I Can’t Believe I Have To Explain This To You People; How “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “The Little Mermaid” Have Proven Our Cultural Ignorance

I remember the first time I heard the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” I was riding in the car with my mother. It was Christmastime, I was visiting her in Seattle as I always did for the holidays. We were on our way to some dive bar, where she would hang out in the bar while I sat, alone, in the dining room section with a book. I was 15.

She was dressed to the nines, ready for a night out and she sang (more like belted) along with the song as her wild and big hair whipped and gyrated around the car to the melody. It was the Barry Manilow version, and I will never forget my mom oo’ing and ahh’ing with the song.

This was in 1997. Now, 21 years later, I am 36 years old and cannot hear that song without that horrifying memory. But it wasn’t the song that brings up the horror; no, let’s be clear here –  it was my mother.

The song was innocuous then, as it is now.

Similarly, I can remember the first time I saw ‘The Little Mermaid.’ I was somewhere around 8 years old. My parents were still married, ‘The Little Mermaid’ had just been released in theaters. My dad took me to see it, and while I didn’t want to go in the theater (I may have been younger, because I was scared), I ended up loving the film. Since then, I have seen it countless times, hundreds or even thousands in fact, and every time my favorite scene is the “Kiss the Girl” scene. They’re in the boat. It’s romantic. The fish are all singing and – I don’t know … it’s just really magical, okay. 

For almost 30 years, and as a woman with a strong sense of bodily autonomy who is raising two daughters and one son to understand the importance of consent, it is still my favorite scene/song.

You guys can imagine, then, my complete and utter shock at the news that radio stations, a cappella choirs, and all manner of places and people are now banning the two songs of my past.

I completely get that we live in a culture where everyone is offended by everything. All the time. That is our 2018 reality, and I suspect it will only continue to get worse as the years plug along.

I’m not sure how it got to that, although I have my suspicions.

Regardless of the reason, or reasons, for people in general being more offended by more things these days, there’s the real thorn in my side of the issue that has to be pointed out: the hypocrisy of it all.

I saw a meme today that says it perfectly:

Credit: Me.me

Right then.

Here’s a lyric from the last couple of years that I find offensive: 

“You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, yeah you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, yeah you a you a stupid hoe” – Nicki Minaj

There are so many of them like that, too many to mention. They are about rape. They are about gang banging. They are about the objectification of women and their bodies. But I digress… The point is that if you find that stupid hoe nonsense to be perfectly acceptable, while finding “Baby It’s Cold Outside” or a children’s song to be just too far, I can’t believe I have to explain this to you people, but: you are hypocrites.

Honestly.

On the flip side of it, there is that sticky issue of consent, because don’t get me wrong, even though I think that both songs are completely harmless, I also think they do raise a serious point on the matter.

“Baby It’s Cold Outside,” on the surface, sounds like a man trying to pressure a woman into staying at his place and, presumably, getting warm in his bed. A few years ago was the first time I heard someone claim it had a “rapey vibe” to it. As if that wasn’t an intelligent enough analysis of the song and its narrative, this year’s holiday season was ushered in by the pearl-clutching ladies of the Internet sharing blog after blog in which headlines like “Baby It’s Cold Outside – EWWW” took down the decades-old ballad.

‘The Little Mermaid’ – the other of our most recently banned songs – is of the same ilk. She wants to be a human and to marry this guy (after literally seeing him once after a shipwreck, whatever you do you Ariel), but it isn’t socially acceptable in her mer-world to do so. What’s laughable about people calling into question the matter of consent in “Kiss the Girl,” though is that Ariel signed a contract. Literally, in plain English, it says that she can be a human and get her voice back if the guy kisses her, and she signed it. How much more consent do you need?

In reality, both really are about consent; but not the way the naysayers of the Internet would have you believe. They’re both about women who actually want to say yes, each in their respective ways; but who both live in a time or place in which it is not socially acceptable to do so. So if you want to be offended, be offended but for the right reason.D

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We’ve Been Watching A Lot Of Documentaries Lately…

… and I’m not sure why.

Maybe Netflix is starting to get more lame than usual. I mean they just took Planes, Trains, and Automobiles off the Instant Streaming – just how in the shit am I supposed to watch it at least once a week now?

