Why do I do this to myself?
Out of all the meticulously crafted pop stars I could have chosen, why did I go with the one who oozes alcohol and glitter, who flails around dance floors while (occasionally) suppressing her gag reflex? The one who… hang on, I’ll get pictures.
The answer? I like a challenge.
The secondary answer: You think it’s funny when I torture myself.
Whereas pop stars like Lady Gaga possess a clear message and a defined musical sensibility, Ke$ha is all about celebrating shallowness in a partying atmosphere. Everything she produces comes straight out of a Wal-Mart catalog, being as mass-produced and cheap as bad lawn furniture. And her music is simple thumps accentuated by the occasional auto-tuned caterwaul.
She claims she is “fighting a war against pretention.” She also claims, “If I smear glitter on my face, you don’t have a choice – you will be more attracted to me.”
But I refuse to give up. So, in an attempt to understand her background, I went to the Ke$ha wiki. And it’s just as terrifying as you think.
In one of the most frustrating gimmicks of all time, everything in the opening paragraph of her page is written like this:
“Her debut $ingle, Tik Tok, which wa$ relea$ed on Augu$t 18, 2009, i$ now her major claim to fame.” Other sites offered less gag-inducing content.
Her past is actually more interesting than I thought. She was raised by a single mother, grew up living on welfare checks and achieved near-perfect SAT scores before dropping out of high school to pursue a music career (she later earned her GED).
So I started treading into Ke$ha fanpages. Stop laughing, you haven’t experienced the horror.
Despite the normal (ahem) lack of anything worthwhile, I did find one very interesting article that championed Ke$ha as a feminist pioneer.
I know! Where do I find this stuff?
“In my view, the reason everyone is so keen on hating her is exactly why, as a feminist, I think so highly of her,” writes Katie B. Rodriguez of EqualWrites.org. “Simply put: she messes around with gender identity in a way that many people find genuinely discomforting.”
Okay, I’m willing to give this credence. I’m not sure Ke$ha means to address gender roles, but she does in her own way.
“Justin Bieber was and remains mostly a cute little punchline,” Rodriguez continues. “People poked fun at him for looking like a nine-year-old and for his mediocre music, but it was all in good humor. Ke$ha-haters, in contrast, are dead serious, and their jabs are often joltingly vicious and mean-spirited.”
Again, true. We Ke$ha-haters can be too eager to criticize.
“Everyone gets made fun of on the Internet, but not like this—this has ‘personal’ written all over it.”
Oh. Are we Ke$ha-haters really just inconsiderate snobs? I guess that is true, to a point. I mean, I value good music as much as any cultural fussbudget. But maybe that shouldn’t become a personal attack. Her music may be mass-produced and auto-tuned beyond the realms of humanity, but she entertains a sizeable portion of the population. Plus, 99% of her act is mere façade. I hope.
She once said, “I may be blonde and fun as balls, but I’m not a moron.” She may be right. Of course, she also once said, “Like, I have a belief that if I wear my placenta in a necklace there’s a possibility of me … being psychic.”So yeah.
In the end, I don’t like Ke$ha. Will I listen to her? Sure, especially if the people around me find something in her music worthwhile. It may make me grimace a bit, but I can’t bring myself to hate her. Plus, if Ke$ha is being intentionally satirical as some fans theorize, she is an absolute genius.