March 24, 2011

The Fall And Rise Of Rebecca Black

rebecca_black.jpg
agreed: bomb Libya

For those of you without an internet connection, Rebecca Black is the 13 year old nobody pretending to be a 17 year old nobody who wrote a song and made a video that everyone hated almost instantly.  But haters gonna hate, yo.

Even Autotune couldn't repair her nasally, off key voice.  But, and but, is it the worst song ever?  Is it worth 30M hits of venom and disgust? 

Break it down by parts and look at them.  Music?  Off the rack pop music, indistinguishable from anything else.  Lyrics?  Probably below average, but no worse than "la la la la la la la" which is Kylie or Dannii Minogue, depending on the decade you last ejaculated.  Singing?  Again, below average but worse than Ke$ha or the entire Colbie Caillat portfolio?  Shut your mouth.

Video? Standard illogical mandness, why is a 13 year old girl going to a party like she's been doing it for years?  Is she an emancipated minor?  No one can say, but does it make any less sense than the Black Eyed Peas having a dance off to a song they didn't write and have no business sampling?  Unlike that video, when I watched "Friday" it never crossed my mind how urgently the video needed a speeding box truck and an oil slick.

No.  None of the parts adequately explain the level of hate.  And that's because the hate isn't directed at any of the parts, or at the video, or even at her, but at what she represents: another spoiled rich white girl that has a video made for her, and releases it like she's as good as her Daddy's money pretends she is. 

II.

No, no judgmental statements from me, not yet, I am merely giving substance to that hatred so you can understand the rest.

No one hates Rebecca Black for her music, you hate her because she's spoiled, because she has opportunities in excess of her talent and the ability to create what superior artists will never be able to simply because they lack the economic resources or maybe even the free time that Rebecca has plenty o'.  It's hard to get to the studio when you've got an 8am down at the main office.   Welcome to America, no one said it would be fair, in fact, no one said a damn thing at all, they just showed you the pictures on the TV commercials and we inferred the rest.  Meanwhile, no one's yet recognized your talent.  Rebecca's Dad forced us to recognize hers, and she wins even by losing, but he's one guy.  Are you so angry at this one guy who gamed the system?

If it was just another battle in the Class War, so be it, another perfect proxy for our fury is sure to get upmoded on Reddit so save some energy for later.

But then something happened: Rebecca announced on Tuesday's Tonight Show that she was giving the proceeds from the video to charity, to Japan relief funds.  Well, you might say, she may suck and she may be spoiled but at least she thinks about things bigger than herself and for a 13 yo that's not bad.  And just like that, the tide turned, the haters slowly became challenged by the respecters? defenders? enablers?  and comment after comment, blog after blog, article after article, her selflessness overshadowed her posited lack of talent and now...


lil wayne vs rebecca black.jpg


Slow down.

The problem with that narrative is it doesn't match the calendar or the numbers.  Even as of now, haters trump respecters 10 to 1, though admittedly it's changing.  And the support for her predates the Tonight Show appearance-- e.g. Lady Gaga calling her a genius, Alan Colmes stating "she has a wonderful voice."

The tide didn't turn because she gave the money to charity, the tide turned because it hit critical mass where it was no longer cool, no longer original, no longer branding, to hate her; it was cooler to like her.   None of that has anything to do with Rebecca Black-- did she remaster the audio? get implants?-- it has to do with how we form opinions in the age where instantency matters more than consistency, let alone logic.  That's right, I invent words. 

That's America, that's how debate is done in America, that's how we decide all of our questions from who blows as a singer to which blathering dictator we should oppose/depose/impose.  We don't have beliefs, we don't have positions, we have reactions to other people's beliefs, to other people's positions.  As long as you can be shown to be a free thinker opposing the tyranny of the majority's insightlessness then you can look like a hero, and if you have to pull a 180 in a week or so to do it, party on.  No one will care/remember what you did last party.  Just remember the rule of opinion, of media: speak early, and often, and if you have to drag a 13 year old down or dramatically alter foreign policy for the next quarter century to lift yourself up, hey, it's all good.

 






Comments

Fury? I'm so old, I didn't ... (Below threshold)

March 24, 2011 7:55 PM | Posted by Jason: | Reply

Fury? I'm so old, I didn't even realize it was supposed to be especially bad until a couple of days after I first saw it, and it kept reappearing. I just thought it was just the latest example of tween-pop. Hannah Montana was the last one I was aware of, so I figured Rebecca Black was the new model. The target demographic isn't going away, somebody's got to fill the demand as the previous supply reaches its expiration date. And I still don't see why it shouldn't be Rebecca Black, and won't be surprised if she leverages the exposure to fill the role.

