Saturday, November 30, 2013

Elvis, Franco, Rogen, and Fred Rogers. Bitches.

Over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I watched James Franco and Seth Rogen's "Bound 3" video, a parody of Kanye West's "Bound 2" video featuring Kim Kardashian, at least twice per day.  Because it made me giggle.  And I will continue to pull it up until it doesn't.

Best I can figure, I'm in for daily viewings well into December.

But that's not what this post is about.  This post is about how I am now old enough to get why folks were concerned about Elvis' hips.

The parody video contains Kanye's actual song/track/thingy, not parody lyrics, and...  I'm not an expert at interpreting lyrics, but it sounds like the protagonist of the song feels like he has done something heroic in picking up a 30-year-old singleton still, pathetically, wearing Forever 21.  And then he's indignant when she doesn't worship him 24/7.  After all, he did the old lady with "nobody to love" a favor, he "turned the pain around" when he took pity on her at "da club"and brought her on vacation.  The way he sees it, her anger with him has nothing to do with him, but is actually proof that she's trashy and low-class ("red cups all on the lawn shit").  Which actually prompts him to want to build a future with her.  Kind of.  Essentially, he figures that they made it to Thanksgiving, so he might as well ask her, his bitch, for some new bitches for Christmas.  And maybe, if she can "remember to forget," his time with the new bitches, maybe, they just might get make it to the church.

It's so beautiful.
And sooooo sexy.

It makes me feel so damn old.  And old-fashioned.  I don't get how a sentient being could prop herself up on that bike and have those lyrics directed at her.  I only heard it a half-dozen times, and each time I had Mr. Franco and Mr. Rogen to distract me, yet it still got to me.  I was so desperate to find balance or regain power or something of the sort that all weekend, when I saw a seemingly smart, appropriately demure, apparently on top of it, or otherwise cool looking lady in real life, I'd imagine myself raising my chin slightly and saying, "What up bitch?"  I know this kind of reappropriation is old news, but I guess old is as old does.

Us old people, we get worried about these things because, well, life is ugly enough as it is.  And it's sometimes startling to see how low the lowest common denominator will go.  And it's always depressing to see the lowest become even lower with each passing year.  Which makes it so tempting, as an old person, to want to stave off the erosion.  Stop with the hips already, young man!  Get a haircut.  And get off my lawn!

That said, I refuse to become cranky, curmudgeonly and Clint Eastwood-y.  Instead, I choose to trust that there is a natural balance to it all.  Trust that there are plenty of folks making rope ladders each of us can try to grab before slipping into the bottomless pit.  And maybe there are even more people who are operating up at ground level and above; people who aren't even aware of the hand-baskets bound for hell, people just doing what they do in fresh air and sunshine.

Over the last few years, whenever an actual tragedy hits the news, the Internet leans heavily on the Fred Rogers quote, "Always look for the helpers."  In the case of pop-culture train-wrecks like Kanye and Kim, Mr. Franco and Mr. Rogen are the helpers.  They keep us from accepting everything as-is, as-packaged, just as it comes down the pike.

For that, I love those boys.  Such nice boys to have around for the holiday.