An addendum on my one-sentence movie review from the other day: the movie Teen Titans Go! to the Movies may be a trifle forgettable on its own, but its theme song is nothing short of goddamned delightful.
I probably, no joke, listened to this song six times on my way home from work tonight.
Tomorrow is my last day as a furniture salesman, and I swear to you that I typed funeral salesman at first and had to stare at it for a second to figure out what was wrong.
Before I get started with the swearing and the fuck-thising, a bit of context: my son, who I have thought many very unkind things about today that I will not repeat in this space, decided to come in and wake my wife and I up at four o’clock in the fucking morning because he wanted to sleep in our bed with us. There was no particular reason for this; he woke up in his bed and decided he wanted to be in ours instead, so he woke both of us up.
This was perhaps not reacted to as compassionately as it should have been and he was dispatched back to his own bed. I never got back to sleep, meaning that it’s currently 9:20 in the morning, I’m a quarter of the way through my morning coffee, and I have been awake for almost five and a half fucking hours.
It is already not going to be a good day.
Have you ever hated a song so much that you memorized it out of pure spite? I’m going to assume that you have and that this is not an experience unique to me. I have a number of Taylor Swift songs that I have completely memorized, and the main reason I have them memorized is that I hate them. Similarly, a song which I have just learned is called Friends by a pair of idiots named Anne-Marie and Marshmello. Marshmello apparently regularly appears in public with a fucking bucket on his head.
This fucking song ran through my head for hours last night while I was trying to get back to sleep. While it was running through my head, I was mentally composing this blog post, which I’ve been trying to avoid writing since I first heard this fucking song eighteen thousand years ago. Or maybe it’s just a few weeks; fuck, I don’t know.
Point is I almost got up and wrote this at 4:30 in the fucking morning because I realized sleep was not happening and at least maybe I could get something done.
So I initially wasn’t even going to write about the first reason why I hate this song: the godawful fucking obnoxious accent that Anne-Marie is putting on. I generally don’t like making fun of people for the way they sound or talk, but now that I’ve seen a picture of white-ass blonde-ass whitey-white Anne-Marie? Fuck you, that’s an affectation, and when she says so doan you looka me wif dat look in yo eye, or tries to spell “friends” and slurs it so badly that it comes out as effar aiyee endee ezzsh, to the point where I wasn’t actually sure she was spelling it right until she bothers to enunciate later in the song the first time I heard it, she is absolutely just being an asshole. No goddamn white girl grows up sounding like this in the UK. She’s doing it on purpose. Fuck her.
Now let’s talk about the friend zone. And let me be clear here: this is something that I absolutely fell prey to when I was younger and stupider. The difference is that now that I’m grown I know better, and I’m not super keen on letting current younger men get away with the same horseshit that I did when I was a kid. Y’all need to be better, goddammit. Men need to improve, and one of the first things we need to do is to let go of this stupid fucking idea that there are any women anywhere who owe us anything. And that, ultimately, is what the so-called “friend zone” is about. It’s about feeling entitled to women and their bodies and feeling like it’s okay to just hang around being unwelcome until they, I dunno, realize that they’re actually attracted to us after all instead of the men they’re dating (men, for the record, who they are attracted to) and fall into our arms.
Nah. This is bullshit. The friend zone is bullshit. And if you’re being this asshole, stop. If you think you’re in love with someone, you tell her rather than hanging around like a fucking angry puppy, and if she says no, that’s your answer and you fuck off. You decide what level of relationship you’re able to have with that person, whoever she is, and if your Deep Feelings are just Too Serious to maintain an actual friendship, and not a fake sham of a friendship where you’re constantly looking for a fucking moment of weakness so you can get your stupid dick wet?
You fuck off. And you stay fucked off.
My coffee’s gone, by the way.
All that said, there’s some other shit going on in this song that probably needs to be addressed, and at this point I’m addressing women. Lemme copy-paste some lyrics here, in more-or-less conventional English rather than the bullshit-ass white girl’s fake urban accent she’s putting on:
You say you love me, I say you crazy We’re nothing more than friends You’re not my lover, more like a brother I known you since we were like ten, yeah
…and, see, it’s at this point where I go back to not wanting to write this, because there’s a point at which I’m punching down. If you are not already aware of this, you should be: the thing men are most afraid of in relationships is that they will be rejected by women. The thing women are most afraid of in relationships is that they will be killed by men. So I can’t act like it’s all fine and good to say things like you need to stop humoring these assholes when not humoring the assholes might result in the assholes turning violent. But can we maybe not treat relationships like this like they’re family? Because given the rest of the song, I really don’t get describing this person as “more like a brother.” The order of relationships here goes dating –> friendship –> family. Your friends are, or at least should be, more important than whoever you’re fucking at the moment. And your family, at least ideally (I am aware that families can be toxic, obviously) should be more important than your friends. This is one of the things that never made any sense to me– the “just” in “just friends.” Friends is better.