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Nah, no cigar. The reason p... (Below threshold)

March 24, 2011 8:01 PM | Posted by Abu bin Fucktard: | Reply

Nah, no cigar. The reason people hate the video and the song is that it's all got nothing whatsoever to do with us. We're not the target demographic. It's not talking about us, it's not talking to us. The target demographic is young teenage girls. Not only are we not the target demographic, but both the singer and the target demographic honestly and quite blithely and harmlessly doesn't give a damn about us. The most it could possibly have to do with us is if we have a daughter that age who wants us to buy her the CD. Do girls that age even know what a CD is any more? Beats me.

It's three minutes of an alternate reality where we and all of our concerns barely even qualify as background noise -- unless we have a daughter that age. I'm guessing people with daughters that age aren't bothered by it.

At least, that's how it was until she donated the money to the Japanese. Then suddenly hey, our concerns matter again -- good girl!

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One 13 yo wants to download... (Below threshold)

March 24, 2011 11:17 PM | Posted by Mom of 13 yo: | Reply

One 13 yo wants to download the song and the spoofs of the song that mock it because "the lyrics are so ridiculously hilarious." Other 13 year olds simply groan at the monotonous song. They all ask, is that kid old enough to drive? And thankfully, they all know the whole thing is total B.S.

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Is it possible to chime in ... (Below threshold)

March 24, 2011 11:19 PM | Posted by Matt: | Reply

Is it possible to chime in and say "she seems like just another kinda-cute teenage girl with a meaningless song...but songs don't all have to be meaningful, and just because it's not to _my_ taste doesn't mean it's necessarily crap, and if her demographic is going to be out buying music from folks vaguely and superficially kinda like her, they could do a lot worse than to buy it from her" without drawing a label as a "defender" joining the newest hipster fad?

Does it help answer that question if I point out that this very blog is the only place I go on the internet where she's even been mentioned?

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Actually, I quite liked it.... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 12:36 AM | Posted by Arthur: | Reply

Actually, I quite liked it. I thought some of the metaphysical imagery was particularly effective. And interesting rhythmic devices too, which seemed to counterpoint, the, er...

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Far simpler would be. Prope... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 12:41 AM | Posted by DF: | Reply

Far simpler would be. Proper hate would be indifference.

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Wow. I must have really mis... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 1:10 AM | Posted by Dave: | Reply

Wow. I must have really missed the boat on this one. I'd heard of her, watched 30 seconds of the video, thought it was lame, and moved on. Never had strong feelings about it either way or saw a class warfare angle (figured the kids and their Macs can do a lot of this stuff on the cheap these days).

That said, the biggest shock in reading your post was to see Alan Colmes mentioned. I thought he had gone into exile or something.

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I saw her name trending on ... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 1:14 AM | Posted by PS: | Reply

I saw her name trending on twitter and had no idea who she was. I proceeded to go on youtube to look her up, but instead found a wonderful spoof of the song with a death-metal-voice-over! In fact, haven't actually heard the actual version yet but pretty sure it'll repeat in my head ad nauseum.

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I saw her name trending on ... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 1:14 AM | Posted by PS: | Reply

I saw her name trending on twitter and had no idea who she was. I proceeded to go on youtube to look her up, but instead found a wonderful spoof of the song with a death-metal-voice-over! In fact, haven't actually heard the actual version yet but pretty sure it'll repeat in my head ad nauseum.

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When it comes to popular cu... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 1:27 AM | Posted by Allen: | Reply

When it comes to popular cultural trends, if The Colmes ain't down, I ain't even trying to hear it.

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...counterpoint the surreal... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 1:40 AM | Posted by Ford: | Reply

...counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the, um...

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I'm not sure there was any ... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 3:06 AM | Posted by Oothoon: | Reply

I'm not sure there was any genuine rage. That may be the media narrative -- it's not surprising they would get it wrong.

A lot of people's Internet experience can be described as listlessly (yet with a kind of desperation) searching for material that makes you go "WTF" -- or "the lulz" as the kids say.

If this were the 80s, when preppy (or posing as upper-middle class) was the ideal, I could see people resenting a pretty, rich white girl from California.

But my generation (I'm 35) has been raised on advertising that treats us (the middle class) as if we were bohemian hipsters way too cool and above it to have class anxiety.

Even the 4chan types who were telling her to cut herself/kill herself don't really hate or resent her -- that too was for the lulz. Rebecca Black rides the pop culture short bus.

Then people starting feeling sorry for her, I think.

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Actually, scratch that. Peo... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 3:13 AM | Posted by Oothoon: | Reply

Actually, scratch that. People didn't start feeling sorry for her. It was always cool to like her. The media was just late.

