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Kids, criticism, and culture

In case you missed it, (and you are very blessed if you have) this video went viral today. So you won’t have to click on it, I’ll sum up. It’s a pop song titled “Friday” by a young (13?) girl named Rebecca Black.  I’m tempted to say it’s a parody of a mindless pop song, except I really don’t think it’s a parody. The young lady in question has a passable voice, but dear heavens the lyrics are… Well. Here:

7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’
Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends (My friends)

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

It’s Friday, Friday
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Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

And so on.

As you might imagine, the citizens of the internet were a bit cruel.  Because really, the internet is the perfect medium for mockery and the song and the video were created to be mocked. It was perfect storm conditions.  And frankly, the mockery was dang funny and I was laughing along. Until a very wise, humble woman pointed out the young lady in question is only 13 and said, “People work hard at being mean like it is a character trait to be admired.”

Um, ouch.

I still think this is an awful song. I still have serious problems with a culture that serves out pablum to young kids and calls it “entertainment.” I really have a problem with how the culture idolizes young teens, and when we’re done being amused by their talents, we amuse ourselves mocking their falls and faults.  Has any child star ever ended well?  Someone said Black is the next Miley Cyrus. That may be the meanest thing they could have said.  Who is a more frequent subject of “E! True Hollywood Story” than troubled or fallen child actors?

And frankly, it’s just a bad song.  Horribly, painfully awful.  Just like we don’t do tween soap operas, there is no way we will be listening to this “music” in our house. I think teaching my children to appreciate between good and bad art, to critique and criticize, and to defend their opinions is a good and noble pursuit.  But, really, I don’t have to be mean about it.

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