Yesterday, vigilant Ke$ha-watcher Ben al-Fowlkes sent me links to two Ke$ha tweets. The first was mysteriously deleted, and the second apologized to anyone “effected by this tragedy,” saying that she understands “why my song is now inappropriate.” It was a puzzlement. I assumed “this tragedy” referred to the music industry that effected her rise to stardom, but it turns out I was thinking of “travesty” and she was thinking of “affected.” Ke$ha was actually apologizing to those affected by the Newtown shootings, which prompted several radio stations to stop playing her single “Die Young.”
Regular readers of Combat! blog know that I do not like Ke$ha. For sheer use in lists and arbitrary examples, you could make a textually-supported argument that I like Ke$ha less than virtually all other pop culture phenomena. I dislike her music. I dislike her persona. I especially dislike what she represents about the music industry and, to a lesser extent, music journalism. Last week, on Grantland, the otherwise respectable Steven Hyden remarked that he is glad pop music critics like Ke$ha’s new album, Warrior. He cited Simon Reynolds’s favorable review at the New York Times. His argument was so compelling that I listened to “Crazy Kids” from Warrior. It did not make me like Ke$ha. Instead, it focused my Ke$ha-hating into a powerful laser, which I then passed through the prism of my liberal arts education to separate into its two components:
- I dislike her horrible rap-singing voice.
- Her “garbage chic” ethos appeals to narcissism in order to draw a false equivalence between hedonism and transgression, encouraging the listener to believe that going out is an act of self-expression—one of the most pernicious lies of contemporary culture.
Item (1) is a matter of personal taste. Discussion of item (2) after the jump.