I don't really care how much the latest superhero film took at the box office, although I'd probably know if you asked me. When I watch a film the main thing I am looking for is a good story. I like it when I look up at the big screen and can see a part of me staring back at me. More than anything, I am still looking for Jimmy Stewart and Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder in every film I see.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
"De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
De do do do, de da da da
They're meaningless and all that's true" -Rebecca Black
Rebecca Black is a 13 year old girl somewhere in America who, for whatever reason, made a pop song and a video. If it had only been witnessed by seven people - would it still signal the end of music as we know it? At the time of writing, close to five hundred thousand people have hit the 'dislike' button on her YouTube video. These aren't 13 year old girls disliking it, they're angry forty year old men who are pissed that nobody's listening to Metallica anymore.
I don't see how Rebecca Black is relevant to me. Her video is fun. I remember being fourteen - it was similar to the video. You talk shit, you see your friends, you look forward to the weekend. Great, I hope the kids enjoy the song. It wasn't made for me. I only saw it because of the media storm.
So 500,000 hit 'dislike.' That's a lot of hate. Couldn't we do something more productive? The comments are mostly people bitching about how awful the music industry is, how this is the worst thing ever. But how many of them are creating the alternatives? Like it or not, the talentless can get famous in five minutes, but for the talented it takes years. The forty year old singer/songwriter might have more talent than Rebecca Black, but none of his songs are as good as Bruce Springsteen's. That's not Rebecca Black's fault. The guy just needs to keep making music. Whether Rebecca Black exists or not; everything is still the same.
But Black actually has some talent. She performed it acoustic. I've heard worse. There's a bunch of young girls in the audience. They seem to dig it. Should we force them to listen to Bob Dylan records?
Good music, good films, good art, whatever --- they don't exist in a vacuum. You can't get the good stuff without the bad. We enjoy Tom Petty because he isn't Rebecca Black. But the Petty's don't exist without the Black's and the Britney's. If the mainstream loved what we love on a personal level, it wouldn't mean anything. When Springsteen sings about bustin' outta town, or when Aretha Franklin sings about freedom - they're powerful because they come from outside, they come from a place that hurts. That matters. The mainstream frames this perfectly, it's what makes it meaningful. That's why the greatest hits are never your favorites, they mean too much to too many.
But we don't need to be so angry every time a teenager sings about the weekend. She's just a kid.
What's the meanest thing you've read, that hurt you the most? -Interviewer.
I hope you cut yourself and I hope you get an eating disorder so you'll look pretty. And I hope you go cut and die. -Rebecca Black, 13.