ALICE RATCLIFFE IS A THIRD YEAR ENGLISH STUDENT, AND WHILST THIS HAS BLESSED HER WITH AN IRREPLACEABLE ABILITY TO MAKE THE WORK OF THE GOOD PEOPLE OVER AT WIKIPEDIA.COM SEEM LIKE HER OWN, IT HAS ALSO ARMED HER WITH THE TOOLS TO RUTHLESSLY DISMANTLE THE MOST BANAL AND INANE QUALITIES OF POPULAR CULTURE.
So, Shakira and Rihanna have released a new song all about how difficult it is to put something out of your mind and move on, and how even if you try your hardest whatever that thing is will break through your will-power and come back to eternally circle your psyche and slowly drive you crazy.
They could be talking about a failed romance, they could be talking about any one of Taylor Swift’s songs, but either way discussing the notion of ‘forgettablility’ is bold. I didn’t even have to try to remember to forget to remember to forget this song. It epitomises forgettable. Ironic really. (Unless it’s some sort of ingenious meta-fictional subtext, a micro-macro metaphor sort of thing where the wider song tangibly embodies that smaller, less tangible, theme….oh wait, now I’m being ironic…).
Anyway, that obvious issue aside, there are a few other problems I have with this song.
First of all, it seems a bit obsessive. I came to this conclusion by looking at the repeated line: ‘Where you go I follow, follow, where you go I follow’ which seems like some sort of motto for the United Association of Stalkers, something which I hope only exists in my imagination.
If I’ve missed the point with this and it’s actually supposed to sound ‘sexy’ – judging by the amount of flesh on show in the video that seems to be the sort of underlying thesis – then, oh dear, it doesn’t. It just sounds weird. What? You’ll follow him everywhere? Like, to the toilet? To his Grandma’s house? To B&Q? Really? That’s commitment. It’s also the second bullet point on the manifesto of Stalking but I’ll let that drop for now.
I’m just concerned that if you’re willing to go to such ludicrous lengths for a guy, indeed if you need to do that to get his attention then maaayybeeeee you have to start questioning if things are really right between the two of you?
The line ‘I rob and kill to keep him with me’ might just be my case in point. Those are the things that keeps him with you? Criminal activities that break all moral and ethical boundaries? That’s what he’s into? Yeah, maybe he’s not the right guy.
But then again, I might have it wrong – ‘be yourself’, ‘listen to what he has to say’, ‘chat about things that interest him’ that sort of advice is perhaps out of date now – I should probably rob a bank and see what that does for my relationship status. (I know what it’ll do for my criminal record but hey, swings and roundabouts).
I guess this sort of behaviour just goes to show how much these women love this man (I think? Maybe how much they love each other? Or how much they love…walls? Watch the video it all gets very complicated) but in the end it’s all about romance, that ‘warm fuzzy feeling’, as Rihanna so eloquently puts it, it’s about ‘the way he makes me feel like the way he makes me feel’ so yeah, I’m not going to condemn.
I am, however, going to question the fact that Rihanna ‘falls off the train and lands in his bed’. That just seems like too much of a coincidence. I mean, where is he sleeping? Why are you on a train? When and where did you learn the ninja skills to successfully complete such a move? It all seems very dubious. Unless of course we’re back to the whole stalking thing again and the train has been privately hired for personal ‘following’ excursions? In which case, I would advise a more ninja-compatible mode of transport, trains aren’t very sneaky.
My final gripe with this song (I said final, don’t worry) comes in the fact that two of them sing it. Why? Two singers. Why? Never has anything been more pointless in the history of our world. The song never mentions anything about two women, it certainly never mentions that these two women might be sexually attracted to each other, to such an extent that they might like writhing around on a big bed together looking frustrated. It never mentions anything like that. So I simply can’t comprehend why the producers would go down this line.
Unless of course they weren’t bothered about the meaning of the song at all and just wanted to create a non-existent sense of taboo and scandal, give the camera two sets of legs to work with, two wiggling behinds rather than one, get some ‘sexy’ arm-stroking to detract attention from the frankly awful music and engineer the entire thing so as to gain the maximum amount of Youtube hits on the video.
If I were the cynical type I might say this is their exact intention and I might even go so far as to label it a textbook ‘Miley’ manoeuvre. But hey, what does it matter, it’s not like anyone’s going to remember this song anyway.
All images via Youtube