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Why we will never see a good Rebecca Black parody video
Despite a plethora of offerings, I have yet to see a really funny mash-up of the Rebecca Black's 29-million+ viewed video "Friday". But I'm totally intrigued by the kinds of conversations we're having over its inexplicable popularity.

Former American Idol misanthrope, Simon Cowell, says Black's song is brilliant and wants to meet her. Music critics moan it's everything that's wrong in pop music today. Office workers CC-it madly with subject lines "OMGAWD, this is so bad, I can't stop watching it".

Cultural critics have said something like this before, (and undoubtedly with sassier academic vernacular), but what is interesting about this moment in web sensations is how we've exhausted the old conventions. We've stepped beyond celebrating the diamond-in-the-rough (early Bieber) or the schlump with the big talent who mocks our expectations (Susan Boyle). We're can't even confidently poke fun at what is awesomely bad, the trifecta of ego/hubris/bad taste, because it's been parodied so much, we can't tell when we're being punk'd.

We're left with a fascination with our fascination over something so banal. We are amazed by how quickly something we don't enjoy looking at is suddenly something everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is looking at.  It's not the viral item itself, it's our behavior around it that has us yapping. It's the virtual equivalent of  "eeeyuch, does this milk smell bad to you, too?"

But there's something else about this viral item in particular that has me paying attention. None of the inevitable mash-ups or parodies of the original have managed to nail it. So I'll throw my hat into the ring, help Rebecca Black rack up a few more viewings on her YouTube page, and tell you why we are not going to get a parody that tickles us as much as the original.

It's a pitch-perfect portrayal of a certain kind of tween girl's fantasy life by an actual 13-year-old girl. It's the mirror dance with the curling iron. It's wholesome and direct. It's exactly what I, at 13, projected being a teenager would be like. Instead of Bat Mitzvah lessons, I would be headed for some vague (but funfunfun nonetheless) weekend adventure with my friends. In a car. With cute boys. And I would kind of be a pop star. With supershiny lip gloss. Why are we being so cynical about this? It's too honest to fit the parody mold.*, **

What's lame here is not this auto-tuned pre-teen with tedious lyrics. It's that once again, despite all the shit that's going on at this moment in history, we still can't stop talking about ourselves. ***

*Stu pointed out that she got ample funds to do this from her folks. 
** Erik points out that she didn't actually write it,  but the guys at Ark music did, which is frankly staggering.
***this blog sure took a turn for the preachy last paragraph. Bad mood.

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3.21.2011
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post #1526
bio: adina
perma-link
3/21/2011
14:52

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