In case you’ve been under a rock, there’s a new hot “reality-singer” celebrity of sorts with a simple — yet catchy tune that is making serious rounds in digital, social, and traditional media. Her name, Rebecca Black. Her song “Friday.” Without going into too much detail (because if you’re somewhat literate you can guess), Rebecca recounts, in painstaking detail, one of her favorite days of the week “Friday.” In case the premise was too complicated for some listeners, there’s a video that provides visual cues to uncover the less than veiled meanings of her words and phrases.
From what I can tell, Rebecca Black’s parents “gifted” her production time and the opportunity to make her own music video. My gifts as a teen were never so elaborate or expensive — but I digress.
So, many media traditional and online, personalities are giving this chick grief for what is clearly a less than stellar vocal performance. In particular Peter Shankman provides his commentary “The Age of Mediocrity: Why Rebecca Black is Everyone’s Fault,” posted on Mashable.com. Peter Shankman’s point is that Rebecca Black’s popularity is not her fault, but rather the fault of society because we have lowered our standards so much — this is what counts as main stream musical talent and entertainment.
My response to Peter Shankman and others spouting this position is — where have you been? This crappy, poppy performance is only one in a long line. I mean let’s be honest, when Taylor Swift is lauded as a songwriter and exceptional storyteller, and Christina Auguilera (who has since re-cooperated herself) is reaching stardom with verses like “I’m a genie in a bottle baby,”and don’t get me started on Katy Perry and that damn “California Girls.” Furthermore, let’s just venture a little outside music and consider our good friend Snookie, The Situation, or the Real Housewvies of _________ (insert desired city here).
It seems pretty clear to me that we’ve already reached — or sunk to depending on your disposition — mediocrity. I say to the Peter Shankmans of the world — get over yourself and don’t blame society as an excuse. If you really think society is at fault, where do you identify your role contributing the the rise of Rebecca Black. Blaming society is a cop out, plain and simple.
We’re in an age when people seek opportunities to exploit themselves and whatever mediocre talent they have. And further more, there are plenty of people that seek out those individuals to make their quick buck giving some poor, unsuspecting sucker their 15 seconds to 15 minutes of fame. It is what it is. And if you’re looking for people to assume some personal responsibility for th state of affairs, I’m asking that you start with yourself.
Additionally, I would argue that Rebecca Black’s instant popularity is the result of the global village Marshall McLuhan hypothesized many moons ago. He knew even before Rebecca, Taylor or Christina was a glimmer in their parents eye, that electronic communication would compress the world making access to information instant. And it has. He did warned others to be prepared for such a revolution. So all I can say is “whoop there it is!” (another great musical number lacking depth and breadth).
On the flip side I can respect Rebecca Black’s approach. She did it because she wanted to and had the opportunity to do something fun. Rather than big, bad record company that seeks to exploit the kid for the 3 songs she can eek out, leaving her with nothing but a VH1 “Behind the Music” episode when it’s all said and done.
So, what do you think is she at all new low of mediocrity or is Rebecca Black par for the course?
- The Age of Mediocrity: Why Rebecca Black Is Everyone’s Fault [OPINION] (mashable.com)
- Rebecca Black Will Have The Last Laugh (alan.com)
- Lady Gaga Defends Rebecca Black Youtube Sensation Jay Leno Friday Performance Video (binsidetv.net)
- What Day Is It? Rebecca Black Tells You in this Android App (pocketnow.com)