We’ve been culturally starved this generation. Basically everything we’re told to like is awful. From identikit first person exercises in militaristic fetishism to the latest characterless cinematic event starring Shia Cera Eisenberg, we’ve never had it so bad. It extends as far as our music too.
Has there been an overwhelming cultural musical movement or song that defines us as a generation? I think not.
Every decade before has had a song that’s defined its age. For instance, the 2000s had Nookie by Limp Bizkit…
The 90s had Watching Over You by Jim Davidson…
And the 80s had Boys Boys Boys by Sabrina.
And what do we, the products of a more civilised affluent age have to call our own? I tell you what we have. NOTHING. Dubstep promised so much, but has delivered nothing thus far. As much as it pains me to say it, I believe it’ll slither off lowly and serpentine, having tempted us with not one bit of cultural fruit.
Long I pondered, mired in despair. Our children would look back on us and wouldn’t have a bloody clue what to say. We’ve had no wars to fight, no revolutions to win. Do you know the pressing issue of our generation? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s ‘how do I be Goro in Mortal Kombat?’
We’re a society drained. Drained of hope, drained of aspiration, drained of insight. We’ve nothing…
Or so I thought until yesterday.
I found it. This is the song of our generation. This will be the song that our children look back on and think, ‘that is what life in the 2010s was like. This is what I was conceived to. Mother and Father copulated to this.’
It’s basically the perfect distillation of our time. A pleasant looking tween called Rebecca Black, singing about her day. It’s lovely, and something we can all relate to.
Let us see some of her lyrics…
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’
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?
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
On the face of it, these are wholesome lyrics about living a wholesome happy life in the suburbs of America. Rebecca recalls with glee the regime of her day, looking forward to that first bowl of coco pops to vanquish the remnants of sleep from her person, before heading out to catch a bus to see her friends, as friends are what make life worth living. She then finds herself facing something of a quandary. What seat shall she take? It’s something we’ve all asked ourselves. It could also be a reference to the oppression of black people in the 1950s, as of course, they would only be able to take the back seat. It’s wonderful to see that the youth of today are mindful of humankind’s sometimes shameful history.
She then opines Hard Fi style about the glories of the weekend, because like Hard Fi, Rebecca lives for the weekend, where she doesn’t have to go to school and she can sit in her pants and play Pokemon and watch anime until the early hours of the morn.
On the surface it’s a happy song.
But what bubbles beneath that glossy, bubblegum sweet exterior?
A dark heart thumps with rage throughout it’s entirety. Note Black’s delivery. This is not the ebullient carefree singing of a teenage girl unphased by the cruelties of life. Her vocals are autotuned to the point that it’s impossible to imagine what the girl sounds like in the first place. She could sound like fucking Samuel L Jackson and we’ll never know. Anyway, autotune bastardises her voice to such a degree, that her initially innocent carefree description of her happy life is turned into a sinister, regimented list of compulsory tasks, administered by a faceless harsh automaton with hair that smells like berries.
GOTTA BE FRESH, GOTTA GO DOWNSTAIRS GOTTA HAVE CEREAL OR YOU WILL DIE.
Rebecca also lays waste to the whole ‘living for the weekend culture’, and she hasn’t even come up with tiresome Rage Against The Machine style rhetoric to do it. Listen to her tone of voice during the chorus… ‘FUN FUN FUN.’ There’s an ennui stricken, dogmatic approach to her delivery of that line, as if she’s telling her tale with an absolute maximum of destitute irony. She is not looking forward to the weekend. She is not having fun, and like so many middle management types, sinking lager after lager, she’s lying to herself because she knows no other way to live.
Friday is our song. A sugar coated ode to teenage joy on the surface, but a harrowing realisation of just how meaningless life is underneath. It’s impossible to enjoy any facet of modern life and Rebecca realises it. Instead we must use our time to dull the pain, render ourselves mindless and inert through means of absinthe, opiates, and Petit Filous.
Rebecca, in the space of 3 minutes and 45 seconds, has summed up modern living better than any zeitgeist dunderhead ever could. She’s absolutely nailed just how corrosive modern society is to one’s sanity. She is our Elvis. Our Kurt. Our Adolf. ARE DAVEY.