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Is it too soon?

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, September 18, 2009 23:32 EDT
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It’s Friday afternoon and I’m a bit tapped out of opinions of any great importance. But I want to bring up a subject that might be still be a bit raw for the public still traumatized by Kanye West’s enormous show of alcohol-induced ego tripping. But fuck it, I’m going to say it.

Kanye West had a point.

Oh, he was indulging in some hyperbole, for sure, but the general sentiment there—that Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” is by far a better product than Taylor Swift’s instantly forgettable song—was the correct one. Sady Doyle summed up the situation correctly.

#1. KANYE WEST IS YOUR DRUNK UNCLE

…….And this, like a lot of the things that your drunk uncle says at Thanksgiving (“LINDA! ARE YOU STILL GETTING THE ABORTION?!”) is both relatively true and very embarrassing for all involved.

I criticized “Single Ladies” when it came out for its sexist lyrical content, but it is indisputably going straight into the canon of dance songs, without passing Go or collecting anything short of platinum. You can just tell when a song is #1 with a bullet, and that song was it. And it deserved it. You hear it once and you find yourself singing it to yourself while kind of grooving around dorkily before you realize what you’re doing. It’s not my taste, and I’m not going to rush out and buy the album or anything. But if I was in a dancing situation and that song came on, I’d be very happy.

In contrast, I listened to Taylor Swift’s song right before writing this, to make sure I was being completely fair to it, and I have, in the space of 10 minutes, not only forgotten what it sounds like, I have forgotten what it’s called. I hear that it’s supposed to be “country western”, but as someone who grew up in Texas and has accumulated more country western listening minutes than I will ever admit to, I must say that I’m skeptical of this claim. What makes someone country western now? Wearing pants that go all the way down to the ankles on stage?

It’s nothing to leap out of your chair and carry on about, but I suspect that half the reason that West’s little stunt got the traction it did was that deep down in our collective hearts, America knew he had a point.

Thoughts?

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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