Really I think it’s that we go in cycles as to what kinds of movies we watch. Sometimes we go for marathon cartoon shows, like the Simpsons. Twenty episodes in one day and all that. Other times we go for scary movies or funny movies. Or new ones.

I should mention that we don’t watch regular television at all, with the exception of sports, so it’s either movies, On Demand, or Netflix…

Or nothing. Often it’s nothing.

ANYWHO, so we’ve been watching a lot of documentaries lately. And I’m not sure why. And all of them have a little bit of weirdness to them.

Here are the three we’ve watched this weekend:

Mansome

My husband and I watched Mansome Saturday night. Of course anything Morgan Spurlock and/or Jason Bateman is going to be a necessary win, though it was a little horrifying in and of itself in content.

I mean it was all about men and their grooming practices. And their balls.

It also prompted me to look up Jason Bateman on Wikipedia. You know, while I was sitting there next to my husband. I wanted to know if Bateman was in fact “happily” married. You know, while I was sitting there next to my husband…

So he is. And I didn’t realize that his older sister was the one that played Malory on Family Ties. No shit, right? Well I clicked on her Wikipedia page and BOY… does she look awful now. The 80s and Family Ties and show business really did a number on her…

Back to Mansome. So the best parts of this film were when they interviewed this total weirdo with a really long, red beard. Which was totally different in color than the hair on his head, I might add. He won some European beard contest – a little weird to travel across the world to participate in, but whatever gets you going.

And I should mention that – sure – he was all up on taking care of his beard, but in the scene that showed him getting in his car we learned that he wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about taking care of his car.

I’m saying his car was a total piece of shit. Maybe not relevant, but maybe it is. I mean if a guy is worried so much about his beard but not his mode of transportation…

The other completely off-the-hook part was when they showed the product creator and the focus group for this product called Fresh Balls. Basically it’s a gel that men rub on their junk to stop chafing and “batwings” (which I had no idea existed until watching this highly educational film).

And I suppose close seconds in terms of “greatest parts” of the film were when this totally closeted gay guy has his eyebrows threaded to remove five rogue hairs (he called himself metrosexual … I mean, who does that?); and, when the professional wrestler has his friend shave his ass with an electric razor.

Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense

This afternoon, my husband decided he was going to force all of us to sit down in front of the television and watch this.

He said it would be an experience. That it would be a musical experience we all should appreciate.

Now I can appreciate the nostalgia of remembering a few of the songs. And I can appreciate the aesthetics of the post-punk, avant garde era that made up the Talking Heads of the 80s.

But after a while it just got old. Very, very old. And could that bass player be any more doped out, in her 80s pantsuit that had its own wings? Obviously not batwings, because she didn’t (I don’t think) have testicles; but wings flapping out the side of her pants that just made me think of the whole batwings thing. Then I laughed out loud and my husband got mad.

Thanks a lot. Bitch.

At a certain point in the whole charade going on in this concert film, the tall, skinny, lanky, wiggly guy that is the lead singer just randomly started running around the stage like a complete moron. I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life – he just started jogging. Then sprinting. Then jogging a little bit more. Then at a point he got on the ground and sang while dry-humping the air. Then he went back on another jog around the stage.

It was just too bizarre for words.

Microcosmos

Finally, this evening, I was bored and we had nothing else to do but vegetate like broccoli. So I decided we would turn on another documentary.

Because you know. The others weren’t enough for the weekend, or anything.

I decided on Microcosmos for no reason other than I was seriously fucking tired of scrolling through the Netflix que. For those of you that do not know of it, this is a French documentary that utilized miniature cameras and specialized microphones to film bugs.

Insects. You get it? Fucking tiny little bugs. Spiders and flies and shit.

Here were my responses:

“Those caterpillars are complete morons.”

“Bees can seriously kiss my ass.”

“Jesus, could those snails suck face any harder? Need to get some Barry White up in there.”

“I think I have eaten one of those beetles on accident.”

“Hey look it’s like the 405 [freeway] only with bugs.”

“What’s so scary about those things is they’re fucking ugly.”

“That’s not a salamander, that’s an underwater dinosaur.”

“Wow look at that bird eat those ants… it’s like a trip to Hometown Buffet!”