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No additional comments. TLP... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 4:43 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

No additional comments. TLP covered everything. For once I have nothing to say.

Good job Mr TLP!

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The irony is that "Friday" ... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 5:11 AM | Posted by geek1: | Reply

The irony is that "Friday" was originally Bob Dylan's song (or so it seems):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FISHEO3gsM&feature=player_embedded

Behold! Now I've demonstrated my contra-contrarian-coolness! On TLP blog! Wasting all those countless hours compulsively reading Roissy blog finally paid off...

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<a href="http://thirdtierre... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 9:04 AM | Posted by Guest: | Reply

http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/

All she needs to do now is go to law school. When she is older, of course.

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The Rebecca Black haters mu... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 11:29 AM | Posted by Reader: | Reply

The Rebecca Black haters must have a reverse-psychology similar to Twilight Fans. They know it sucks, but love it anyway, but could not possibly admit that to their peer group. "ZOMGZ, I watched that video like 15 times just to laugh at her." "Hyuck, hyuck, me too, man..."

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I don't think this has anyt... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 11:55 AM | Posted by Scott: | Reply

I don't think this has anything to do with a 13 year old that has plenty o' time. this looks like a completely engineered experience by some music outlet that is targeting teenage girls with junk music and trying to make a buck on advertising through youtube.

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That girl is white?... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 12:58 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

That girl is white?

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OR Weezy has some great mix... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 2:00 PM | Posted by Nick: | Reply

OR Weezy has some great mixtapes and Tha Carter 1-3 were dope. Sure his lyrical content might not be the greatest, but tell it to his bank roll. The dude has a flow like nobody. He actullay plays guitar etc

That dumb chick has no idea wtf is going on.

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There is a lot of anger and... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 2:11 PM | Posted by BHE: | Reply

There is a lot of anger and a lot of hate out there, floating in the ether. Generations of the young to not-as-young who are dissatisfied, but don't necessarily realize it's themselves they are dissatisfied with, and are looking forever outward for a target to attack that will help them momentarily explain their feelings, rather than looking inward where they should be focused.

The general feeling is this: "I'm what everyone should be, I'm not a part of the problem. I'm not why I feel this way. Right? Right?"
So give $10 to Japan so you can reaffirm that you're a good person, and tear down Rebecca Black because it satisfies some part of you, and keep looking forever outward and reacting instead of acting and watch as the anger and the resentment boils up and up and over until you're in your mid-40s with a family you hate and you're banging your receptionist on the side and drinking every night and voting Republican. Then wake up one day and realize you're everything you hate. And you always have been.

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The same schtick worked out... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 2:31 PM | Posted by Jackie: | Reply

The same schtick worked out pretty well for Justin Bieber, right? So why did everybody hate on this girl? Is it the hair?

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Hate? Not so much. I feel s... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 2:36 PM | Posted by Jared: | Reply

Hate? Not so much. I feel sorry for the girl, she obviously didn't write the song, or direct the video. I loved watching the trainwreck though- I laughed until I cried. It's a hilarious unintentional satire of pop music, and more specifically pop music for tweens. Some of the lyrics are just gold: trying to decide which seat she should sit in in the car, despite the fact that both of the front seats are taken; listing the days of the week in chronological order; talking about her "friend on my right" when there's another girl on the left who gets no mention.

Kids want to be cool, and they see in pop music that being cool apparently means partying all of the time, in slow motion. Girls want to be pop stars, despite the fact that they have nothing to sing about and no real outstanding vocal talent. Rebecca Black didn't want to *sing*- if she did, she wouldn't be using autotune- she wanted to be *famous*. I don't blame her for that, I blame society, or maybe the corporations that craft and sell glorified pop starlet product. My main source of Schadenfreude comes from the hilariously inept company that produced the whole thing.

The person I *really* feel sorry for is that rapper. He thought he was going to come on down to the sound stage, phone in one verse about changing lanes back and forth, bump his head a bit, and pick up a check. Now he's embarrassingly famous for a gig that I doubt he was going to add to his CV.

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People hate this, cuz it's ... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 3:04 PM | Posted by Marco: | Reply

People hate this, cuz it's just another mass produced, cookie cutter template, CRAP piece of garbage pop, foisted upon the public as something to take note of, only because mommy and daddy had enough cash to make it happen. It represents how unoriginal and awful most pop and commercial music is today. No substance, no value, other than celebrating mediocrity and lack of talent.

She's a cute girl, she should stick to modeling and leave music to MUSICIANS.

