There’s apparently some new ubiquitous single that just came out by some teen or “tween” pop “singer” (read: facile Auto-Tune user. Or niece/nephew/cousin of facile Auto-Tune user who might also be a major label executive) and it’s selling like crazy on the I-Tunes and half the world hates it but maybe half the world also likes it and if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, I really can’t tell you any more than I already have.
I’m not making up a fictional song here, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s a real song and you might guess what it is by the time you get done reading this post, but please, if you’ve ever had any kind of good feeling for me at all, don’t mention the name of the fucking song or the person who performs it. To anyone. It has like a kajillion (that’s a real number, by the way. It’s pi times the number of stupid things Glenn Beck says in a day) hits on YouTube and even Simon Cowell (did I spell your last name correctly, Simon? I don’t care) says he likes it. You’ve probably heard it; hell, chances are you heard it before I did, you poor bastard.
I listened to it yesterday. And again just a minute ago. Naturally, I loathe it. It manages to embody almost everything I despise about modern music and I would love nothing more than verbally disemboweling it over the next several paragraphs. I have at my disposal an army of words waiting for a simple wave of my hand to indicate that it is time to re-enact General Sherman’s march to the sea with this song in the lead role as the entire state of Georgia.
But I can’t do it.
And not just because I had a minor crisis of faith last week and want to start being nicer to people on Bollocks!. I mean, it’s partly that, sure. But only a small part. I promised you I’d always be honest about music and believe me when I tell you that this song really fucking sucks. Even if it was written by a third grader, which it might have been, it would still be every kind of unimpressive and terrible. I would gladly punch a kitten in the face if – and only if – it would make this song wink out of existence as suddenly as it came.
But the reason I don’t want to say too much about it – or even mention the song or performer by name – is because I have this theory about Internet sensations. Basically, the internet only amplifies the principle that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Hating this song is as good as loving it for all the attention you’ll steer its way. Our only course of action here is to pretend this song is the Grand Galactic Inquisitor and ignore it (By the way, I usually find pictures/album covers for these posts by the laziest of Google image searches, but I wanted to give some credit to the person who did the picture of the Grand Galactic Inquisitor you see above. Apparently, there’s a website called Deviant Art and one of their users, named elderwyrm – I sense this person has thrown their share of twenty-sided dice – put this up on their page. You can check out elderwyrm’s art here if you want. I just read the profile and confirmed my suspicions of Dungeons & Dragons-level geekery. Not, as Seinfeld might say if he were still alive, that there’s anything wrong with that). That reference probably makes more sense if you watch Venture Brothers. Even if you don’t, you should still probably understand that the best thing we can do to keep this Song Which Shall Not Be Named from getting too big is to just let it drop.
The first time I heard of Justin Bieber (and I’m not saying this song isn’t a Bieber song. I have some theories about that too), it was in the context of his being a YouTube/Internet “sensation.” Plenty of people, children mostly, adored him and tons and tons of people hated him. But things like Justin Bieber and this current Artist Who Shall Not Be Named feed off of your disdain. People like this exist to be made into products and if you keep talking about how shitty the product is, people will still check it out. You may think you’re warning your friends to avoid this fuck-awful song but rest assured, they will have to hear it for themselves. This is why silence is particularly golden in this case. If you’ve heard this atrocity, you’re just gonna have to tamp it down to the dark recesses of your brain and keep it locked up there right next to the memory of the vague, awkward sexual yearning you felt the first time your heard “Blitzkrieg Bop” (we’re still talking about you here, not me. Just so we’re clear). Maybe in about thirty years, you can cough it up in therapy and have a good cry about it. But not one word about it before then.
Those of us on the internet who can be occasionally entertaining when we don’t like something have a special responsibility in this case not to be the least bit funny while excoriating this song. We must go on about our business, act natural, and wait for this whole thing to blow over.
So I will not, under any circumstances, entertain you by telling you exactly how awful this song is. If you’re wondering why I keep saying “this song,” it’s because I have willed myself, since the last time I heard it, to forget literally everything about this song. I am focusing on the part of my brain that knows anything at all about this song and I’m hitting that region of my head with a phone book, in the hopes of at least ending this internet sensation in my own mind if not in the world at large.
It might be tempting to try some kind of “give ’em enough rope” jujitsu on the people who like The Song I’m Trying Desperately to Forget by asking them to tell you precisely why they like it. Maybe their garbled, awkward attempts to justify the song’s existence will lead the world to conclude that it’s really nothing worth acknowledging. You can try that if you want, but don’t do it in front of me. I’m setting my phasers to “ignore” and firing at will.