Have you got no shame? You looking insane Turning up at my door It’s two in the morning, the rain is pouring Haven’t we been here before?
Don’t mess it up, talking that shit Only gonna push me away, that’s it! Have you got no shame? You looking insane Here we go again
So don’t go look at me with that look in your eye You really ain’t going away without a fight You can’t be reasoned with, I’m done being polite I’ve told you one, two, three, four, five, six thousand times
I think it needs to be made clearer, to young women in particular, precisely the demographic that this top-40 pop song is targeted to, that this is not how friends behave. And I say that as someone who has spent a career working with adolescents and has had a couple of classes that were composed entirely of girls in that time. Songs that take behavior like this and phrase it as how friends act are not helping.
None of this shit is how friends behave. None of this shit is normal. And if someone in your life is acting this way, that is not the behavior of someone who is your friend. That is the behavior of a stalker. This person is dangerous. He is not your friend and this is not normal. And maybe the most fucked-up thing about this song is that it’s portraying legitimately crazy behavior as something that your “friends” do. And I am telling you if you don’t already know that there are far too many young women who do not know this is fucked up because we have normalized male entitlement so fucking much in this culture.
Men, boys, stop fucking being like this. And again I’m not in a position to get all high-and-mighty about how women should behave when they have a legitimate showing-up-at-two-AM crazy fucker in their lives, but hey how about we don’t write songs about how those people are our friends? Because fuck the hell out of that idea. It’s bullshit and this song is bullshit and I hate it and I don’t want to hear it any more.
Especially at four o’clock in the fucking morning when all I want to do is sleep.
…and not even much of one, I’ll admit, but these two songs have been getting a hell of a lot of play lately so let’s all enjoy them together. I took my wife out for Chinese tonight and then went and bought books rather than worrying about blogging, so this is what you get. 🙂
It must be so weird to be Jay-Z, guys. He is, by any standard, one of the most successful and well-known rappers of all time and an insanely talented businessman to boot, and he still managed to somehow marry up, to a woman who is better than him at damn near every single thing the two of them do. Don’t get me wrong; I married up myself, and my wife is also better than me at goddamn near everything. It ain’t a bad thing. But to be as successful as this guy has been, and still be #2 in your house? Crazy.
So here’s the thing: although I don’t talk about her all that much I am a big fan of Beyoncé. I’ve phrased that very deliberately. I am a fan of Beyoncé, not so much of her music. As an entertainer, she’s amazing, but I’m not necessarily going to reach for Dangerously in Love when I’m looking for something to listen to. She’s had a couple of songs on each of her albums that I like; sometimes a couple that I really like, but Lemonade was the first of her entire records that really clicked for me and even then if I’m playing it it’s to listen to Daddy Lessons or Formation and not to listen the whole way through.
And despite all the good stuff I just said about Jay, I’ve always thought he was kind of overrated as a musician. Him and Nas both fit into the same headspace for me, guys who have been around forever and been obscenely successful in hiphop (although Jay is a level beyond Nas, I think) but who I just don’t think are as good as everyone thinks they are. Don’t @ me. I bought 4:44 just like everybody else. The dude’s still huge. I don’t get to decide that, and he doesn’t have to give a shit what I think. But still.
So it’s kind of fascinating to me that Everything is Love is my favorite Beyoncé album and my favorite Jay-Z album, and by a substantial margin. I have always and always will preferred hiphop to all other forms of music, and it turns out that when you take Bey’s talents and turn the dial a few notches toward rap you get something that I really fucking like. Here’s how much I like this album: I’ve not only had it on damn near constant rotation in my car since I downloaded it, but when I’m not listening to it I’ve been revisiting everything else I have by both of them.
I dunno if I even really have anything else coherent to say about it. I’m terrible at reviewing music; I always have been, and it’s not like this album needs my help, right? If you were gonna cop this one you had it two hours after you found out it existed and nobody is going to try it based on Oh, Luther liked it! But still. Do it anyway. This is something special, and these two need to make music together more often.
The general theory seems to be that me doing an advice column would be entertaining, but I need some people with problems! Drop me a line and let me know how your life is Wrong and I will fix it.