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There is an interesting com... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 3:46 PM | Posted by miss: | Reply

There is an interesting comment in this article. "We don't have beliefs, we don't have positions, we have reactions to other people's beliefs, to other people's positions." It seems that we are moving away from an inward focused/individualist slant to a more collectivist/group one. It's a type of "floating conformity" in which a person stands around forever vigilant to changes the opinion of the group. He then changes as well in order to not be excluded or scapegoated. He has no opinion. Reality is malleable.

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Saw it once and laughed, th... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 4:09 PM | Posted by nate: | Reply

Saw it once and laughed, that's where youtube videos should end. Remember that time Charlie Sheen was all like TIGER BLOOD! I feel bad for the losers going to his shows.

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Along the same lines, I alw... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 4:54 PM | Posted by wisegirl: | Reply

Along the same lines, I always find it odd that people have such an irrational hatred of Paris Hilton.

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Forget the new pop. I'm gon... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 5:51 PM | Posted by Fairy Girl: | Reply

Forget the new pop. I'm gonna keep playing my Queen albums.

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I think Oothoon has the rig... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 6:25 PM | Posted by DensityDuck: | Reply

I think Oothoon has the right idea. 'Hating Rebecca Black' was what the cool kids did; it didn't have anything to do with pop music or teenage girls or Rebecca Black or, indeed, anything at all beyond 'somebody posted this on /b/'. Which is why it switched to 'Liking Rebecca Black', because this is the age where everything is supposed to be ironic and we mock things by pretending to take them seriously.

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Bad lip-reading verion ("Ga... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 6:45 PM | Posted by Bruno: | Reply

Bad lip-reading verion ("Gang Fight"): http://youtu.be/1GaKaGwch0U

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you really think that that ... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 7:01 PM | Posted, in reply to geek1's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

you really think that that was a bob dylan song? you think that he would write "chillin in the front seat"? that is a bob dylan impersonator.

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you're the first i've heard... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 8:15 PM | Posted by Aaron Davies: | Reply

you're the first i've heard of her. not everyone's as shallow as you and your patients....

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Her "song" was "written" by... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 10:58 PM | Posted by Elspeth: | Reply

Her "song" was "written" by the company that produced the video. That's their business.

My reading is that the video company more or less exists to prey on the dreams of teenage girls ("we can make you a star, honey") but in this case, they accidentally delivered.


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The point that I took away ... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2011 8:09 AM | Posted by Brett Stevens: | Reply

The point that I took away from the Rebecca Black to-do was that modern culture resists any critique, because at some point, it's just as vapid to criticize it as to like it. What can you say about this "music"? Nothing; it's a non-event. But your hatred assimilates you because soon, you're talking about it, and then you're thinking like it, and at that point you've heard it enough to have it in your head. You have just become part of the meme, and it feels good, to be one with the hivemind.

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You're reading too much int... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2011 8:50 AM | Posted by Jay: | Reply

You're reading too much into it. I saw the video for the first time yesterday. I don't hate her, but that song is truely in the top three of the worst peice of garbarage I've ever heard. C'mon..today is friday, yesterday was thursday, tommorow is saturday? She put herself out there, and she deserves all of this.

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reddit is a funny place. Fo... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2011 9:16 AM | Posted by newt: | Reply

reddit is a funny place. For almost everything but politics it's a great source, but once something touches that topic enough of its sophisticated™ users quickly turn a blind eye to information that does not fit their compact beliefs to make it impossible for these pieces to become widely seen on the platform.

For instance, currently:

"Al Jazeera is awesome!" → Great success.
"Compared with others certainly, but it also sucks up to the GCC." → We don't want to hear that.

Or take (particularly a more extensive) article concerned with areas resp. issues that are not presently pop, like almost everything from Central / South-East Asia and Central Africa. Chances are one also won't be able to sum it up into a both universally agreeable and sexy soundbite as the submission's title, so its chances of survival next to the pop pieces are close to naught.

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There IS no target demograp... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2011 11:26 AM | Posted by maha: | Reply

There IS no target demographic. It's absurd because it looks like parody of the genre, and hamfisted parody at that. It's teenybopper music as seen by a cartoon grandparent. And it apparently wasn't even made to suck and go viral.

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It's just an example of how... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2011 11:32 AM | Posted by DrBear: | Reply

It's just an example of how trivial pop music is today, unlike the heartfelt, meaningful songs that reflected 1960s activism. Now excuse me, "Gimme Dat Ding" by the Pipkins is playing on the oldies station...

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Please go listen to 'Da Dro... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2011 12:25 PM | Posted by blrn: | Reply

Please go listen to 'Da Drought III' five times, and then come back here and post a public apology to Lil Wayne for having failed to understand his awesomeness. Thank you.

