“Thrift Shop,” Valentine’s Day, and My Experience Watching “Honey Boo-Boo” (Not In That Order)

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”

–  Johann von Goethe

 

There are certain things we (I) stumble across in the world on which I feel the need to comment. I’m not exactly sure what I want to say at the time, but I tell myself that it would be a crime to not even acknowledge its existence.

I have three of those tonight, and while each of them could be their own article, I don’t want to waste time by drawing the subjects out. So I’ve mashed them together in one post, just for my readers. I hope you enjoy.

 

1.  “Thrift Shop”

To be clear, I’m talking about the song released back in October, though it’s only recently gotten real attention. For those who aren’t familiar with this song, I’ll summarize it for you: in the music video, the lead singer—Macklemore—is walking through a thrift shop, rapping about all the cool stuff in it.

I’m not going to lie: when I first heard this song on the radio, I was sure it was a joke. It’s quite out there, and the lyrics…well, there aren’t any jaw-droppers, but still a few quirks amongst the highlights (which I’ve cleaned for language):

  • “Ice on the fringe, it’s so darn frosty. That people like, ‘Dang! That’s a cold honkey.’”
  • “Rollin’ in deep, headin’ to the mezzanine, Dressed in all pink, ‘cept my gator shoes, those are green. Draped in a leopard mink, girls standin’ next to me.”
  • “Pissssssssssss!”
  • “They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard”
  • “I could take some Pro Wings, make them cool, sell those. The sneaker heads would be like ‘Aw, he got the Velcros’”
  • “Is that your grandma’s coat?”

And keep in mind, this is all rapped to a more-or-less-catchy saxophone beat.

I’m not sure whether to like this song or be totally weirded out by it. On one hand, it’s got a nice rythym and a unique music video, if a man in a fur coat dancing on used furniture can indeed be classified as “unique.”

On the other hand, when the middle of said music video features a woman this scary-looking lip synced to the male rap voice, I have the strong urge to re-evaluate my music choices.

Thrift Shop Lady

 

2.  My Experience Watching “Honey Boo-Boo”

In the publishing world, there are certain books referred to as being “high concept.” What this means is that as soon as you hear what the book is about, in one sentence, you automatically want to read it. I theorize that this logic is what keeps the world of television shows going, except instead of cranking out shows that people want to watch because they’re ridiculously good, we’re instead producing shows people want to watch because the shows are ridiculously awful.

Jersey Shore, for example. Yes, I know there are people out there who legitimately enjoy watching Jersey Shore, and I’m not criticizing. It’s totally fine if you want to sit there absorbing Snooki quotes such as, “That’s why I don’t eat friggin lobsters or anything like that. Because they’re alive when you kill it.”

Let’s get back on track. In my humble opinion, the queen bee of awful TV shows has to be Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo. Which is why I still can’t figure out the reason behind my decision to sit down this past Saturday and watch it for two hours.

But oh, dear reader, did I watch.

And words cannot describe how broken I am.

I’m not even going to tell you which parts were the most horrid. It was all awful. Like, seriously awful. Want an example? Two minutes into the show, I was reading a book (I made the mistake of trying to multitask) when I caught this quote from my television set:

“That there’s the weirdest thing I’ve gotten since my butthole piercing!”

My reaction:

HBB Reaction

As I said: words cannot describe it.

 

3.  Valentine’s Day

Well, at least you can give me credit for ending this post on a somewhat upbeat note.

Valentine’s Day has always been a fun holiday for me. Though I usually celebrate its alternate form, Singles Awareness Day (SAD for short), this year was a particularly happy exception. My girlfriend and I didn’t do anything especially fancy—stuff like carrying around a life-size stuffed red bear isn’t exactly my thing—and still it was a great day. With the exception of my computer software and printer teaming up against me last night to keep me up three hours finishing a card.

I ended up making a Harry Potter one, for the record. I found a few—my favorite being one of Bellatrix Lestrange, eyes wide, with the words “I’m CRAZY for you” above her head—but I decided to make one myself. It cost me two hours, and another to print the thing out.

