February 28th, 2014

#4142: Entirely stupid, yes. Outrageous, not really.

Today Matt Walsh opines on Beyonce's latest extrusion, a "song" named "Partition".
Why is it called “Partition”? Well, because the singer offers a profound insight into the ways in which modern humans — though subscribing to a largely collectivist philosophy, and even spending much of our days congregated in close quarters with one another in our schools and our places of employment – still erect barriers (partitions, if you will) which render meaningful communication and intimate human connections impossible.

Just kidding.

It’s actually called “Partition” because she asks the driver to raise the partition before she performs oral sex in the back of the limo.

My biggest problem with popular music is how incredibly inane it is. It's been inane for a very, very long time--since the rock-and-roll era--but at least for much of that time the inanity was offset by something: the virtuosity of a guitar player, a singer's well-modulated voice, an enjoyable melody, something. That's probably why I never liked pop music, why I tended to gravitate to bands with more complexity; while my peers were dancing to "Safety Dance" and "Billie Jean" I was listening to Kansas and Alan Parsons (whose hits, it must be said, tended not to be the complex songs but the simple ones).

It's only because of nostalgia and by comparison to modern pop that I was able to begin enjoying pop music from the 1980s. "I remember when I hated this song. That was before I heard 'Pop That Coochie', though." *sigh*

After quoting some of the lyrics, Matt goes on:

That’s the general impression I come away with anytime I get a whiff of most modern pop music. Not only are these people sex-obsessed, but they aren’t nearly smart enough or clever enough to be subtle about it.
It's impossible for me to be anything but disgusted by this. "Hey, driver, I want you to raise the partition while I'm blowing my man, but then I'm going to write a song about it and tell the world--" WTF.

"These songs are obviously hypersexual," Matt says. "But, honestly, my greater concern is the fact that they’re hyperstupid."

A bit later he says, "We act as though these people are artist provocateurs; intentionally jabbing at society’s taboos in order to make a bold, anarchic statement." Plenty of people do act that way, but that is not what these people are; rather, they are simply using shock and sex to sell CDs and concert tickets, and people have become so numb to this horseshit that they no longer think it's remarkable.

People in the entertainment industry titter behind their hands about how daring it is to assault "bourgeois, Republican values" this way but it is in fact anything but daring to follow such a well-traveled highway. In the entertainment business, Beyonce's latest dump is the safest way to a buck. Not only won't she be excoriated by the critics and other gatekeepers; she'll be praised for "keepin' it real" and sticking it in the prudes' faces.

A really daring piece would be about chastity and decorum and all the things our society, in its desperately nihilistic urge to unlimited procreation, has jettisoned.

It's why I don't get outraged by this kind of shit any longer. I don't recall when it happened--it happened long ago enough that I can't remember when it was--but I lost my sense of outrage at the latest stupid crap done by this or that celebrity, and in fact threw up my hands at the entirety of pop culture as useless, vapid, vain, and utterly meaningless.

I think it must've been Madonna who blew those circuits, and permanently. Even when I was a teenager it was bleeding obvious what she was doing and why; she and her handlers were using sex (or, rather, SEX! SEX!! SEX!!!) to sell music which was mediocre at best. The first time, I was aghast at it. After that, not so much.

Miley Cyrus twerking with a foam finger--who was surprised by this, and why? It's nothing but a logical extension of the Madonna schtick, and Beyonce's latest nonsense is essentially the same damned thing: HEY, KIDS! LOOK! THERE'S SEX HERE! SEX! SEX! SEEEEX!! LOOK AT THE SEX ON DISPLAY! YOU LIKE SEX! YOU'RE ALL FULL OF HORMONES AND YOU CAN'T STAY AWAY FROM SEX, SO HERE IT IS! SEX SEX SEX!!!!

It's stupid and annoying, but it's hardly outrageous. Beyonce's song would have been outrageous in 1984; thirty years later it's not even remarkable. Each new female star attempting to use this formula must push the boundary even farther, and Madonna stopped being able to get any traction after her looks started fading. Beyonce will go the same way, sooner or later, as will Miley Cyrus, but in order to get the CD and concert sales their successors will have to go even farther.

Five, ten years from now, I expect the next smutqueen to include nude dance routines. If it takes that long--and all I'll do is shake my head and sigh and roll my eyes.

#4143: Leaving work mad enough to chew uranium and spit mushroom clouds.

I was going to explain why, but then I decided that it was impolitic to do so. But:

Why do people wait until the last half-hour before closing time to decide they need to obtain some customer service? This has happened to me two days in a row. Today I was closing by myself; yesterday, at least, I was not.

It's extraordinarily inconsiderate to show up at an establishment just a short while before it's scheduled to close for something that is going to take a good chunk of time. The people working there have to serve you and cannot refuse--but think about how you would feel if you'd been on your feet all day and you had to work half an hour past closing before you could even start with your closing checklist?

I know some people in my personal life who do this kind of thing as a matter of course.

...that's only one reason why I left work mad enough to recreate Fukushima with my teeth, and it really was the minority reason. The rest, as I said, would be impolitic to mention here. It is, however, annoying as all get-out.

* * *

How do I get nominated for an Oscar, so I can get one of these $80,000 gift bags? The Hollywood rich live in an entirely different world than the rest of us.

* * *

One Democrat makes a promise, and another one breaks it. This is the same sort of bullshit that led to Vietnam falling to the communists and also led to the American embassy in Tehran being seized by "students" for 444 days.

Clinton promised Ukraine that if they got rid of their nukes, the US would come to their aid should Russia invade them. Obama is ignoring that promise.

What a surprise.

* * *

I feel drained right now. Well, supposedly I'll have a little time to recuperate from all the nonsense, and maybe I can even get some stuff done around the house. That would be nice, wouldn't it?