us the Triple Lutz of Gray Lady Dysfunctionalism. (1.) A major author, Jonathan Franzen, managed to (2.) poo-poo the Like button on Facebook which is in keeping with (3.) the Times ongoing seriously weird love/hate thing with the Internet(s).
Over the course of three or four paragraphs, which was pretty much all I could choke down, Franzen talks about loving his old Crackberry and trying to like his new one. He then shifts gears and points out that liking some one on Facebook falls far short of liking a real person.
All that over the ol’ like/love grammar mistake?
Where to begin?
Liking things on Facebook can be easily be mistaken for expressing yourself in Stalinist Russia, i.e. you can either like something or keep your mouth shut, there are no other options. But – while extremely valid – that point misses most of what Facebook liking is all about. It’s
It’s really just making small talk.
On Facebook you can like baked potatoes, large dogs, and Slurpees. You can like some one’s bad hair day and even like his or her cat too while you’re at it. Overall checking the little like button is just another way of saying, “That color looks good on you.” More importantly – as my old anthropology teacher used to say – it provides us with that small talk outlet that replaced lice picking as we are the most hairless of all primates. Stripped of our ability to fish for small parasites in the hot sun we have shifted our attention to saying things like, “Oh that’s nice, where did you get that? Really?!?!?”
Two major points:
1. Let’s not what a great friend Facebook is to teh_blog. Facebook managed to skim off all those bad-hair-day people. Facebook siphoned off all the people who started a blog and never got past two posts. Facebook managed to be so low effort that it left this medium to those of us who put our shoulders to the wheel at one time or another.
2. There is a symbiosis of sorts in that Facebook has benefitted so much from all the TypePad alumni out there. Each and every one of our Facebook pages is a treasure. People find you and say, “Oh your Facebook page is so interesting. I wish mine was as interesting!”Yet they never realize that we’re just recycling our interesting. We’ve been consistently entertaining for years. So it’s little wonder that we’ve taken our excess charm and dumped it somewhere else.
Seriously, now that the threat of the uninteresting taking up blogging is long past we can recreate the Versailles-like glory that was Web 1.5. We can be free once again to get all bent out of shape about three or maybe four sentences from the New York Times that may or may not have appeared consecutively.
This week has largely been consumed by our ongoing discussions of whether or not our child is old enough to hear about the time his maternal grandmother appeared in a girlie magazine. Therefore the posting intended for this space went right off the rails and into the ditch. However it should be noted that Memorial Day is rapidly approaching and that on Memorial Day 2000 I launched my first blog using the Siemens Mark IV Blogeroscitor.
Anniversary posts of a sort will appear next week.
“The man (Thomas Pynchon) simply chooses not to be a public figure, an attitude that resonates on a frequency so out of phase with that of the prevailing culture that if Pynchon and Paris Hilton were ever to meet — the circumstances, I admit, are beyond imagining — the resulting matter/antimatter explosion would vaporize everything from here to Tau Ceti IV.” Arthur Salm
My intent was to discuss that quote at length, but I was sidetracked this week by having to explain competitive monopolies. Those of you who can think back to your Econ 101 class will remember that these are business that essentially sell the same goods and then are put in the position of having to sell their differences to attract cutovers.
Think of it this way.
You know what grocery stores sell?
Competitive monopolies are eager to sell their differences which why you can pose the question, “What can you tell me about this chicken?” at Whole Foods and not Safeway. The ultimate example is gasoline. Gas is the one commodity we all purchase that almost requires an act of faith. With any luck- we will never see, touch, nor taste gasoline, we will only experience the bright lit gas station signs, familiar logos, and come on’s for junk food.. Some will buy into the idea that Station A’s additives are better than Station B’s, the rest of us will go about picking something closer to the house or just choosing a station out of habit. An old econ professor once said that picking one station over another simply because you don’t like making left turns is in fact a buying decision.
Where this all came up was in discussion how the conventional media is little different from selling chickens and gasoline. (coq au mobil) The whole point of being acknowledged as the Best Guest Guesser during the football season or being the fifth caller in order to win a t-shirt is a matter of selling differences. I will even go so far as to say that talk radio has been successful as it has done a great job of hitting people’s hot buttons. All that outrage gives listeners an emotional release they cannot find anywhere else on the dial. Over time you can only give away so may bumper stickers and t-shirt, but there’s no end of how much catharsis you can provide at an extremely low cost.