And it was so worth it.

As a side note, here’s a bit of general advice to anyone for next year, if you got caught this go around:

Valentine Trap

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

Fur-Ever-Alone (Music Video Analysis: “I Steal Pets”)

“Cause I steal pets from the popular people

And then dress the pets up like the popular people

I steal pets from the popular people

And hide them all in a shed!”

–  Rachel Bloom, “I Steal Pets”

 

There are people who, somewhere in the world at some point in time, designed the soap dispenser in my house so it shoots straight onto my newly dried shirt instead of downward into my hand.

They are terrible people.

What does that have to do with my post today? Well, nothing, except that it demonstrates how many different people see different creations as “good.”

Which is an excellent segue to a music video I want to discuss today.

This one hit the internet back in May 2011, just a few meager months after Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” It is indeed an official video; the song can be bought on iTunes if you have 99 cents to get rid of. Its name is “I Steal Pets,” sung by Rachel Bloom.

Now, relax, I’m not about to advocate for pet-stealing or anything…I don’t know how common of an issue this is, but I would fully recommend acquiring your own animal friends rather than borrowing other peoples’.

That being said, let’s analyze this piece of work.

It starts off promising enough…the singer, Rachel, is looking at the camera while an electric beat plays.

The initial lyrics aren’t anything alarming. She sings about how school is boring and she’ll be “hanging with her friends.” What’s more, it even rhymes! Stop the presses!

Rachel continues on how she’s going to have karaoke, pillow fights, and loud music playing with all of her friends (which, as she specifically points out, she has many).

Then…the decline.

Cause I steal pets from the popular people

And then dress the pets up like the popular people

I steal pets from the popular people

And hide them all in a shed!”

Wow.

Well, at least that clears up the song’s title, right?

At this point in the song, I had several questions. Why would you steal pets, least of all from popular people? And KEEP them?

Initially, I thought it was in revenge. But no, in the next shot depicting her reading a magazine alongside a lizard, we realize the terrible truth she’s been insinuating: the reason she steals pets from popular people and dresses them up is so she can hang out with said pets.

Which, in case you were wondering, is a psychological illness known as Delusional Disorder.

 

After another verse and repeat of the refrain, she shouts, “Take it, Cuddles!” and a dog wearing sunglasses barks up a beat.

Finally the interlude ends, and she resumes singing. Now it’s a much more mellow, somber tone, and her eyes are creepily lined in red.

It’s the seventh grade dance in the shed tonight

And I’m the life of it all

Cats and dogs all movin’ with me

We’re having such a ball.”

Now it gets horrific.

I start slow dancing

With Greg Mandison’s Terrier mix.”

She picks up the dog in her arms and is moving back and forth, the animal’s head resting on her shoulders. The spotlight is on them.

He’s wearing a suit and he has Greg’s eyes

Suddenly…we kiss!”

AAAAAHHHH!

This dog does indeed lick her on the lips, and she kisses back. It’s a full-on liplock between her and a flea-bitten animal.

 

WHY? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS, SINGER? YOU ENJOY HANGING OUT WITH ANIMALS, AND YOU THINK THEY’RE YOUR FRIENDS! SEEK THERAPY IMMEDIATELY!

Now she continues with the refrain while she and her ‘boyfriend’ are crowned Prom king and queen.

WHAT?

At this point, she’s pretty much done, but we do see one last clip of her reaching around her and pulling the pets in close.

She’s also mouthing all of them are mine repeatedly, staring at us with her eyes wide.

The only thing that saves this video is the fact that, as I learned soon after watching it, the song was intended to be bad on purpose.

The problem here isn’t the fact that this video was a joke. The problem is how readily we believed that it wasn’t.

Or maybe it was just me. Who knows? I still can’t even figure out who closes the doors of the bus when the driver gets off.

 

As always, much thanks for reading. And please rate below! I love feedback, bad and good.

