August 14, 2013

Random thoughts on stupid songs

These are some thoughts on annoying music I hear when going to the gym or getting drunk and dancing like an idiot to annoying music. Without further ado:

Flo Rida - Wild Ones ft. Sia

I don't generally have a problem with vocal sounds in music that aren't meant to convey any lyrical meaning, like "yeah", "hey", "ugh", "come on" and so on. That being said, there are ways of doing it very, very wrong. I'm talking about the part right at the beginning of the song:
Hey I heard you were a wild one
Not only does the OOO sound incredibly stupid, but the way she sings it, it's like she's saying it in mid-conversation, like it's part of the lyrics. It makes me imagine her walking up to some guy in a bar and going all "hey, I heard you're a wild one... OOooOOo". Allow me to illustrate:

[Credit goes to Cyanide & Happiness and Paint for the image]

I don't know how it goes from there, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve her "taking him home for a home run".

Sebastian Ingrosso - Reload
When everything starts to fade
You don’t have to be afraid
No you don’t have to be afraid
Take my hand and reload
This is free love
That’s what we are made of
Uh. When everything starts to fade - I'm guessing that means you're about to pass out, which means your control over your mind and body is slipping and it's not a good time to be fucking around with lethal weapons - the first thought that pops into your head is "hey, let's go on a shooting spree!". Or does 'reload' mean refill the stapler? I don't fucking think so. And what's next, we're made of "free love"? What does that even mean? This reminds me of how soothsayers and spiritual new-age hippie type fellas like to append some vague, meaningless adjective to the term 'energy', like positive, negative, creative, spiritual, because if they speak clearly and actually make sense it just sounds so much less mystical and wise. Are you referring to an abstract but measurable physical quantity that ties together mass, macroscopic motion, vibration, the position of a body within a force field (i.e. vector field), and a bunch of other quantities related to the ability of a system to perform mechanical work on a body? No? Then the term you're looking for is 'bullshit'.

I think seeing the songwriters as typical God-fearing redneck 'muricans might help us analyze the song. They love guns, freedom ("freedom") and the American way. Getting fat, shooting their guns, that sorta thing. Really, this song is an ode to rural American culture. Oh, and did I mention getting fat?
When you want to get off the ground
But gravity pulls you down
Gravity pulls you down
Yeah. When gravity pulls you down, causing you to have trouble getting off the ground. I hate it when that happens.

I like how the writers specified very clearly that the issue here is gravity. It's not like life is pulling you down, or you feel weak and powerless because you're going through some hard times. Nope, it's all gravity. That's what we're dealing with. Ok, so I think I might have a solution. How about you, oh I don't know, just get off the fucking ground? That might help!

I mean, do you realize how fucking fat you would have to be to have a hard time standing up because of gravity? You think Oprah's bad, well, these people eat Oprahs for breakfast. I'm beginning to think these people love America so much that they've devoured it, along with the rest of the universe. Don't get too close to them or you'll be pulled into their event horizons and sucked into the big blob of fat that is their bodies, except instead of fat cells they have billions of tiny singularities.

Some asshole (not N.R.G.) - I Need Your Lovin' (Like the Sunshine)

I'm pretty damn sure it was a guy singing this when I heard it, so it's probably a cover, but I didn't manage to find it online. Anyway, some guy sings about how he "needs your lovin' like the sunshine" and of course all the gullible girls in the hypothetical audience go "oh he's so sweet why can't I find a guy like that". But does he really need the sunshine? Not directly. We need the oxygen and glucose created by photosynthesis, and vitamin D is produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. Not that the energy for those reactions necessarily needs to come from the sun - any other source of photons will do. So he doesn't need your love directly, but he needs a biproduct of your love. He needs to get laid. And he doesn't even need it from you - any source of vagina will do. Doesn't sound so sweet now, does it?

(Alternative interpretation: he needs your kidneys.)

Bruno Mars - Grenade

This song is so fucking stupid it makes the blood boil in my veins. The lyrics are in the video description, so go read them if you don't have blood pressure issues. Basically what we have is the last song, with some guy talking sweet talk about love to fool gullible teenage girls, except the lyrics are actually stupid on their own without requiring some asshole to overanalyze and misinterpret them. I mean, I guess just comparing love to sunshine without any sort of elaboration won't fool anyone with more than a handful of neurons firing in their brain that the lyrics are somehow "poetic", or "good" for that matter, but this is much worse. If the last song is a tea party supporter saying "we need to protect family values" in a short TV interview at a rally, then this song is a long, elaborative essay on the same subject from a professor at the Patriotic Christ University involving the terms 'abortion' (or 'anti-life'), 'homosexual propaganda', 'communism' (used interchangeably with 'liberalism' and 'socialism'), and 'heavy metal music'.