But then what would I know?
Come back next week and maybe I’ll have a complete thought to share, k?
Lately Dr. Random has been caught up in the Stick Alien Controversy. He’s endlessly fascinated by the whole thing and we’ve been talking about how this might apply to Jungian archetypes.
But let’s back up a touch.
Let’s say these are aliens. So like, MTV finally reached far enough into the galaxy that they saw MC Hammer videos and seeing as he had pants like theirs they decided to make the trip?
And what happened to threatening aliens?
Aren’t we good enough to be menaced from afar anymore?
Look at these two. They look like some cheap Eurotrash marionettes that were seen sandwiched between Totie Fields and Sergio Franke on the old Ed Sullivan Show. If you look at them long enough you can hear Ed saying, “Now for the kidddoooohs all the way from Sarry-ay-vooohhhh…”
But the real blow is to our collective consciousness which Jung said create our archetypes. Here the classic Jungian Little Green Man is reduced to something that looks like a volleyball jammed onto the head of the compass I had in my elementary-school pencil box. Once upon a time our collective unconscious coughed up garishly colored demons complete with brimstone smoke and the eerie sounds of minor chords played on a smoldering violin.
So how did we get to this sorry state?
More importantly, how can we blame Facebook for this?
You work that out while I bust a move.
Now that winter’s drug its feet and spring seems like it will never arrive I find that people are getting a little testy. Perhaps we’ve all spent a bit too much time indoors this year and the extended time in our homes has left us irritable. That’s why I took some time last night to think through what I was going to write this morning. Upon further review, as they used to say in the late great NFL, I decided to take a pass on what I was going to say about social media experts.
They don’t really mean to say what they say.
It’s just that their unemployment has run out.
And that’s likely to make anybody crazy.
See you next week.
“A shadowy group of elites—mainly international bankers but also George W. Bush, Barack Obama, the Clintons, most of the mainstream media, the Saudi royal family, and Google—is trying to enslave the Earth’s population through orchestrated terror attacks and revolutions, vast economic manipulation, vaccines and fluoride, and an ever-widening system of surveillance that includes Facebook.That’s the truth—at least, the truth according to Alex Jones, a popular talk-radio host who is today’s leading proponent and marketer of political paranoia. ‘The globalists have stolen the world’s power,’ he told me recently, with surprisingly abundant good cheer. ‘Their big dream, and all they talk about, is creating a super bioweapon, basically based on a mouse pox, and just turn it loose and kill almost everybody. It kills about 99 percent of whatever mammal you design it for. It’s their Valhalla, and they’re going to do it.'” – Joe Hagan
“Nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me, any way the wind blows” Farrokh Bulsara
Let’s get the hard part out of the way first.
What follows is a comparison.
I only mention that because some one, when not busy making mouse pox, needs to spend some time researching why the human brain partially shuts down every time some one makes a comparison. For whatever reason, every time a comparison is made the part where you’re saying something is kinda, sorta like something else is ignored and the human brain goes fully auto and completely ballistic. Sure you can dress it up with one of those fancy terms you learned in high school English, (i.e simile, desiccant, metaphor, analogy, or taken together what the ancient Greeks called diuretics) but the outcome is still the same.
I am about to piss you the hell off.
Alex Jones came to light as there’s been some press devoted to whether or not Glen Beck cribs from Mr. Jones radio show. Having seen this go by on a variety of web sites I thought it might be interesting to see where Mr. Beck finds his alleged source material. Thankfully Mr. Jones program is available via the Interwebs as he’s only on a handful of AM stations around the country as well as shortwave. (Note to self, go find where the kid put my shortwave radio.) An afternoon’s listening proved nothing more – at least to me- than a trip down memory lane. Save for the mouse pox, the content was pretty much stuff I’d heard before, some of it going back 30-plus years.
So what keeps Alex Jones’s audience in place?
Here’s the part where you’re gonna get all hissy-fit pissy.
The Alex Jones show comes off like one of your favorite albums. You bought it on vinyl, you repurchased it when it came out on cd, then you had your kid illegally download it for you just to have a backup copy.
