Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dull Versus Mean, Punk Versus Pop, Blonde Versus Blonde, Yay! It's Another Lesson in Music and Girl Talk and Changing The Subject, by Allison

So in the car, I've got it on First Wave satellite station (which by the way, is very liberal in their inclusion into what does or does not make it into First Wave category to the point of unironically playing Sting, not The Police-era, but Tantric Sting "Love is the Seventh Wave," when, honestly, that is truly Seventh Wave not First Wave and I was going to do a rant about that but it was like serpent eating its tail and I could not be linear) and Blondie's "Rip Her To Shreds" comes on.
And I do not listen to that song enough, because it is awesome and I am huge fan of early Blondie, Debbie Harry is complete badass and known gritty-punk-glam-you want me and you don't want to mess with me-chic icon.

But then I realize, girls are in the car, can I remember the lyrics?
Do I have to do a thing on "artists can do extreme things in art or music creatively to express an emotion we feel but we do not say in words at school" talk, otherwise knows as How Allison Justifies Mumford and Sons "Little Lion Man" and qualifies Jay-Z's "99 Problems" as a love song?

As am pondering, and remembering lyrics and how much I loved the microphone Debbie Harry used back in the day of yore, uphill, in the snow, E goes "Oh. Well, she's not being nice about that other girl."
And I gather myself up for Lesson In Music, Girl Fight Edition, E solves it for me.  She's like, "It's like the Taylor Swift "Mean" song."


Saved by the kid!

Because she is totally right.

And honestly, it is war of the blondes here, because while Debbie Harry's "She's so dull, come on, rip her to shreds" is harsh and we are non-violent here, it is an expression, not a call to war, or so I think.

Yet Taylor Swift's "I can see you years from now. . . drunk and grumbling about how I can't sing, all you are is mean, and pathetic and alone in life, why you gotta be so mean?" is not that different.

Different target audience, although maybe not, since Blondie's "Rapture" was my first purchase musically (Note: we shall not discuss what year that was due to my pretending I don't remember) and Taylor Swift was E's first musical purchase.

And we are both girls that love music, and singers, and lyrics, and good songs, AND do not want to be called dull OR mean.
Both are four letter words, in Girl Speak to me, and also to E.
I remember "Rip Her To Shreds" because again, ye olden days, I had to listen over and over to hear if it was "dull" or "dumb" she was saying, and it was dull. Dull is horrible.

And I decided then and there, I was not going to be dull, dull was bad, a four letter word.
Sample: "Yeah, you know her. Check out those shoes. She looks like she stepped out of somebody's blues."
I mean, that is HARSH.
And in discussions and interviews and all, Debbie Harry has said that the song is a call-out about media criticism and how women treat each other.

And I get that.  I know that for all of us, we've been victims of and guilty of saying words, easy to throw, as a bomb that goes off in a billion ways, maybe never intended, damage done regardless of intent.

And I am just as guilty as anybody, and I am still easily hurt by words and critiques, and I am the mom of three girls.

A mom who is trying to let the girls be who they are, while teaching them not to be harsh or cruel to anyone, and not to tolerate that from others.

And trying to teach them also, let your light shine, don't dumb yourself down, you are interesting and cool, embrace that too, don't follow the leader for no reason.

And trying to figure out how in the world to explain the senseless, so horrific I cannot process or fathom, violence against children that happened on Friday to my daughters, in real words, truthful but not scary, and foster both sense of security and of what is happening in their universe.

And trying to make life still be life, what we like and find cool is good, what we read or see that moves us is great, friends are awesome, don't be scared.

But don't be mean, either.
It can't be helped 100 percent of the time, I know that, but it can be the goal at least.

And truly, don't be dull.
And I am saying that in the definition of, don't pretend to not know the answer because boys think flighty girls are cute because that is actually not true.
Go ask your dad.
Don't not do what interests you, don't follow the flock for reasons that aren't reasons.

And let's not let the world scare us into not being us, so, big hug, kiss on the head, back to blonde singer-songwriter girl smackdown analysis, as that is how things go here, since Mommy can't do crafts or garden and we have to wait for your dad to get here with the kitty litter for the neighborhood luminaria because I get to not do that because I cleaned up after the dogs in the backyard and that is a pet chore vs. pet related item even if not really chore. That is all the math I am doing today anyway.

So shall listen to both songs, along with holiday songs that are not on my NO WAY list (i.e. Chipmunks singing anything, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, and such) and look at the sparkly lights and find a blanket to throw on us or something and everything looks softer under twinkly lights, right?

I hope so.

And as reference point, or the footnotes, I guess, do they do that now? I am so (not telling, but still) old. Do you just link to stuff? I don't even know. UG. I will ask my seven year old.

Anyway, tangent aside:
Blondie's "Rip Her To Shreds"

circa 1977 glam punk girl gritty cool rocking music's world

And Taylor Swift's "Mean"

Pop-country princess glam girl circa 2011, I think this may be the year the world wrote her a check for one trillion jillion dollars and all the diamonds ever, so she got it done as well.

And now I will scrounge up a nicer song, or not, either way, the girls will be happy that Lessons in Music are over and there are the twinkly lights outside tonight. 

As right as I can make it, anyway.