Why “Friday” ruins Friday

Avra Bossov ('11)/Eastside editor-in-chief

If you haven’t contributed to the 86 million views of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” song on YouTube, you must literally live under a rock. This video has gone viral, and here I am wondering “why?”

When I initially viewed this video, I couldn’t believe my eyes, not to mention that my ears were in pain due to the dangerously high levels of auto-tuning involved. I had no idea that thirteen-year-olds could (legally) drive, nor did I know that thirteen-year-olds threw house parties to the extent portrayed in this video. I also did not know that creepy producers make cameo appearances as the token rapper.

I was in denial that such garbage was considered music. But then, after listening to it without the video accompanying it, it’s actually quite catchy—or at least it’s not so different from all the other stuff that gets played on radio stations like Q102.

Without going into a line-by-line analysis of the lyrics – although I certainly could – there are some lyrics to highlight that exemplify why this song is popular and what it represents for the state of our society. These lyrics are: “fun, fun, think about fun,” “we so excited,” “tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes after…wards,” and, of course, “lookin’ forward to the weekend.”

What all of these lyrics generally represent is the gradual decline in Americans’ emphasis on education and ever-diminishing work ethic. Basically, all a thirteen-year-old is thinking about is fun, partying and the weekend. “Fun” appears twenty times, “partyin’” appears 17 times and, fortunately, “cereal” only appears once.

Black attends a party with her friend by her right in the official "Friday" music video. courtesy of starcasm.net

I’m not saying that recreational activities and relaxation should not be recognized, but where’s the line between appropriate and inappropriate? What is causing Rebecca Black and her age group to know how to text faster than they can add or subtract? And what ever happened to using proper grammar? While life cannot always be serious, it can certainly not be all fun and games.

While 86 million people have viewed this video, only 310,000 have viewed President Obama’s 2012 Campaign Launch video. In comparison to other popular songs, only 48 million people viewed Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok,” and, despite being the number one download on iTunes this week, Katy Perry’s “E.T. ft. Kanye West” has only been viewed 16 million times.

It’s scary to think how fast something can spread, as “Friday” was only released on March 14, according to iTunes. Even scarier, the video was only up to 4,000 hits before Michael J. Nelson tweeted about it and Tosh.0 brought attention to it in a blog posted on March 11. I blame the two of them for making the rest of us bear witness to this ear-curdling “music.”

Another aspect to worry about is that she remixed a version called “Naughty Friday,” featuring snippets of Ethan Newberry’s “Saturday (A Parody of Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’”) that points out how weird it is for Patrice Wilson, Ark Music Factory producer, to be driving a car discussing his plans to meet up with someone clearly under age. And she’s making money off of this version, too.

While this song may be catchy, it’s not catchy enough to override its music video’s utterly ridiculous nature. And it certainly does not provide me with a settled stomach, if this is our nation’s future, contrasted with the enormous national and global troubles we face economically, in terms of global warming, population growth exceeding the resources we have available and the many other causes worth advocating for – or at least becoming aware of – than this latest piece of YouTube trash. Imagine if those 86 million views had been dedicated to something a little more insightful into the current state of our society.