I’m gonna pause here so you can get all that “ARE YOU SAYIN’ (insert album name here) BY (insert band and/or artist name here) IS A BUNCHA RIGHT WING CRACKPOT BULLSHIT?!?!?!?!?” mojo out of your system.
And still all the money goes to mouse pox and not a dime to studying your last thought.
But I digress.
All that commin’-for-your-guns stuff and the FEMA prisons are nothing new. Back when Dr. Random was an infant I used to put him down for his nap and fire up the shortwave radio he grew up to squirrel away somewhere and listen to Col. Bo Gritz. It was the same kind of stuff – only I will grant you – that Mr. Jones has a more secular tone. One of the principle features of Col. Bo’s show was people who would call up and say, “Know what that reminds me of? Book of Acts 3:12-14.” And Col Bo would reply, “Or Leviticus 2:24-28!” Not that they actually coughed up any verse to go with that. They just sprayed numbers around like a post-race NASCAR phone-in show. You’d think you were listening to either a numbers station or The Algebra Classroom of the Air.
And can we all take a moment to remember how great The Art Bell Show was?
When Dr. Random was a newborn and he was waking his mother up every couple of hours in the night she would fire up the radio while nursing. Back then Art still ruled the dead of the night. Some Montana Militia member would call up and subject Art to some proposition that was equal parts the Lord’s Prayer, a snippet from the Declaration of Independence, and the warning off a bottle of rat poison, which proved once and for all that the government was evil. Art, as most of you will remember, would then hang up on these people after first suggesting Luprina, the spray on aspirin, could fix all our ills.
Long story short – Alex Jones is the comfort food of radio listening for some folks. He’s like the album you want to hear in the car on the way home after a long day. For over 30 years I’ve heard just about all of it – how the money isn’t legal, nor is the America flag with the gold fringe, and who gets locked up in a FEMA prison is all based on how you voted in the last election. If all of that is at the root of your zeitgeist then please feel free to fire up The Alex Jones show and may God Bless all who sail in her.
Not that Mr. Jones will have Mr. Beck to worry about for long. As Mr. Beck’s ratings and popularity have faded we might be a year or so away from Mr. Beck having a very public epiphany. Sooner or later he’s going to turn up on some backwater cable station, tears streaming down his pitiful unshaven cheeks, and between sobs he’s going to tell us that he didn’t leave conservatism, conservatism left him. Salon’s vivisection of Mr. Beck from two years ago is very telling. Those of us who’ve spent time in radio know that the wily can turn on a dime if they think their survival is at stake.
But what would I know?
I just insulted your favorite album of all time.
“I would rather look good than feel good.” generally attributed to Fernando Llamas
“For the record, a rockstar is someone who has achieved stardom through their music. A guru has religious wisdom. A ninja doesn’t tell anyone.” Tara Reid
This was the week when I was stopped in traffic and noticed the woman in the car in front of me. While waiting at the light she took out a brush and, as the kids like to say, started fixin’ her hair like a boss. Then in one graceful, unbroken moment she reached over to the passenger seat and started perking up her dog’s coiffe. As I get older I find it’s the poetry contained in certain moments that make them memorable. Not that it was enough to distract me from my ennui as I began the week falsely accused of being an Internet pioneer.
As Prof. McLuhan would say, “Oh yes!”
For those of you just tuning in this is the return of The Poorly Thought Out Sunday Think Piece. (™ pend.)
I read the accusatory email in question about a half dozen times and it didn’t seem to be the least bit humorous. Each reading made the prose only that much more dry and stolid. Beyond that it was every bit as ironic as a Presbyterian clutching a club soda and lime. Not that I know where the author came up with this information and I’m certain that you, as some one who has read all of some of the 80-plus blogs I’ve maintained in the past 12 years knows, there have been exaggerations, conflation, and outright lies set down in print- the highlights of which include:
– Claiming to be Adnan Khashoggi’s life coach.
– Passing myself off as the leading distributor of feng shui for the Willamette Valley.
– Offering my services as a whuffie fluffer/digital phlebologist.
The last one is a regionalism. It’s something along the lines or bag vs. sack or whether you come home with a Tyson or a Perdue chicken. In some cases which one you use is based on whether or not you went to parochial school.
Where were we?