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"We so excited" isn't subli... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2011 10:25 AM | Posted by eqv: | Reply

"We so excited" isn't subliterate?

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"No one hates Rebecca Black... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2011 12:47 PM | Posted by someone: | Reply

"No one hates Rebecca Black for her music, you hate her because she's spoiled, because she has opportunities in excess of her talent and the ability to create what superior artists will never be able to simply because they lack the economic resources or maybe even the free time that Rebecca has plenty o'."

The only reason her video attracted attention is because people hate her so much (for probably no reason at all). The haters are responsible for her new-found fame. They are the ones who gave her an opportunity.

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Reminded me of this:<... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2011 12:59 PM | Posted by John: | Reply

Reminded me of this:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/2pv/intellectual_hipsters_and_metacontrarianism/

Good entry.

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Hi! I like your webs... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2011 2:13 PM | Posted by anda: | Reply

Hi!
I like your website very much, I find it very interesting. You helped me to better understand Inception and I thank you for that. I would love if you would have a post about the new tv show Breakout Kings. Have you seen it? A psychological review would be awesome. I hope you'll consider it!

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No idea what this post is r... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2011 3:23 PM | Posted by Wax Banks: | Reply

No idea what this post is referring to - is this a Youtube video? an mp3? who? - but it's an uncharacteristically sloppy and scattershot post. Well short of the high expectations your other stuff has set. At least go to the trouble of fixing the goddamn pronouns so the incoherent editorializing is delivered in coherent prose, man!

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The real interesting thing ... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2011 3:44 PM | Posted by Andy: | Reply

The real interesting thing here, to me, is why "Friday"? There are countless other music videos on youtube with dumber lyrics and worse music. I checked out some of Ark Music Factory's other videos and every single one featured a much less listenable song. So it simply can't be the case that people are taking note of this song because it is uniquely awful.

I think the opposite is true. This song has become famous because it is good. I know that I've listened to it at least 5 times now. It's true that the lyrics are really stupid (early Beatles), the sound is unoriginal (The Strokes), and she's a teenage girl (Britney but at least you could imagine sex with her, right?). The reason "Friday" has inspired so much hate is that it demonstrates more clearly than usual that none of those things are required elements of good music.

The myth that good music comes from brainy introspection by dudes with a lot of emotion (in other words dudes just like me who know how to play guitar) is instantly shattered by "Friday". The same could be said of Lady Gaga or Britney, but Rebecca Black wasn't paid for with corporate dollars and force fed to us over the radio waves. The last excuse for why simple music by a little girl could become popular is gone, and thus the rage.

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"We don't have beliefs, we ... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2011 10:35 PM | Posted by Logic FTW: | Reply

"We don't have beliefs, we don't have positions, we have reactions to other people's beliefs, to other people's positions."

If we don't have beliefs, no one has beliefs.
If no one has beliefs, we can't "react" to said beliefs because they don't exist.

Learn2logic

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I hadn't heard of this unti... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2011 11:56 PM | Posted by CubaLibre: | Reply

I hadn't heard of this until this article. I went and watched it. I feel obligated to make the following statement: actually, this song is worse than Dr. Luke pop bullshit. It is worse than Ke$ha. It is the worst.

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Andy's comment is one good ... (Below threshold)

March 30, 2011 2:36 AM | Posted by Duke: | Reply

Andy's comment is one good example to point when someone asks you what is narcissism...

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I cant understand su... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2011 11:02 AM | Posted by RoyBlatty: | Reply


I cant understand such diatribe against a 13 year old girl.Yes the song is stupid, but doesnt a girl her age have a right to be stupid and silly and utterly trivial?

I see some commentators feel that Rebecca Black is attractive.I guess there is no accounting for tase!Her features are hideous -her nose stumped, she also crossed eyes with facial structure lacking any definition.It is only because of her youth does she look just above average.Her looks will only go downhill from here.

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Hey, I just want you to kno... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2011 3:15 PM | Posted by Paul k: | Reply

Hey, I just want you to know that you are indeed the beacon of the people. This comment has nothing to do with the post but I wish to tell you how much your blog does to uplift the spirits of myself and my cohorts. I will be graduating from a mediocre law school in may and working for a mediocre law firm in the fall... and let me tell you of the suck that chomps on our bones. Of course suck is a relative term. But knowing that professionals out there like you exist, in this politically correct universe, who just lay it the fuck down, i mean slay it like wheat to the sickle without pretense or hesitance for fear of blowback, gives me hope that I myself can speak my own mind with a dignity. And if the ship covered in flames goes down, deep beneath an ink and oily water, I will shower in the gasoline with a transient smile and salute the ethos pumping blood into the heart of the world: truth.

