Monday, May 10, 2010

home sick

So I'm feeling rather homesick lately. I miss familiar food, familiar words, and most of all, familiar people.
I really like the people that live in our area--don't get me wrong--but I feel like I'm the worst person in the world at making the right impression. Everyone probably just thinks I'm some idiot who over-drinks in social situations and who secretly wants to be a pop star. That's what one girl said when I was dancing by myself the other night: "Tell her she would be a good pop star. That's what she wants to hear."
It made my skin crawl; the way her voice sounded, like she was talking about a five-year-old lip synching Britney Spears or something. Just because I was dancing. I miss being in a place where I can dance and be crazy and have really mixed, weird opinions of pop culture, and that be okay.

Apparently, if you get a little microphone-happy at karaoke and end up singing multiple Lady Gaga songs in one night, some people will start to call you "Gaga" every time they see you, and no one will believe you when you say you don't really like being called that. In fact, you fucking hate it.

The problem is I start trying to talk about pop culture with people--specifically pop music, since it's so ubiquitous--and no one understands my point of view. So I have to write it here so that maybe even I will understand it.
I don't really like pop music. I like it for its danceability, and some songs I think are pretty awesome (i.e., 80s pop and "Bad Romance," the only Gaga song I really like). I guess the best way to describe my relationship with pop music is love-hate/guilty pleasure. A part of me does get a sick thrill from watching new music videos, from seeing how far the sexual envelope is being pushed by women who are paid to be attractive. I mainly like to keep track of pop because it's interesting. It's interesting to watch how culture is changing over time, and pop music, just like new TV shows and movies, reflect that change. And now I have nieces who have to navigate through this world of pop images, images that get more intense and disturbing every year.
So yes, I like to keep up to date with it. And I will dance to pop, when partying is involved. That's the only real merit it has--danceability.

But I also hate it. It's a dirty industry. It's an industry built on mass producing something that they call "art," but is essentially just an avenue through which to sell products. They pick a person, sometimes talented, sometimes not, and shape them into a new creature. A phenomenon called a pop star. A person who acts as a puppet for their record label, and in the case of females, have to be insanely sexualized and attractive at all times. That's not art to me. I think Gaga knows what she's doing, and I give her props for writing her own music, but I still don't take her seriously as an artist. She uses the same tactics as other pop singers, but instead of producers and executives bossing her around, she tells them what to do. She is very fascinating to me, which I think is what she's going for.

The main reason I hate pop music is because I don't want to like it, but it's almost impossible not to like it on some level. It's catchy and fast paced, and sometimes, downright fun.

I just had to go off on this rant because of some of the strange comments I've heard from people lately--comments that border on offensive to me. Why can't a girl just sing whatever she wants at karaoke and dance to what she wants without being pegged as being some sort of pop princess? I'm hoping that the awesome punk dance party we're having on Friday will remedy this situation.

In the meantime, I'm taking it easy and trying not to sweat the small stuff. I will get my first real paycheck this week! Yay!

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