When it comes to blogging and social media certainly the ninja definition posted above applies to the some 120-plus blogs I’ve maintained since 1978. During all that time I’ve worked as far under the radar as possible so that you could feel better about yourself. That by not banging the drum loudly and dabbling endlessly in useless self promotion I have been able to bolster your self esteem by making you feel special – feel as if you were part of a secret society or possessed of esoteric knowledge which in turn gave you the ability to take one last look across the cube farm on a Friday afternoon and say to yourself, “Sleep tight you bastards!”
Not that I know how to convey this to the author of the email as he insists we meet for coffee.
And how is it that none of the people who write to me seem to know how to use the word ‘martini’ in a sentence?
Which is another tropic for another time.
I suppose I could meet with him and give him some 21st Century variation on Adlai’s Stevenson’s speech about how America was built using little more than a plow, a Bible, and an ax. I could even make up something about how we called her Ma back then and go on and on about how she stuffed a mule full of sorghum so that we could venture out from the Geocities with nothing more than a pound of salt and a side of bacon strapped to wee Dr. Random’s back.
But then he’d probably go ruin it by Googling everything I said.
BTW – you can follow Tara Reid on Twitter here.
By now you should know well enough to leave some things alone.
Deconstructing Rebecca Black’s Friday: Death of the Author? Possibly, but regardless, the author should be dead.
I can certainly state self-professed hatred for Rebecca Black, however, there’s some certain difference between people taking the traditional apocalyptic biblical naysaying – “It’s the death of music as we know it!” and where anyone who hasn’t posted on youtube comments recently fit in. The difference is mostly that the latter is on the joke: Nobody honestly likes the music, so instead they take it as a guilty pleasure.
I certainly fit in there.
At short, most of the criticism comes down to the epitome of what counts as modern pop: Gratuitous autotune and repetitive lyrics with no real logic behind them. Given there are much worse offenders – see Black Eyed Pea’s “I gotta feeling” as far as lyrical atrocities go – Rebecca Black still counts as a tasteless pop hit. No doubt, we can assume that most of the cheap and sleazy song writers working for their corporate overlords at Ark Music Factory are jaded men in their 40s and 50s who somehow didn’t make the cut as far avant-garde independent music went; doomed to working in some modern music Inferno, fifth or sixth ring.
I am here to hail them as underground geniuses. In the same sense that the Illuminati mock the public with subversive symbolism ranging anywhere from Lady GaGa videos to the one dollar bill, the fine hack job song writers are mocking modern music and decadent culture within their demographic (apparently). There is certain kitsch to attempting to look at Rebecca Black seriously, and again, I can make no mistake there is nothing artistically redeeming about her music other than perhaps in some sense of irony.
But yet, there is something that struck me on the head in some chance of reverse brilliance. When we have mundane reflections of life represented in lyrics, almost as stream of consciousness, how can we be sure that there aren’t subversive elements striking us? And so I looked back.
The song starts in a mundane manner, pointing out again, stream of consciousness comments on what would appear to be regular “life” as high school goes. (Interestingly, Rebecca Black is a middle schooler, but in any interpretation this is of no note as what the text is offering.)
The video starts as a stream of consciousness itself, where she is attempting to rise through her bed and go through aimless movements notioned as routine.
7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’
In The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn wrote of the police attempting to rush occupants out to arrest to gulag: “[…]It’s all lies. They keep hurrying you to frighten you.”
On a schedule of dead last minute work, hours of tedium presented to the modern occupant of the American educated system, sleep is a commodity that is rare and often almost a driving factor. We cannot argue this, but in itself it is a weapon of fear as much as it is a tool of failure. Mussolini kept the trains on time as much as the schools keep sleep deprivation a constant. This is almost certainly commentary on this, as well as the routine that has become a brainwashed constant into the minds of youth.
Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends (My friends)
Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?
Two themes are ever present here, but there is first a simple theme: Education versus Education as a social institution. The bus stop represents the education, or: the anal-retentive, going for the 4.0 GPA. The friends are almost certainly a diversion. We can assume in one sense that metaphorically, Rebecca has always gone to school, but here the jump off point is present as she has only participated in school as social means. College and letter grades mean nothing to her certainly. She is not a drop out, but the system has no place for her. The school bus and where it is headed are an educated future, where the children represent social freedom and expression as well as diversion from knowledge.