"And when I am dead, I hope it is said, his sins were scarlet, but his books were read."

--Belloc

Thank You Last Psychiatrist

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Wait... Lady Gaga called he... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2011 6:22 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Wait... Lady Gaga called her a genius? And she gave all proceeds to charity?

These are the first positive things I've heard about Rebecca Black. I must say, Alone. I learn a lot of random things on your blog.

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Great post. I appreciate yo... (Below threshold)

April 1, 2011 2:20 AM | Posted by wholesale hats: | Reply

Great post. I appreciate you bringing this forward.

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""As long as you can be sho... (Below threshold)

April 1, 2011 12:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Andy's comment, by SuomynonA: | Reply

""As long as you can be shown to be a free thinker opposing the tyranny of the majority's insightlessness then you can look like a hero, and if you have to pull a 180 in a week or so to do it, party on.""

This is your view of the majority of Americans? And you think Gingrich is coming out a hero from that?

Ugh. Well, if you end up being right, I guess I'll have to concede the point. I sincerely believe, and hope, you are wrong.

""We don't have beliefs, we don't have positions, we have reactions to other people's beliefs, to other people's positions.""

What are you basing this on? Your own limited sampling? No one you know has any beliefs, only reactions? I do know people like the latter, but also plenty who hold the former. Or are you looking at youth culture? Internet culture? Jesus, you are maddening to read sometimes.

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>The general feeling is thi... (Below threshold)

April 3, 2011 6:16 PM | Posted, in reply to BHE's comment, by Zo: | Reply

>The general feeling is this: "I'm what everyone should be, I'm not a part of the problem."

Overcompensation. When there's really no core there at all.

Narcissism is so empty ...

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I don't entirely disagree w... (Below threshold)

April 5, 2011 7:27 PM | Posted by Mark: | Reply

I don't entirely disagree with the post, but it's a bit quick to claim that none of the parts (apparent to the writer) explain the hate.

There is still some vestigal respect for craft and hard work in today's jaded, incredibly self centered music audience. Although it's quite correct that her song is comparably bad/juvenile in a way that plenty of established artists are bad, she's not an established artist. The distinction still matters. She didn't pay her dues, she's just there (with this brilliant unintentional satire of pop music).

The reasons for the hate can't tell the whole story. What are the reasons people like her ? She doesn't have a good voice; at least, not one that can be ascertained with the auto tune effect on the song; so that one is right out. Despite what I wrote above about vestigal respect for craft, we also have an intense, narcissism fueled hatred for anything that requires skills that we don't have, which we pretend is anti-elitism. This gives us an incentive to like anything that upends a craft based tradition or business. Aside from reaction to the now unfashionable haters, a big reason for people liking her is that she isn't a musician or a songwriter that can presume to tell us anything we don't know about life. She is utterly non threatening; there's nothing there to trigger our anti elitism, and it feels like liking her is giving the finger to "the system" in a very spoiled 3 year old kind of way.

I'm not saying that's intrisically bad; I think there's a bit of a baseline American value system there, we always like to root for the little guy. But it has an ugly side that shows itself when we pride ourselves at deprioritizing, ignoring, or illegally downloading the culture we ourselves think is good. Yeah, we'll get to that later, but right now I'm going to laugh at this stupid video...

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I disagree with your take o... (Below threshold)

April 15, 2011 9:19 PM | Posted by Ryan: | Reply

I disagree with your take on why people hate her, but me disagreeing is the whole point of why I disagree...

I believe it's all about what we project on other people, reflecting our own individual selves. In other words, you probably said it had to do with a class issue, perhaps because YOU have issues with that type of person. But even that could be generalizing because maybe this is your opinion that others have about her.

My point is that it's personal to each individual and sometimes it's just people (especially teens that don't know better) to "follow the crowd" and hate her. The same happens the other way if people idolize someone.

The reason I don't like THE SONG (I don't hate HER, I don't even know her) is that IMO it's squeaky and off-tune. And while I can live with it being random and having nothing to do with my own life, there's parts of the song that get stuck in my head and annoy me. A part of me disrespects how particularly easy she can get so much attention from something that's not that great. But if I'm being honest, it's because of MY own wants of getting attention from my creations.

At the same time, the other part of me respects what she's able to do and thinks people are haters because they aren't in her position.

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I'll also disagree with you... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2011 9:55 AM | Posted by mrChong: | Reply

I'll also disagree with your assessment of why people hate her. Maybe it does remind people about the circumstances of class. Maybe it does get them wondering. I wouldn't know, because that's not what went through my head.

