In Defense of Ke$ha

keshahead

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.

This one. Oh good lord, this one...

This one. Oh good lord, this one…

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.”

Yeah, jury's still out.

Yeah, jury’s still out.

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 Twitter was not one of them.

Her Twitter was not one of them.

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).

It’s no defense for her music, but I need to draw on a bit of empathy here.

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.

In her... own... way.

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.

Ca$e clo$ed. Seriously, who would willingly write like that?
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