The second is one of existentialism. The institution and it’s systems are existential puzzles … they present no real options for students, and almost all options presented for students are the dicerolls behind the scenes, of social classes and backgrounds. There is no expression of humanity, only of intellectuality. Those who trip up when asked to trip up in school and those who learn how to jump over the foot waiting for them divide those who are more social and those who focus on education. Rebecca’s character represents the former, and so she has become dehumanized.
Her friends represent humanity, as certainly they are social rather than treated as flat figures by a statelike school figure. The existential choice presented – even so mundanely as “what seat to take in a car” is showing just how much that even that human expression can show more to Rebecca’s character than a moment furthering her education can to her at this point.
It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
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
The eery remnants of a gulag like state figure within education are much present here. If we take Rebecca’s character as a metaphor for a repressed student, and this student jaunt and escape into a car transgression from her workplace, then certainly we can say no further than Friday is her release from a prison. The same release promised of an amount of labor/time (schoolwork) from the gulag (school). There is not much more to say, but this verse repeats itself in forms. I conclude my thoughts on it here.
7:45, we’re drivin’ on the highway
Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun
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
The last remainder of the verse is somewhat needless, but I will explain where this is going to the next portion. The first is a direct commentary on hedonism, the same that is the “partying” transgression from education – mindless pleasures, distraction. “Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly” Like a suicidal note, one does not wish to continue to live oppressedly, and so as a student she is breaking free. A gun, a bottle of whisky, an ecstasy tablet … after awhile, they blur together as the same vice of transgression. She does not want to be in the present. Her own repeated thought of trying to think of “Fun” might be a remnant from the alternate world of her staterun hell of school itself, reminding herself of the release.
Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?
The verse repeats itself here as the existential one, I can only say it must connect to her own transgressive desire to escape from a dehumanizing state system of education, again.
My friend is by my right
I got this, you got this
Now you know it
Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’)
We-we-we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a ball today
Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes after…wards
By this point the images in the video serve no purpose. I do not believe imagery and symbolism come into play, as the writers had no goal in the video itself nor do objects and images reappear in the song again.
However, the point and bridge between the prior lyrics and these comes as this: They are simply commentary on the failures of the system, where heavy repetition of rudimentary concepts has become necessary due to the lack of attention. One could blame this lack due to the system itself, again, an image of the prior gulag … one could certainly ascribe that the transgression is slowly corrupting itself as well, but it also needs to go no deeper than that Rebecca’s character simply is not educated and can find no education. Thusly, she rebels in a form of transgression, escaping education as the bus, and also showing her own failures as they poison herself in life outside school.
I don’t want this weekend to end
The image of suicide and prolonged time, if not eternity, comes back into play. She knows she must return to the prison of school.
[Lyrics are omitted here as finally, I can see they serve no purpose. After the following verse, the song has nothing new to offer.]
Passin’ by is a school bus in front of me
Makes tick tock, tick tock, wanna scream
Check my time, it’s Friday, it’s a weekend
We gonna have fun, c’mon, c’mon, y’all
As represented by the adult generation and possible abuse of slang language, even elders can respect school as a present and the idea of transgression and rebellion from the oppressive system. The slang however, embodies a younger tone, definitely giving way to the idea that the man in the car referenced here is as well a victim of the school system and can acknowledge its failures, vices, and sins. He supports revolution however, showing that the writers have a bias for Rebecca’s character and her compatriots.
I can only conclude here that Rebecca Black’s Friday is a masterwork of satire. I cannot say whether it serves any purpose, but already the creators have lived their biggest joke:
Their intended audience has only looked at it as a tasteless pop song, and not recognized any of its meanings or themes.
Goodnight, and good luck.
This was a week of overlooked and unexpected things, not the least of which was how all of us have undervalued the utility of Rebecca Black’s single as it relates to teaching the order of the days for those learning English as a second language. It was also the week where once again we learned why mommie bloggers rarely continue on after their children reach school age. This past Thursday (i.e. yesterday was Thursday, Thursday, oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah-ah-ah) the point was driven home again. While it might pithy and amusing for a mommie blogger to run out a few hundred words on why Lil’ Iodine won’t poop, it’s something else entirely when Dr. Random walks through the door and announces, “I got on the waiting list for potassium iodide at the vitamin store!”