My take on it? She's just a tiny bit too homely to be a tween pop star. She sings just a tiny bit off key. Her lyrics are just a bit too mundane and boring. All of these combine into a gestalt more powerful than the sum of its parts - it makes for a universally awful video regardless of who you show it to. It is so obviously mock-able.

In an era before youtube this would be played a few times, laughed at, then forgotten. But now it can be replayed indefinitely so that everyone can laugh and point.

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I feel a bit out of the loo... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2011 11:22 AM | Posted by philtrum: | Reply

I feel a bit out of the loop, because I don't know anyone who hates her. In my social milieu, everyone watched the video, gawped at its stupidity (there are many stupid videos, but this one is more artless than most), passed around a few YouTube parodies (Bob Dylan covers "Friday", Hitler reacts to "Friday", etc.), quoted it ironically on Facebook, used it as a punchline in conversations...for maybe three weeks, and then people stopped talking about it. It's an imitation of pop music, and it was understood to be unworthy of emotional investment or serious analysis: it's ridiculous, not hateful.

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I wish you were like this p... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2011 5:53 PM | Posted by jonny: | Reply

I wish you were like this poor junkie who needed to eat; and get high...and I would just pay you to write and invent words all day. Well, on the days you clocked in obviously; I'm not running a soup kitchen here, buddy.

Please invent more words. And if you could post more conclusions (I'm thinking 3x / blog but it's not a deal-breaker); man would that be something.

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Hello there expectant moms!... (Below threshold)

May 8, 2011 9:42 AM | Posted by morningsicknessfix: | Reply

Hello there expectant moms! Having a hard time with morning sickness? Try taking vitamin b6 for morning sickness along with some simple home remedy. It's a safer approach than taking medications during pregnancy. Visit http://www.morningsicknessfix.com/b6-for-morning-sickness.html to find out more.

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Even though mine is one of ... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2011 1:06 PM | Posted by Mora: | Reply

Even though mine is one of those 30+M dislike votes, I don't hate the video or the girl. As pretty much everyone else I knew, I gawked at it in mindless stupor, paralysed by the utter horror and - oh so well known to anyone who ever witnessed paramedics cutting out victims of a car crash out - morbid curiosity.

What I do hate, is the fact that, in a few years, some thrice-damned golden boy yuppie from a PR or marketing company will dig that video out and decide to turn this girl into a new Lady Gaga, a new contender to the throne of the negative publicity.

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It's the hair, the music, t... (Below threshold)

June 1, 2011 12:18 AM | Posted, in reply to Jackie's comment, by Francis: | Reply

It's the hair, the music, the overall look, voice, and lack of talent. Although I'm not a fan of Bieber, I must admit that his voice is pretty good. Compared to Black, Bieber is Michael Jackson, in terms of talent and vocal prowess...

The song just sucked and I hate her because she brought such a terrible song into the world. I didn't even know that she was rich/whatever/popular, I just knew I hated the song and that that was enough. Didn't realize that the song was made for whatever reason until later.

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And what of we who simply d... (Below threshold)

June 17, 2011 2:13 AM | Posted by S: | Reply

And what of we who simply don't care about the antics at all?

I watched snippets of the video when it first appeared; I forgot it existed within the hour - because other things were simply more interesting to recall, and brain-clutter is a terrible thing.

The really interesting question is not who hates/loves her/her video or why, but why it's still being talked about at all.

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People who hate her are peo... (Below threshold)

July 17, 2011 2:13 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

People who hate her are people who hate themselves. King or judge. Those are the two positions the ego wants. If you can't be king, then your only other ego satisfying option is to judge. Lay the ego low and there is no hate.

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Oh. My. God. I can't belie... (Below threshold)

July 20, 2011 4:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Logic FTW's comment, by Logic Police: | Reply

Oh. My. God. I can't believe what I just saw. So: Thursday comes before... and then ...Saturday.. and the front seat, or the back seat... the weekend.

Mind = blown.

