Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Guilty Pleasure: I Love You! I Hate You!

Let me start by saying I blame Bryan from Hometown Tales for this.

Bryan visited Nora and I last week and in a passing conversation he mentioned that pop star Avril Lavigne was being sued by a defunct 70's rock group called the Rubinoos. Apparently, she horked her hit "Girlfriend" straight from the Rubinoos song "Boyfriend." It's the whole "Hey! Hey! You! You!" riff from the opening lines of the song that are causing the upset. (Not that I am a defender of Ms. Lavigne, but one can make the argument that the Rubinoos horked that riff from the Stones' "Get Off Of My Cloud". But I digress.)

It was one of those small moments in conversation where you make a mental note and promise yourself you'll check out the details next time you're online. Only this time, I did check it out.

On Monday, I went to YouTube and checked out the video comparison for "Girlfriend". Yeah, they sounded pretty similar. A few more clicks led me to the original video for the song and I watched her song in its entirety.

And that's where things went wrong.

I went about my business for most of the day when I suddenly realized that I was humming the song. Over lunch. In the bathroom brushing my teeth. While doing layouts for a client. That damned catchy "hey hey you you" riff was stuck in my brain.

I am not that naive to think that this phenomenon is anything extraordinary. I mean, that's what these idiotic bubblegum pop songs are supposed to do. They are supposed to get lodged in your subconcious and twist and turn relentlessly like a crocodile in a death roll. But what alarmed me the most was the fact that I was singing a song by a girl. To a boy. Cajoling him to dump his current flame and that it was I, in fact, dear friends, who wanted to be his new girlfriend.

This is hardly the thing a 36 year old father of five (soon to be six) is supposed to be singing.

And here is the crux of my problem. After I watched the video a few more times than I care to admit (while a Monster By Mail video was rendering; while I was waiting for a file to save; in between checking my e-mail), I came to the sad conclusion that I am, in fact, an Avril Lavigne fan.

I loathe her stupid dancing and choreography. The way she makes that stupid punching motion at the camera in that video? Lame! I hate how she pretends to be so tough. I hate the concept for the video where the preppy redhead gets shown up by the "goth girl when it would make much more sense not to mention more endearing if the preppy girl was breaking up the goth couple.

I hate the fact that I can speak somewhat intelligently about her stupid music video.

I hate that she uses poop humor at the end of the video.

I don't like the fact that the song "Girlfriend" is written for such a small demo that it makes it irrelevant to most everyone who listens to it. I can't stand that she looks like she's about to puke when she sticks her tongue out at the camera. I hate her dumbass video set and logo with the skull, crossbones and heart.

I find myself hating her hairstyles, her dumb dark eyeshadow, the stupid poser way she plays her guitar, and the faux goth look she has adopted. Yet I am this close to downloading her album off iTunes because hey, the song is really not that bad.

What the hell am I saying? She sucks!! I hated her Complicated song and that lameass Sk8tr Boi song. And that "I'm With You" ballad makes me want to blow chunks everytime I hear it. Ugh. So why are all these songs in my iTunes playlist? And why have I made mix CDs with these songs?

I hate you Avril Lavigne! I hate you with the intensity of a thousand suns!

Yet I love you too. I like your music and think you have a nice voice in some of your songs.

And the scary thing is that I know even if I were a teen growing up at this point in time, I would have the same exact feelings. I would bash her with my friends and secretly hum her songs in the car.

I hate you Avril. But I also kind of like you. But really, I hate you more.

Thanks Bryan for unleashing these conflicted feelings in me.