Therefore it’s little wonder why I have to distract the boy with things like this.
Not that it’s an easy path to take.
Imagine how I felt when he asked, “I don’t get Norman Mailer, do you?”
You’re free to take that on one and if time permits next week I’ll talk about how everybody hates Mom.
“Most recently I wrote about my interactions with PR people who wanted to send me photos of Lou Diamond Phillips holding water, and of Selma Blair wearing a scarf. (This is all true). I still get these emails daily and my plan is to get a picture of you collating paper so that when they offer me a picture of ‘Harry Connick Jr. standing next to yarn’ I can say ‘Thanks. Here’s a picture of Wil Wheaton collating paper’ and then they’ll be like ‘Um…why would I want a picture of Wil Wheaton collating paper?’ and I can be like, ‘EXACTLY.’ It wouldn’t actually stop PR people from emailing me thousands of pictures of people-with-things but I’d at least feel better about it.” The Bloggess
At last weekend’s Emerald City ComicCon two young ladies who looked to more or less the same age as Dr. Random ran up to a guy standing in front of me. They were very excited, they’d just gotten Wil Wheaton’s autograph. “Dad! He was soooooo nice! Oh and Dad, he talked to us for like five minutes!” The upshot of the conversation is that the gals were over the moon as Mr. Wheaton made them feel like they were the only people in the whole wide world. (The irony of course was that this took place in the line to get into see William Shatner, who spent the better part of an hour making about 500 people feel like he was the only person in the world.) Also it should be noted that unlike his former co-stars, Data and Commander Riker, who were also guest speakers at ECCC, he did not charge for either his autograph or his time. Therefore it should come as no surprise that Mr.Wheaton was quick to send The Bloggess a photo of himself collating papers.
So let me say quickly that Wil Wheaton deserve a prize for being Wil Wheaton, a good guy, then we’re off to the races.
The collating papers thing hit home as it was something of a relief to find out we’re not the only ones inundated with bizarre p-r missives. For the better part of two years we have received – wholly unsolicited – amazingly detailed descriptions of Natalie Portman’s nightly whereabouts and what she was wearing. Had we bothered to save and compile all the emails involved we would currently posses a body of information that would embarrass even her most ardent stalkers.
So why is that?
Public relations folk are not unlike a man going door to door with a bucket of water. He knocks or rings the bell and asks, “Is your house on fire? I have a bucket of water!” Then when he’s told ‘No” he moves on up the street to the next house while ignoring more prudent approaches such as looking for smoke, flames, or fire trucks. The mystery is in how that approach evolved and why they are so enamored of it – was it trial and error, hard learned experience, or simply self hypnosis?
One-on-one meetings with them certainly don’t provide and answer. Most of the ones I encounter are always representing a restaurant. Invariably they set up a meeting or phone call after first learning my name and then using it like a cudgel against me. What follows is a sing songy recitation of the eatery’s many virtues leading up to the big talking point that this place’s swank won’t melt in your mouth. But that’s assuming I let it get that far. Most of the time I find these conversations can be brought to an abrupt halt with this simple phrase, “So are you in charge of the advertising budget too?”
This always is met with a very quick, “We’d like you and your wife to be our guests for dinner!”
And when I ask why they always say, “For all the good things you do!”
Excuse me, but I think you have me confused with Wil Wheaton.
Having never been a happy or well adjusted human being I have always looked this gift horse in the mouth.
What do they want out of that? If the cops busted the help for running a meth lab/being a satanic cult full of evil puppy kickers*/being an al-Qaeda cell do they expect me to take a minute and then say, “Yeah, but have you had the duck?” Or if the place accidentally burned down do they want me to cry out, “OH MAN! NOT THE DUCK!?”
Seeing no immediate answers in any it I go on refusing free food I wouldn’t have eaten on a bet in the first place because some has to set the standards for what noblesse oblige means in the 21st Century.
BTW – if you’re into social media you can follow Brook Alvarez here.
Well, you can just leave me the hell alone.
* “A satanic cult full of evil puppy kickers” (™ PEND Dr. Random)
Jethro Tull – Song for Jeffrey by piRjtull