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The hate comes about, as, f... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2011 11:41 PM | Posted by Doug: | Reply

The hate comes about, as, for the most part....its a reflections of the teens themselves. They would rather not be represented as who and what they are, but rather something cooler or at least more ghetto. I dont have a problem with this whatsoever. We sat thru (ugh Miley, Bieber, Taylor Swift, etc). Here is a girl who has no pretensions of who she is and what she's about. Girls like this exist. You're sitting next to one in high school, bro

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The hate comes about, as, f... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2011 11:41 PM | Posted by Doug: | Reply

The hate comes about, as, for the most part....its a reflections of the teens themselves. They would rather not be represented as who and what they are, but rather something cooler or at least more ghetto. I dont have a problem with this whatsoever. We sat thru (ugh Miley, Bieber, Taylor Swift, etc). Here is a girl who has no pretensions of who she is and what she's about. Girls like this exist. You're sitting next to one in high school, bro

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I loathe Rebecca Black, but... (Below threshold)

March 18, 2012 12:55 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I loathe Rebecca Black, but I'm afraid that at certain points in my life, had I been able, I would have also facilitated something as stupid as letting a young child make an expensive and horrible video that will affect how people perceive her for quite some time. Facilitating her behavior was a parental mistake.
But I think Hollywood (I lived in L.A., was born there in fact)...I think Hollywood was just doing it's bleeding heart routine with stuff like Rebecca performing with Katy Perry on stage and whatnot. Los Angeles is like that: everyone wants to be such a good person, and mostly everyone is kind of stupid, and also, of course, everyone is working on a project....(L.A. is the likeliest place for things like the founder of EST to rework his shit into a new spiritual type thing: The Forum...in my time in L.A., everyone was doing it---because they lack discernment)... I think it is entirely possible that people felt compelled to stick up for Rebecca. Then of course she will be forgotten and will have to adjust to her second phase of rejection, probably. And the stars who tried to make it better will think they've done a good thing.

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Hmmm. I often post before f... (Below threshold)

March 18, 2012 1:23 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Hmmm. I often post before fact-checking. Now I'm a little unsure of how unsuccessful Rebecca Black is in 2012. She went to a movie premiere---The Vow---technically that's not all that great, knowing one right person can get you into a premiere (or so I have been told, from someone who went to one once). She has made a million dollars. She went on the Today show in January, that could be for reasons of trying to create success rather than success... and she went to the Grammys (not the Oscars, but). So I may be wrong. Sorry. If anyone knows, do tell.

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"los angeles therapist", "l... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2012 12:50 AM | Posted by jaspreet: | Reply

"los angeles therapist", "los angeles psychiatrist", "ADD doctor", "ADHD
doctor", "depression doctor", "best psychiatrist los angeles", "best depression doctor
Los Angeles".


Thanks for your informative post.

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Dear The Last Psychiatrist,... (Below threshold)

June 26, 2012 8:50 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Dear The Last Psychiatrist,

It's heartening to see you're keeping abreast of the times by trawling the internet for this sort of inanity. Hell you are way badassical compared to me – I’d never even heard of Rebecca Black until I read this and I’m at least half your age.

But after several viewings of her extraordinary music video I am compelled to inform you that unfortunately on this occasion you've totally missed the point (I'm guessing you're no child psychiatrist...).

The real, true, simple, actual, unhidden, unamazing, actual, unsurprising, UN-unconscious, actual reason that people love to troll Rebecca Black is What EVERYONE (Except You) Noticed: her song is hilariously, earnestly, inadvertently, incredibly, mesmerizingly, outstandingly, really, really, really, really, really, bad. Yes it is the worst. song. ever. That’s the reason it went viral in the first place.

If you cannot perceive this there is something wrong with your brain.

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The only truly interesting ... (Below threshold)

October 31, 2012 3:21 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The only truly interesting thing about Rebecca Black is Google's involvement. The video was universally disliked by those who seen it. Yet, Google (youtube) did display it to me in 'related' to something entirely unrelated.

I am guessing that this is how this video got most of the exposure. People didn't link it to each other that much, not as much as trololo or rickroll, yet it had massively more hits.

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There are probably many mor... (Below threshold)

July 2, 2013 8:18 AM | Posted by Bob: | Reply

There are probably many more people out there who moved more times then me, but it is nice to up root and relocate now and again.Change is good. Whether youre stuck in a rut or just think you are, moving to a new city can help push you in new directions.

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Oh! I just got it. - Two Ye... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 12:46 AM | Posted, in reply to Ford's comment, by Atarii: | Reply

Oh! I just got it. - Two Years Late

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I hate it because to me it ... (Below threshold)

October 21, 2013 10:08 AM | Posted by Mike: | Reply

I hate it because to me it represents - regardless of her dad's money, though that obviously enabled it - society's willingness to not just tolerate entitlement and narcissism, but actually *feed* it by letting a spoiled 13-year-old shortcut her way to 15 minutes of fame. It's not just "hey there are more-talented people than her who can't show it because they have 9-to-5s"; it's a total nullification of all the hard work put in by people who are legitimately famous for having actual talent, dedication, and a work ethic. It perfectly sums up the problem with growing up in an age of prosperity and ease, and teaches all the wrong lessons about how to achieve your goals.

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