Songs That Are So Bad, They're Actually Great

Songs That Are So Bad, They're Actually Great

It's Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday.

In life, everyone has at least one guilty pleasure, or something that you know deep down inside that you really shouldn't like, but for some reason you just can't help but enjoy it. For some of us, it might be an uncommon food pairing (grilled cheese and peanut butter- don't knock it 'til ya try it!). For others, it might be a movie or television show that was just plain bad. (And we all know that there have been quite a few doozies in years past... Duck Dynasty!? Here Comes Honey Boo Boo!? My point proven.) Whatever it is, I'm sure we can all agree on one thing. None of your guilty pleasures come anywhere even close to my musical guilty pleasures on the embarrassment scale.

Let's start with a classic: Barbie Girl by Aqua. Although the song seems to be free spirited and fun loving, the lyrics provide the truth behind a very different meaning. "I'm a blonde bimbo girl in a fantasy world / Dress me up, make it tight, I'm your dolly" ??? More like, "I loved this song when i was eight and I sang every single word and never realized what I was even saying."

Next, let's take a look at Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex. Such a catchy beat and an even more popular line dance! What could possibly be bad about this song, you ask? Oh nothing, except the fact that this Joe guy does nothing but travel from town to town and charm and manipulate every woman he comes in contact with. "If it hadn't been for Cotton Eye Joe / I'd been married a long time ago /// His eyes was his tools and his smile was his gun / But all he had come for was having some fun." These commonly misheard lyrics really clear up the song's content.

Let's take it back to the 90's with MMMBop by Hanson. Now even I'll admit that upon my first, second, or even one hundredth listen, I had (and still have) absolutely no idea what they're even saying. Fortunately, over the years I have learned exactly how to pretend like I'm making the same sounds as them so I can still sing along to this one. "Mmmbop, ba duba dop / ba du bop, ba duba dop" ...Or something like that.

Now, do you remember every Six Flags commercial ever? Vengaboys do. And if there's one thing that I have learned from their song We Like to Party, it's that old men wearing tuxedos at amusement parks are way less common than I was led to believe. "Hey now, hey now, here's what I say now / Happiness is just around the corner." This song seems to make that old guy happy, so I might as well be happy, too.

Here's one that I KNOW isn't just me. Eiffel 65's Blue (Da Ba Dee) just brings me back to the old days, before I realized how annoying this song actually was. Unfortunately, first impressions mean a lot, and I simply can't help but sing when it comes on. To this day, I still don't know who this guy is, or why he was so blue, but he could afford a Corvette, so it couldn't have been that bad.

How could I forget about everyone's (least) favorite... Friday by Rebecca Black. Now, before you judge me, you must understand that I really don't mind being judged. It might be annoying. It might be terrible. It might be absolutely awful. It might be.... where was I going with this again?? Oh, right... yet somehow I know (and belt out) every single word. And while it has become the most hated video on YouTube, it has been viewed more times than the number of Fridays that exist in recorded history. So you tell me.. If it's so bad, why do people keep watching it?

And finally, my real favorite: Thong Song by Sisqo. I actually can't tell you what it is about this song that I even find appealing at all. It's definitely not the complex lyrics: "She had dumps like a truck, truck, truck / Thighs like what, what, what / Baby, move your butt, butt, butt / I think I'll sing it again." It's also probably not the outrageous music video of Sisqo simply pointing at girls in bikinis yelling "thong, tha-thong, thong, thong," and it definitely was not Sisqo's.... unique hair. Still, the consensus is still that this is a song that is not going out of style for a very long time.

Our guilty pleasures make us happy, so it's only natural for us to indulge a little and enjoy them, so whatever your guilty pleasure is, I promise you- it cannot possibly be as bad as Rebecca Black's "Friday," or the "Thong Song."

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The Authority Of Experience In Writing

Within the realm of fiction, there has to be a line drawn.

It can sometimes be troubling to hear my poetry professor ask me or one of my classmates to stop directly addressing the writer of the poem in a workshop, when what I “[should] mean to say” is “the narrator.” It’s not because anybody interrupting me for any particular reason leaves me feeling suddenly winded and at a loss of words, but because sometimes I read a poem and I understand the subject matter and can’t imagine why anybody who hasn’t lived those words would write them.