First off, how the hell do you know you'd catch a grenade and all that for this girl? Have you been in such a situation before and heroically taken a bullet by jumping in front of a gun to save your loved one? No? Didn't fucking think so, assface! People who haven't been there before have no idea of how they'd react, but judging from what I've seen from this guy he'd probably just wet himself and cry like a pussy.

But let's forget about that for a second. Let's pretend he would sacrifice himself to save her. Why is that a good thing? What reward could possibly be worth sacrificing yourself? You'd be dead. You wouldn't exist, and so nothing would at that point be of any value to you. That's not to say that I wouldn't selflessly sacrifice myself rather than have 99% of the world's population wiped out, but again, I can't say for sure whether or not I would until I had been in such a situation.

The point is, sacrificing your life means giving up absolutely everything you've ever had or will have, and in order to do so out of love for a single person that love would probably have to be so strong the vast majority of us will never comprehend, much less experience it. In fact, to the extent that such a selfless sacrifice happens in real life, I'd say it's roughly 100% of the time a combination of social ideals and guilt; for example, a man in love should sacrifice himself for his woman, parents should sacrifice themselves for their children, it's romanticized as such a strong and noble and brave thing to do, if you don't you're a coward and you can't live with yourself if you don't and what will people think etc.

As for this guy, he has apparently decided that if you love someone to the point of insane obsession and are willing to sacrifice yourself for them, that's a foolproof recipe to get them to love you back. If this guy loves you enough, he practically owns you. And if you don't "give him all your love", or you don't want to take a bullet for him, you're an evil bitch, a spawn of hell, and you deserve to suffer through eternity for it. Seriously, it's right there in the lyrics.

Ok, so that's not all there is to it. It's not like he just decided that he loves someone who didn't return the love. It seems to me like they did love each other, and then she stopped loving him (quite possibly because she realized how insane he was). Or maybe she just thought she loved him, and said so ("you said you loved me, you're a liar"), and then realized she didn't. Or maybe he suddenly broke out the L word and she responded without thinking much, or felt pressured into saying it back, and while that's not a good thing to do, it's a human thing to do, and doesn't really warrant an eternity of hellfire. Either way, nothing in these lyrics makes me think she's in any way a bad person.

So, she breaks up with him, or he breaks up with her because she's not prepared to catch a grenade for him, and he decides that she's a demon from hell. But still he'd die for her. Wait, what? That doesn't make any goddamn sense whatsoever. Why would he do that? It's simple: this entire song is constructed specifically to make him look like this sweet, emotional, sensitive dream prince by creating a completely unrealistic, inauthentic fairytale representation of love that anyone past their teens would (or rather, should) see right through. The purpose of this, of course, is to make every naive girl out there love him, and wish that he was with her instead of the girl in the song, and buy his shit.

Now, I'm not saying that realism is always good. Hollywood blockbuster action movies can pull off ridiculous and overblown and make it entertaining. But when you set out to invoke a feeling of melancholy and make us all weepy, and end up just making us roll our eyes instead, your efforts have fallen pitifully short of the mark. The real problem here, though, is that the unrealism is used to judge someone - if you don't hold up to these phony ideals, you're an awful human being. If your first kiss isn't fairytale perfect in every conceivable way ("had your eyes wide open, why were they open?"), the emotions are fake and you're just seeking to exploit the guy. If you wouldn't die a horrible, gruesome death for him, you're a treacherous harlot. That's the core of what's so disgusting and despicable about this song - it constructs a strawman and tells you to hate it for completely nonsensical reasons so that the artist will seem better, and everyone who listens to it comes out a little dumber. It pretends to be heartfelt and sorrowful, when in reality it's just dishonest and cynical. (Sidenote: the video had the potential to be awesome, but they fucked it up by cutting off just before he got hit by the train. And there was a lot of unnecessary stuff before that part.)

And that's a wrap. I could go on, but I plan to live past the age of 30 before my first cardiac arrest. Fuck the radio.

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