Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fuck You For Being A Fuck.


Chances are, you've seen someone post it on Facebook by now.

Cee-Lo Green's new single "Fuck You" has been getting a lot of buzz since it's recent release, and on the one hand, I can see why. When it starts, it sounds a lot like the theme song to "The Golden Girls." It's totally innocuous and pleasant enough, until Cee-Lo let's fly a "fuck you." And they just keep on coming.

Cee-Lo is hardly the first entertainer to capitalize on the F-bomb. There's Lily Allen's cheerful send off to a former United States president (whose name I won't mention because we've all worked really hard to forget about him). Or what about French Connection, who basically built an entire brand around switching two of those infamous four letters?

I can't speak for Cee-Lo, but I imagine he's going for some kind of irony with juxtaposition of the old-bitches-eating-cheesecake cheer of the music with the in-your-face profanity of the chorus. The song is called "Fuck You," after all. Not too subtle. But whereas Ms. Allen's "Fuck You" was directed at a particular individual and had a pretty clear message, Mssr. Green's is actually quite tame in comparison. From what I gather, Cee-Lo spots some guy driving around in a Ferrari with a woman he dated, who just so happens to be a gold-digger. And Cee-Lo is like, "Fuck you." And, "Fuck her too."

That's pretty much it.

So Cee-Lo is angry at a guy for having more money than him, and angry at the woman for being materialistic. His response? "Fuck you." Provocative. Never mind the question of why Cee-Lo is so hung up on this gold digger, and the guy who is chauffeuring her around for undisclosed reasons. Did Cee-Lo stop and think that this guy might just be a Good Samaritan who happens to own a fancy sports car? Is it so wrong to offer someone a ride? Should he be so condemned for buying Italian?

I'm also not clear as to why Cee-Lo can't afford a Ferrari. I heard that song "Crazy" approximately 8 billion times for 2 years straight. I'm pretty sure they created new radio stations just to play that song over and over. If that isn't enough to buy a Ferrari, Cee-Lo, you better fire the attorney who let you sign that contract.

If you ask me, this woman didn't break up with you because you're broke. She dumped you because you're whiny, you misdirect your anger, and you wouldn't stop singing that "Crazy" song.

Now I know it's just a pop song and isn't meant to be held up to such scrutiny. I probably would have tuned the lyrics out completely if it weren't trying so desperately to get your attention with that title. It smacks of desperation, like a ten year old at recess trying to shock his friends. "Look at me! I'm so naughty!" would have been a better title.

Is "fuck you" shocking any more? Does it have any meaning whatsoever? To locate the video, I merely typed "fuck you" into Google, because I wasn't sure how to spell "Cee-Lo." Did you know "Fuck" has its own Wikipedia page? Does this surprise you? The page pointlessly lays out all the different meanings of "fuck," as if even your unborn fetus hasn't already learned them all (and a few in foreign languages, too). Your unborn fetus is probably flipping you the bird right now. Because the womb might be the only place where "fuck you" is still edgy.

Sure, it's still taboo to use the F-word in church, and kids probably still get sent to the principal's office if they say it to a teacher. Saying it more than a couple times in a movie will earn that film an R rating, and it's forbidden on network and cable TV shows. But it's gotten to the point where even that is almost perfunctory; "fuck" is so ubiquitous these days, even if "the" and "and" joined forces, they wouldn't stand a chance. I've never understood why swear words have their more benign counterparts, such as "fudge," "dang it," "heck," "screw you," and so forth. Is "friggin" really less offensive than "fucking?" What's the difference between "crap" and "shit" when it conjures the same imagery? Now, thanks to internet lingo and text messages, we also have acronyms such as "OMFG" and "WTF," which are pretty well socially acceptable. Even your pastor might text you an "OMFG" without really thinking about it - but spell it out, and you're a sinner.

Bleeping out words on the radio is even more pointless. I mean, really, wow does this help? When the sentence is "I've got a big ol' BEEP and I'll stick it in your BEEP," even the youngest of minds will figure out that Lil Wayne is not about to stick his favorite Harry Potter book in Nicki Minaj's personal library. If we all know what the meaning is, why are we pretending?

There's no doubt Cee-Lo Green's "Fuck You" will be censored up the wazoo (that's PC for "asshole") to allow for maximum radio airplay. "I see you driving 'round town with the girl I love, and I'm like, Boo-hoo, and uh, boo her too!" As for me, I am already getting sick of this song, and it was released less than a week ago. I'm dreading the next six months.

So there you have it. Cee-Loo has released a mainstream hit with a title too edgy to be played on the radio. So it'll be changed to something slightly less offensive that means the same flipping thing, but we'll all titter because secretly, we know what the song really means, and it's just so freakin' offensive! Is it just me, or is there something pretty screwed up about all this?

To paraphrase another Cee-Lo song that became a self-fulfilling prophecy way too fast:

That makes me effing crazy.

And the horse you rode in on,


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