Fiction, ostensibly, knows no boundaries. A narrator can be a piece of anthropomorphic space cheese from the planet Blart, and that’s okay— so long as the space cheese eventually finds himself writhing with internal conflict or is faced with some form of troubling space cheese decision-making. The point being, writers have a lot of authority over what can happen within the confines of their book. Characters can be who they want to be, when they want to be, and nobody can say anything about it, right?

Within the realm of fiction, there has to be a line drawn. Boundaries can be overcome and character roles can be upheaved and reimagined, but somewhere there has to be something an author can’t write about. It’s sensitive, and it’s weird, but people are entitled to their own identities. One of 2017’s most praised novels was "Lincoln In The Bardo," a rewrite of a historical character, and one that we think we have a pretty good idea of. That’s okay because it does not harm, intended or not, the character that is the Honest Abe we all know (again, ostensibly) and love.

However, nobody except for Lincoln himself could have written a more characteristically Abraham Lincoln than George Saunders, and him doing a fine job is the result of what I am sure was a delicate hand that guided him through what was probably a very difficult task to accomplish. What should also be noted is that George Saunders is a Texas-born white man, and Lincoln was a Kentucky-born white man, and so despite the years between them, they have that in common. Saunders does not share an identity with any person of color, any immigrant, any woman. Therefore, regardless of the delicacy of his writing, or the beauty that emerges when his pen hits paper, does he have the right to take on any of those voices in narratives?

Is the authority of experience a sort of “You know it when you see it”

deal, or is there something more to it?

I often write short stories from the male perspective; in fact, a good half of my fiction work is centered around a male protagonist. I don’t often feel wrong about doing that; it doesn’t feel out of character for me as the writer. But that’s because, in writing, there’s a definite power struggle that forms something of a pyramid. Not to be that person who builds up an entire article only to poo-poo the white man, but at the top sits a happy white man, assuming his position above all others in the room. In this case, however, the pyramid represents more than just an unjust power dynamic written out by society, it’s also a series of one-way streets from bottom-to-top. You can work your way up the pyramid, but you can’t move down.

I can write about a white man, but not a POC. I don’t share experiences, I don’t know how it feels to be black or how it feels to be “treated” black, so I don’t have the right to write about it. I shouldn’t fabricate experience, I should use my own, as a white woman, because the best kind of struggle is an honest one. For hundreds of years, white guys wrote in the voices of women, and then for another two hundred years white women wrote in the voices of a sundry of ethnic men and women. Now, the time has come for white people to step back and let all the brilliant people of color with brilliant voices be heard. There is plenty of everyday struggle in the life of a white woman, and a good amount to be found in the lives of white men— there’s no need to borrow.

Cover Image Credit: kulinetto / Pixabay

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The Portrayal Of Women In Media Has Left All Of Us Feeling Objectified

This generation of beauty over brains must come to an end!

The image of women, especially in the media, is all about their bodies, and not their brains anymore.

The representation of a women in the media is completely different now than back in the day. In todays society, women are portrayed in the media as nothing but sexual objects for every man’s desire. If Gucci has a magazine spread for their newest fragrance, there is a naked woman laying on the beach in the ad. If Toyota is trying to sell one of their newest cars, there is a beautiful woman sitting shot gun in the car. If an artist such a Nicki Minaj produces a music video, she is half clothed and shaking her butt to the camera.

These aren't accurate representations of women. I do believe that there is nothing wrong with being a little risque, yet when every ad, commercial, and music video can only sell when women are in it using their beauty and bodies, that's when I see a problem. I believe that women’s representation in the media is so different in todays society because these women are allowing it. Of course, I can’t speak for every women artist, and I do believe a lot of them are empowering, but for the few that disrespect themselves and portray women in such negative ways, it ruins it for the rest of the women in our society.

This is why I believe men feel they are allowed to look at women in such sexual, objectified ways. If a woman doesn’t respect herself, a man will never respect her as well. In today's society, unfortunately this is something us women are used to and deal with on a daily basis, but I can't help to imagine a world without objectifying women's bodies for money. Picture cologne ads that soley focused on selling cologne. Picture music videos where artists only care about singing their hearts out and getting their message across. Yet, all of these commercials, ads, and music videos need to objectify women in order to sell their products.

Why? When did this happen? When did it become a thing to use women as decoy in order to make more money out of their products?

Unfortunately, it is definitely a thing amongst our generation, and it has to end! It isn't fair to women, especially those who would never use their beauty or bodies to get them places in life. The media has to stop representing women in such degrading ways, because that's what makes men think its okay to degrade women as well!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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