Woe Is Me

OR

“May I Send You a Trite, Mixed Message?”

This is the start of a piece that, again, may or may not ever develop into something further. I started it in the airport in Vienna when we were picking up Miriam’s mother, after listening to the radio all through Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria.

Madonna–American Life

Shania Twain–Ka Ching

abstract: While simultaneously sending the mainstream message that built their careers, stars are jumping on a postmodern “authenticity” bandwagon. They sing of the emptiness of their consumer-centric existences, while showing no signs of actually changing their ways, and worse still, continuing to promote the lifestyle “lies” they sing against.

Lyrics:

Madonna, American Life:<blockquote>Do I have to change my name?

Will it get me far?

Should I lose some weight?

Am I gonna be a star?

I tried to be a boy,

I tried to be a girl

I tried to be a mess,

I tried to be the best

I guess I did it wrong,

That’s why I wrote this song

This type of modern life - Is it for me?

This type of modern life - Is it for free?

So, I went into a bar looking for sympathy

A little company - I tried to find a friend

It’s more easily said it’s always been the same

This type of modern life -Is not for me?

This type of modern life -Is not for free?

American life

I live the american dream

You are the best thing I’ve seen,

You are not just a dream

I tried to stay ahead,

I tried to stay on top

I tried to play the part,

But somehow I forgot

Just what I did it for

And why I wanted more

This type of modern life - Is it for me?

This type of modern life - Is it for free?

Do I have to change my name?

Will it get me far?

Should I lose some weight?

Am I gonna be a star?

American life

I live the american dream

You are the best thing I’ve seen,

You are not just a dream

I tried to be a boy,

I tried to be a girl

I tried to be a mess,

I tried to be the best

I tried to find a friend,

I tried to stay ahead

I tried to stay on top…

Fuck it…

Do I have to change my name?

Will it get me far?

Should I lose some weight?

Am I gonna be a star?

I’m drinking a Soy latte

I get a double shot

It goes right through my body

And you know

I’m satisfied,

I drive my mini cooper

And I’m feeling super-dooper

Yo they tell I’m a trooper

And you know I’m satisfied

I do yoga and pilates

And the room is full of hotties

So I’m checking out the bodies

And you know I’m satisfied

I’m digging on the isotopes

This metaphysic’s shit is dope

And if all this can give me hope

You know I’m satisfied

I got a lawyer and a manager

An agent and a chef

Three nannies, an assistant

And a driver and a jet

A trainer and a butler

And a bodyguard or five

A gardener and a stylist

Do you think I’m satisfied?

I’d like to express my extreme point of view

I’m not Christian and I’m not a Jew

I’m just living out the American dream

And I just realized that nothing Is what it seems

Do I have to change my name

Am I gonna be a star

Do I have to change my name

Am I gonna be a star?

Do I have to change my name</blockquote>The rapped bridge! OH my. This is why I don’t have to write this essay…these songs are so bad they critique themselves.

Shania Twain, Ka Ching:<blockquote>We live in a greedy little world

that teaches every little boy and girl

To earn as much as they can possibly

then turn around and

Spend it foolishly

We’ve created us a credit card mess

We spend the money we don’t possess

Our religion is to go and blow it all

So it’s shoppin’ every Sunday at the mall

All we ever want is more

A lot more than we had before

So take me to the nearest store

Chorus:

Can you hear it ring

It makes you wanna sing

It’s such a beautiful thing Ka-ching!

Lots of diamond rings

The happiness it brings

You’ll live like a king

With lots of money and things

When you’re broke go and get a loan

Take out another mortgage on your home

Consolidate so you can afford

To go and spend some more when

you get bored

All we ever want is more

A lot more than we had before

So take me to the nearest store

Repeat Chorus

Let’s swing

Dig deeper in your pocket

Oh, yeah, ha

Come on I know you’ve got it

Dig deeper in your wallet

Oh

All we ever want is more

A lot more than we had before

So take me to the nearest store

Repeat Chorus

Can you hear it ring

It makes you wanna sing

You’ll live like a king

With lots of money and things

Ka-ching!</blockquote>Again, these lyrics mock themselves (unintentially). Funnier still is the plastic-surgery-maxed-out Shania with a HUGE diamond on her hand in the video as the “simple, non-consumer” Shania. That and the 70’s rock revival Shania they threw in there just for good measure. People actually go for this?

It’s ok for them to feel that way, if they really do, but the trite lyrics combined with no lifestyle or image change is what bothers me. When we saw Madonna on MTF she was wearing a corset under her shirt that was so tight she could hardly breathe–which was unfortunate when she tried to pull off Like a Prayer and was singing flat and out of breath the whole time! Are we being authentic here or do you still really need to look like an impossibly rich Barbie doll? Obviously the latter.


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