And if you’re feeling REALLY generous, you could follow my blog via email with the little button under the archives. I won’t steal your pets, I promise.

Gangnam Style!

“Oppa Gangnam style.”

 

“Oh, so close,” you might have been thinking to yourself (if you’re as OCD as I am) when you read my last post. “This blog’s magic number is 8, but it was launched on September NINTH? Five points from Gryffindor.”

Believe me, I understand. It’s quite possible that in seventy years this will still be hobbling along and my writing life with it, and just before they both slip away I’ll look to the sky and shout, “IT LAUNCHED ON THE NINTH!”

But.

Probably not.

Besides, I had a good reason: I wasn’t ready on the 8th. I still hadn’t written the intro post, I was tired, and the music on the TV Guide channel was more interesting than usual. I have to prioritize.

But, anyway. Before I start talking nonstop about writing—which, I promise I will—I figured I’d throw down a post or two about things most people can relate to. In this case, a music video that you most likely haven’t heard about, but is probably going to go (more) viral in the next few days.

I’m not normally one for music videos. I take enjoyment from listening to a song, and—with a few rare exceptions—think that the audio is more than adequate. Well, my friends, I’ve found myself a rare exception.

I don’t know if I’m allowed to post the link here, so I won’t, but the song is called “Gangnam Style” by the Korean Rapper PSY. It’s currently one of the most viewed YouTube videos of all time (with 146,082,566 views as of now), which is why I was so surprised I hadn’t heard of it until today. Watch it if you’d like, but I figured I would go ahead and give you the breakdown. This one deserves dissection.

The video begins with the lead singer, PSY, singing in Korean and strolling down what appears to be a horse farm. The video flashes between that and him sitting on a playground, where a kid wearing sunglasses is dancing as though it’s the end of the world. He’s pretty good, too.

Then enters the catchy beat, which I challenge you to dislodge from your brain in less than two hours. PSY continues singing in Korean, walks through an artificial snowstorm, and dances in random places including on top of a building, in a city bus, and under a highway overpass.

THEN, the hook: it cuts to PSY and around ten other dancers all executing the strangest sequence of moves I’ve ever seen (and that includes my own). I can’t really put it into words…picture holding one arm rigid in front of you, jumping up and down, and waving your free hand as though swinging a lasso. This man manages to do all of this—all while inside a horse farm, mind you, complete with a line of horses in the background—and still I’m entertained. How could you not be?

Keep in mind this is, according to the description, from PSY’s SIXTH studio album. Where has this man been before? With a beat like the one this song has, he’s destined to be a star…at least, for a little while. Though I don’t know the translation of the refrain (the epigraph at the top of this post), I do know that Gangnam is a place in South Korea. I’d be shocked if this wasn’t their new theme song.

Other highlights of the video include: him doing the move mentioned above, except this time down the street chasing two people who are backing away hastily (I would, too, if he were running towards me in such a manner). In addition, he throws down some more dancing on the seats of the city bus, which is adorned with a disco ball and sunglasses-clad passengers.

The hook repeats, with scenes flashing between another bus, a swimming pool, a boat, an elevator, what looks like the lobby of an emergency room, and finally a massive dance floor where PSY and his whole crew of backup dancers can finish off the insanely catchy tune in style.

Now, I know the music video sounds strange. Even, dare I say it, silly. But here’s the thing…

It’s ENTERTAINING.

And when it comes to music, that’s all that really matters, right? The tune is the South Korean equivalent of “Party Rock Anthem,” and the dancing is interesting enough to keep me hitting the replay button.

Just my take, anyway.

 `

On an unrelated note:

I can’t express how grateful I am to the handful of people reading this. I’d love to tell you, “Don’t worry, followers. One day, I’ll be rich and famous and I’ll have enough money to buy an island so I don’t have to pay taxes. And it’ll be because of YOU.”

Okay, that probably won’t happen. Like most people, all I can really do is say thanks. And for now, that’s more than enough.

So thank you.