“Is it weird this movie is making me hungry?”

So I highly recommend that you guys check out these movies. I’m not sure why. Probably because after all this poking fun and making random commentary I’m afraid of the legal ramifications by the filmmakers. Just kidding, I actually think you should watch them. If anything, for a good laugh.

Now here’s Snail Beauty, or as I like to call it Two Snails Get Busy.

Miley Cyrus Mom Wars, RIP Agamemnon, and Please Vote For Me

There is no overlying theme of this blog post, really. Just things I need to blather on about, as I sit here engorging on my salad and informing my family about how yummy the sprouts are in it, which I realize is just more proof I’m becoming a California hippy.

Before I punch myself in the face, here goes with the blathering.

Miley Cyrus Mom Wars

Everyone is yap, yap, yapping about Miley Cyrus at the VMAs last night. First, the teddy bear thing was horrifying. Not only did she walk out of the big bear’s vagina, but then she went on to dry hump the other bears, dance with them, and so on. It was really awful, and quite frankly: I didn’t get it.

BSmn7YOCEAAKMMh

Then the foam finger and her supposed-twerking. To begin: twerking is not just rubbing your ass up against Thicke-the-one-hit-wonder. To continue: the penis foam finger suggestive rubbing thing and pretending it was a penis … just gross. GROSS. GROSS. NASTY GROSS.

Last: the tongue. If I were to write Miley Cyrus a letter, it would go something like this:

Dear Miley –

Your tongue is fucking nasty. No one wants to see that shit.

Sincerely – Horrified Viewer

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It would be inaccurate to call me a viewer, though, because really I don’t give a fuck about that broad.

Here is the last thing I have to say on the subject though before getting onto why I call this the “Miley Cyrus Mom Wars”: I bet dollars to donuts that dumb bitch knows exactly what she is doing. Look at all the attention she’s gotten in the last 24 hours since she dry-humped a foam finger on stage?! This is where media blitzes are at now: in the negative attention.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Linsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes.

Now why this is really a mom war, though – like the breastfeeding and the homebirthing and all the other crap mothers fucking fight about to no end now – is because of all the aftermath. Today on Facebook, I read no less than SEVEN status updates about whether or not good parents allow their children to see Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana as a “role model.”

Ok, so let’s not beat around Miley’s fake foam dick, here. It is true. In this day and age, people should not rely on celebrities and sports players to be role models for their children. We should be models for our children. True. True. True. BUT, there are a lot of horse’s ass parents out there. For every good parent, there’s like 20 guys owing back child support and moms taking slutty photos to post on Facebook while their kid is drowning in the bathtub. Kids need to look up to someone if their parents are trashy and tawdry, right? Beyond that, as kids grow older they don’t relate to their parents as well, and seeing mom as a role model becomes more of a challenge. People are not BAD PARENTS for recognizing those problems and looking to other positive role models in their community or popular culture. It’s OK for kids to want to look up to celebrities – dare I say it’s natural at a certain point – and there is nothing wrong with us expecting celebrities to act according to the responsibility of such a public life.

RIP Agamemnon

Our guinea pig died yesterday. It was really sad and all of our hearts are broken. We aren’t entirely sure what happened, but it’s pretty clear that either he accidentally ingested something toxic to his little body (unlikely – we keep a pretty close eye on him); or, he had a tumor that went unnoticed.

If there is one lesson Miley Cyrus could learn from Agamemnon, it’s this: keep your dry-humping of inanimate objects to private time only. Agamemnon of course never went after any foam fingers or one hit wonders (and yes, I would classify Robin Thicke as an inanimate object, because that guy clearly has nothing going on in his head), but his girlfriend Helen the stuffed hedgehog was quite used to Aggie’s private hump time, which he reserved for when he thought no one was looking.

We will miss you, Agamemnon!

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Please Vote For Me

This last point doesn’t have anything to do with dry-humping, unless of course you get overly excited by watching the trailers for any of the steamy romance novels my book is going up against.

I entered my book trailer into a video contest on YouGottaRead.com a few months ago, and was finally included in the August contest. The voting is open until tomorrow (August 27th), and I would think it just splendid if you would click on the link and head over to cast your vote. Otherwise Spunk, A Fable (about Amazon Women taking over the world and murdering men after using them for procreation) will beat me.

