The Malcontent On: Rebecca Black


Rebecca Black has stalked us over the holidays and followed us into the term – like a particularly virulent version of fresher’s flu, one that spreads via the medium of Facebook, Twitter, and even those weird chain emails our grandparents proudly show us to demonstrate how up to date they are with the cultural zeitgeist.

This is understandable. Just like you, I too was amused when I first found the cherubic Rebecca singing about her cereal and which seat to take. How could we resist the simple pleasure of watching a 13 year old girl, through no want of her own, create a phenomenon which will surely mark the rest of her life? “HAHAHA, what seat do you want?” her husband will chortle as they walk into the cinema (she will, of course, marry a moron with a witty repartee of seat jokes), but she won’t mind, so dulled to the pain by years of “gotta get my bowl, gotta get my cereal” chants every time she went to eat some Sugar Puffs.

But this simple pleasure, the thrill of cyber-sadism, has been destroyed by those who insisted on reminding us of her presence. They increased the momentum, reputable news sources realised, about ten years late, what was happening and they interviewed her.

I watched a few of these interviews. And it turns out she’s actually a real person. Who gets upset when she reads the stuff written about her. And whose mother feels like she could “kill some people” for abusing her daughter. A thirteen year old girl, crying herself to sleep – I hope you’re happy.

And worse still she’s donating all the money she’s earned to help rebuild Japan.

So our obsession has got to stop. It’s gone beyond irony. Even the rather beautiful, melodic faux-Bob Dylan cover fails to amuse me now. I am impervious to the charms of the death metal version. And if I hear one more twee ukulele cover I may be forced to write a strongly worded letter to the YouTube account of the bastard who felt the need to record cover number 152.

The rowing version of the song provoked only sympathy for the poor guy who not only has to row, but also thought it would be amusing to record a version of ‘Friday’ which is all about rowing. What larks! And the news that Glee was to cover it incited genuine anger.

Her socio-political deconstruction of the song’s hidden foreign policy message was, however, mildly amusing.

But despite this blip in my resolve we must remain strong. It’s not so much that ‘Friday’ is an awful song – everyone knows that and that was the point of it – it’s that the joke ended quite a long time ago. So please, I beg you, can we stop this silliness?

Hamish Birrell