Advertisement


I don’t take baseball bats to the cars of cheating boyfriends. I don’t brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack. I don’t kiss girls and like it.

But I do get up early in the morning. I often eat cereal. I always look forward to the weekend. And sometimes I have to choose where to sit in a car.

Finally, in “Friday,” by Rebecca Black, I found a pop song I can relate to.

“Friday,” which blew up on the internet last week, eschews the joys of Friday — having fun, partying and driving on the highway — all set to an incredibly awkward video filled with 13-year-old Rebecca and her incredibly awkward friends.

Black’s mother reportedly paid ARK Music Factory $2,000, after which the company offered Black a choice of two songs (Rebecca chose “Friday” because the other song was about adult love — “I haven’t experienced that yet,” she said) — and produced the now-infamous video.

Overnight sensation used to be an exaggeration — not anymore. Black’s rise from normal eighth grader to internet superstar began when, on March 11, the Comedy Central show Tosh.0 posted her video to its blog.

Since then, “Friday” has become a phenomenon, racking up 26.6 million views on YouTube, breaking the Top 20 on the iTunes digital single chart and shooting its singer to sudden super-stardom.

From the auto-tuned singing to the very dumb lyrics, the song and video are not good, except for in a so-bad-it’s-good way. So if you’re not a fan of things that are so bad that they’re funny, I can understand why you wouldn’t be into “Friday.”

But I don’t understand the anger surrounding the song and its young singer. This vitriol is exemplified by blog comments like “Go cut yourself” directed at Rebecca, who said she cried when she first saw them.

Hurling insults like that at a middle-schooler is cruel and doesn’t do anyone any good. It’s one thing to criticize; it’s quite another to suggest Rebecca should slit her wrists as vengeance for your offended ears.

It’s not like teen pop is this exalted genre that Rebecca Black is disgracing. Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez have more professional handlers and their polishers are better at polishing, but the concept is the same.

Most pop stars have writers who are talented enough not to explain how one day of the week comes after another, but that doesn’t make them Shakespeare.

The lyrics of “Friday” aren’t that much more ridiculous than saying you’re “Fergalicious” or spelling out the word “bananas.”

People may be mad because Rebecca’s parents basically paid for her fame. She and ARK’s other singers are probably the Kim Kardashians and Paris Hiltons of the rich 13-year-old Californian crowd — minus the sex tapes. But she seems like a nice kid.

You get the feeling that even if she isn’t able to sustain pop success, just the opportunity of meeting Justin Bieber would make her happy for the rest of her life.

Yet some people are going so far as to attribute a musical apocalypse to her (Example: the Facebook group “Rebecca Black should be arrested for the murder of the music industry.”)

That is mainly a ridiculous claim because the music industry is already dead. It was murdered by the Internet long ago.

But it’s also ridiculous because Rebecca Black’s success — however long- or short-lived it may be — won’t stop artists who play instruments and don’t include nonsensical raps about school buses in their songs from finding an audience for their work.

The fact that other people like “Twilight” won’t stop you from reading Mark Twain. And watching a dumb teen slasher flick won’t stop you from appreciating “The Godfather.” If anything, the former will make the latter seem even better.

And just because something can be done by amateurs doesn’t mean there’s no room left for pros. I’ll take Christiane Amanpour over CNN’s iReporters any day. And the same goes for music.

Putting together an Arcade Fire album might be more difficult than finding a cute teenage girl to sing a cookie-cutter song, but there’ll always be a market for both.

When I was a tween, my friends and I made up songs, choreographed our own dances and filmed ourselves performing for our friends.

Hopefully those videos have been burned, because I’m sure they would be as bad as, or worse, than “Friday.” Luckily, YouTube wasn’t around then.

But I would hope the people who did see it just smiled, laughed and moved on — rather than grumble about me attempting to kill music and whisper about how untalented I am.

So embrace the Black Plague. There are so many bad things happening in the world right now; it can’t hurt to take a few minutes to allow yourself to be distracted by some bad teen pop.

Erin Rowley is a senior majoring in journalism and history and the Daily Collegian’s Monday columnist. Her e-mail is emr5089@psu.edu.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.