So the morals of this blog post were: don’t be a whore, avoid dry-humping foam #1 fingers, Robin Thicke is a one-hit wonder, stop judging other parents, hug your guinea pig while you can, and vote for me, not Spunk, a Fable.

Vote Here!!!

STFU Fridays: It Ain’t No Harlem Shake

The Harlem Shake: another cultural phenomena that makes any of us with an IQ over that of a banana cringe. It’s another Gangham Style, or series of photos where people plank in weird places. It’s stupid. It’s pointless. It reeks of a culture that is easily entertained and entirely moronic.

And what’s really fun about this one is that it’s disrespectful.

A born and raised Chicagoan, I am familiar with the closeness and affection for dance a city can have. In Chicago, Blues and Jazz gave rise to an entire culture of movement in dance that – I believe – continues today. Quite frankly, it’s beautiful; and while not all people can dance well, growing up near a city such as that taught me that an expression such as dancing (done well or not) can bring people together, even in the starkest of circumstances.

I’m sure without even watching the video, then – “Harlem Reacts to the Harlem Shake” – you faithful blog followers can imagine the response from Harlem.

The Harlem Shake is an actual dance,

and it does not involve dry humping

… the air, each other, or a canon. Yes, this morning when YouTubing this new dance phenomena, I found one that started where a guy in his underpants, wearing a mask, was simply dry humping a statue of a canon. Tasteful, indeed.

So the Harlem Shake is an actual hip hop dance; and an old one, at that. It does not involve dry humping the air. It does not involve dry humping anything – it involves an actual shake. There is an actual method to it too – so much so that instructional videos have been made on how to do it. You don’t just shake and hump and strip to near-nothing. It used to be called the albee (after the guy that invented it), but was renamed the Harlem Shake, and has been featured in music videos, as well as high profile hip hop clubs.

In other words: it’s legit.

The Harlem Shake Internet meme where large groups of complete morons imitate having anal sex with each other, as well as hump the air while making a slapping motion, is not, and never will be, a version of the dance.

You people are stupider than we all thought you were

if you find that entertaining

With Gangham Style, I did (sort of) get the appeal. There was a method to the dance. The video was entertaining in a “what in God’s name is going on here” way. I do believe the whole thing was (and remains to be) dumb, and that Psy guy – well he is quite a piece of work, in his mink coat and fancy eye makeup. But I still got it.

This Harlem Shake thing, though, is a totally different ballgame. It’s like planking was – stupid, pointless, not unique by any stretch of the imagination, and in some cases dangerous. There is nothing unique about people dry humping the air and just shaking like morons. There is not a thing fascinating about people stripping down to near-nothing in large groups (as they do in the majority of the videos I’ve seen).

There has to be a lot missing upstairs for someone to find this so-called dance truly entertaining. Sanity, decency, respect, and intelligence are among those things.

The question we should all ask ourselves…

Whenever an Internet fad comes up like this, I always ask myself “would I do that in front of a group of people.” Or more specifically when it comes to this so-called Harlem Shake – would I do that in front of a group of people in Harlem?

Shit no. Shit no I would not.

I wouldn’t dream of doing that in front of a group of people in Harlem, and I especially wouldn’t dare call it the Harlem Shake. Now personally, I have never been to Harlem. But I have been to places like it, and it isn’t often that – in places like Harlem – I have seen a bunch of stupid white people dry humping the air to weird, new age techno music. Yeah … no. I just haven’t, and I wouldn’t do it.

The same went for planking, Gangham Style, owling, fridging … all of it. All of the idiotic Internet fads that seem to prevail in our ever-devalued popular culture. I wouldn’t do any of them in front of a large group of people.

Clearly there are those that would, but I am just not one of them. Maybe you would. Maybe you would strip down to your tighty-whiteys and throw on a mask. Do the stupid intro where one person softly humps the air, inspiring gads of people to show up and then violently do the same. Slap the air as if there is an actual woman there being slapped. You enjoy your dry hump to tacky techno music. STFU when it comes to the name of it, though. It may be a tacky, crappy dance fad. But it ain’t no Harlem Shake, that’s for sure.