Saturday, August 22, 2015

A little parody

The New Zealander singer Lorde had a popular song a year or so ago, called "Royals," in which she called out the "pop culture lifestyle" where there are all these hollow signifiers (brands of vodka, types of jewelry) that people spend their money on. (And one reason why some pop stars and athletes go broke is trying to keep up that lifestyle, or the idea that there's so much money that it will never run out). It's an interesting song, though I admit I have listened more to the Postmodern Jukebox version (which is sung by "Puddles" - a seven foot tall man dressed as a clown) than to the original.

But I got to thinking about it, and about how there are ALWAYS signifiers of status where-ever you go. Even among those who claim to be frugal, there's the whole, "How long I waited before giving in and turning on the air conditioning" or "how old my car is and it's still running"

But my main experience was in my growing-up years. I grew up in a fairly wealthy town, but my parents (a) had less money and (b) were more frugal than many people's parents were. So a lot of the things that other kids had, I didn't (nor did my brother). It doesn't matter now, of course, and I think the lesson I learned about caring less about the silly status-symbol things was important, but at the time it was really not fun - especially with clothes; I got teased for having "cheap" clothes, which really kind of stunk to have to go through.

As I've also said before, I don't think if I had had more disposable income, or parents more willing to spend frivolously, that I would have had popularity; I was just one of those kids who wouldn't be, no matter what. So really listening to the lyrics of Royals - well, it's kind of a comparable situation, though with different stuff and a lower price.

So, off and on, I was trying to rewrite the song in my head, listing off the various "status items" that were big when I was a kid. This isn't a perfect rewrite (it doesn't scan very well in places) but it does kind of capture the feel...

A parody of “Royals”

We never owned a BMW
I rode around in an old Ford my dad had painted
And my house was ordinary
In a bland development, no historic district
But school was like:
Bermuda bags,
Bonne Bell
Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers
Jordache jeans
new Ataris
Add-a-bead necklaces
I didn’t care; I was set on university
But my peers were like:
Pierced ears
Parties on the weekends
Wine coolers
Ocean Pacific
Brand new Nikes
I didn’t care, I was still into teddy bears
And I’ll never be cool (cool)
I cared too much about my grades
That kind of life just ain't for me, I’m too much of a nerd.
Let me be just myself (myself)
You can call me geeky.
And baby I'll read, I'll math, I'll do science, I'll learn
Let me live my own life.

1 comment:

CGHill said...

This is me smiling. :)