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Apr 23 2014

So I watched an Avril Lavigne music video…

This one:

It’s called “Hello Kitty” by one Avril Lavigne. I believe she’s famous for having trouble with skateboarding children, who she would see at a later point?

So, the music video starts off with this young woman speaking with a thousand voices in Japanese and pointing at me.

Why is she pointing?

Why is she pointing?

I don’t know what I did, but she’s quite excited.

Then she’s morphed into a room accompanied by disapproving, silent Japanese ladies. This will be their face and general demeanour throughout the entire parade of American teen-pop diabetes-inducing shitstorm the video is.

Come play with us.

The colours made my eyes crawl inside my skull to die in pleasant darkness.

Then the music skips tragically on her saying “Ka”, so she says, “ka-ka-ka-kawaii“. And that’s when my brain shook its head, put on its hat and left via my nostrils. It knew the actual music would start.

SPIN FOR NO REASON, AVRIL! SPIINNNNN!

SPIN FOR NO REASON, AVRIL! SPIINNNNN!

She plays a guitar which apparently contains the trapped soul of Skrillex.

DO SOMETHING WITH THIS FLUTE OR WHATEVER MUSIC PEOPLE CALL IT!

Help! I’m trapped in the body of a shittily programmed guitar!

Then she does this weird… “dance” thing?

I can move my kneeeeeeeeeeees

What is she holding? Why is she now wearing candy spectacles? Why is she dancing with that… thing? It looks like the Staypuff Marshmellow Man’s aborted child.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON IT, AVRIL!

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 12.47.15 AM

And on it goes.

This blistering, glittery-nailpolished middle finger to music; this blackboard scraping called vocals; the music sounds like the someone throwing a small angry police car around. It’s not so much music as it is glorified white noise, allowing this pop-star to use the colour palette of Candy Crush as a weapon against common decency.

And where the fuck is she? It’s like a racist’s fever-dream of Japan, after taking too much LSD. Everything looks like it takes place in Willy Wonka’s sweatshop.

This would, of course, be nothing without the lyrics. WITNESS THESE GRAND POETICS TO MAKE EVEN DANTE ALIGHIERI WEEP.

Mom’s not home tonight [1] [2]
So we can roll around, have a pillow fight
Like a major rager OMFG [3]

Let’s all slumber party [4]
Like a fat kid on a pack of Smarties [5]
Someone chuck a cupcake at me [6]

It’s time for spin the bottle [7]
Not gonna talk about it tomorrow
Keep it just between you and me [8]

Let’s play truth or dare now [9]
We can roll around in our underwear how [10]

Every silly kitty should be

My thoughts correspond with the notes above:

1. Where is your mother?

2. It’s not night-time at all in this music video.

3.  What is… nevermind.

4. You can “party” and “slumber”; and you can have a “slumber party” – but you can’t “slumber party”. You are not using those words correctly.

5. OK, now I don’t know what you mean by slumber party. Is this only something “fat kids” can do? Do thin kids not enjoy Smarties?

6. Dear god, who else is at this daytime event where you slumber party that “someone” must throw dessert at you? Won’t your poor mother on her night duty have to clean up?

7. OK, now I’m convinced there’s more than one other person at your day-time event.

8. But now this reads as though no one other than the person you’re singing to is there. Who else would the bottle spin toward? I’ve never played, but I did see attractive people play it in high school.

9. Wait, is spin the bottle finished?

10. Is that before or after truth or dare??

And so on.

This bizarre explosion of “culture” has some racism going for it, too, with its portrayal of everyone who isn’t the white American woman as mindless Japanese drones. So yay for integration. Or whatever.

Conclusion

Whoever decides whether humanity should continue or die will surely be yearning to push the red button after hearing this – because afterward they won’t be able to hear anything else like “Please, no!” Imagine we sent this off as part of a collection that constitutes who we are as a species; imagine intelligent aliens found it. I think it would be immoral for them not to destroy us, as the sound of a cat getting its tail stepped on screeches lyrics about bottle-spinning and day-time slumbering partying. If you’re not diabetic after this, I admire you: the twee and candy-coloured hatred for all things humanity has built in its long march away from oppression makes avoiding sickness difficult.

But whatever. Don’t watch it. Just know it exists. And I watched it for you because I’m apparently a masochist.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Brian M

    I don’t know if it is “racist” per se. I think it is a Japan-only release targeted to her Japanese fans.

    The deeper problem is that “J-Pop” is the world’s worst pop music. After American Christian Contemporary, of course. “I want to snuggle into Jesus Manly Arms…this is not gay, but holy!”

  2. 2
    A. Noyd

    She’s following in the footsteps of Gwen Stefani and Katy Perry.

    Also, while you probably wouldn’t find the music or lyrics any better, you should check out the video for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s Candy Candy, which seems to be making a statement about just this sort of appropriation and dehumanization. Her backup dancers have numbers instead of faces, and there’s an imposter running around in a mask that’s a weird parody of cuteness.

  3. 3
    michaelnam

    Per se…love that. It’s on iTunes.

  4. 4
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Don’t even ask me why I would bother saying this about this particular… thing, but in some defense, one cannot appropriate (in a racist manner) that which is exported for consumption. Kawaii is that tooth-rottingly, frequently bizarrely sexist, cuteness which comes from Japan in the form of toystuffs, music, and cartoons they call anime to make it sound more intellectual.

    It’s just like anyone else’s junk culture. It’s just some Canadienne reused it for her own junk culture. In fact, there seems to be a lot of funky trade between Canada and Japan these days.

    Not that this is remotely a defense of anything else problematic with the video and music. (But then again, remember the ’80s when everyone needed a vid and almost no one knew what to do to translate some random tune into a visual expression? BTW, those guys are “pioneers in filmmaking”, these days. Whatevs.)

  5. 5
    Menyambal

    Dang this touchscreen …. I accidentally hit Play.

  6. 6
    Travis

    I had not heard about this video until now. Kawaii culture is sort of interesting, it started off as a form of rebellion, sort of like the west’s punk, against the adult culture that many young people in Japan thought was strict, confining and harsh. An oppressive environment that made them feel like they had no freedom, and kawaii culture went against this by cherishing fun, an immaturity. However companies quickly caught on and have been milking it ever since.

    I do follow some people involved in what might be described as kawaii, but outside of the mainstream j-pop, Hello Kitty milieu, and I think there are still some of those aspects. There is still the immaturity and cuteness, it is often mixed with darker and subversive imagery.

  7. 7
    Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

    I’ll just leave this one for you: Babymetal

  8. 8
    B-Lar

    I am saddened. “This Video is Private” . Now I have to actively search for it!

    I am hoping that it is as good, if not better than Daphne and Celeste’s masterpiece: “Oooh, Stick You!”. but I will have to wait until later. Such excitement!

  9. 9
    Seth

    You’re telling me that you can criticise a woman’s artistic and commercial choices without threatening to rape her to death? Who knew?

  10. 10
    Tauriq Moosa

    @ Seth #9

    Bizarre, I know.

  11. 11
    blondeintokyo

    If you hate that, just look up Kyaru Pamu Pamu.

    And to think….I have to live here with this shit.

    *sigh*

  1. 12
    Link Round-Up 4/30/2014 » On the Margin of Error

    […] this is for Tariq Moosa. He loved the recent Avril Lavinge video so much, I thought I’d share this video with him. (I’m actually a huge Avril fan – please […]

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