Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Best Song My Parents Would Have Had a Conniption About

There are lots and lots of songs that would cause my parents, and anyone who is the same age as my parents, to have a conniption about.

"Conniption," by the way, is a real thing. I know that because it says so on the Internet. The site "Answerbag" says it's a real thing, with actual definitions and scholarly answers given by such eminently-qualified people as "VSPrasad." That's the neat thing about the Internet: It makes everyone an expert on everything and equalizes all of humankind -- unlike everything else humanity has ever tried at and failed. We've given democracy, culture, even education a shot at making people better, smarter and more companionable. All of them, I think we can agree, were miserable failures. The only thing that's ever worked is the Internet, which transforms ordinary citizens like "VSPrasad" into experts on everything from conniptions to the microeconomy of Palau. (Turns out they're the same thing.)

Speaking of democracy, democracy really blew it with song labeling and trying to protect kids from becoming little perverts, didn't it? Remember Tipper Gore? She used to be married to Al Gore before he grew a beard, got secretly rich, and invented the environment. She also used to be terribly worried about what would happen to kids if they listened to terrible, horrible, awful, perverted music like "Darling Nikki," by Prince.

Exposure to "Darling Nikki" caused Tipper Gore to begin watching other music videos and listening to songs -- claiming it was just "research." (A defense that's become very popular in some circles.) That, in turn, led Tipper on a dark journey through the deepest reaches of sex and drugs, a journey that led to personal discovery and exploration...

No, wait, I'm getting my own "research" mixed up. Watching all those videos and listening to all that music convinced Tipper that nobody else should ever get to watch or listen to it again; I guess she wanted it all to herself. So she tried to label it and ban it and convince parents not to buy it because if music didn't tell kids that sex exists, then they'd never discover it on their own, and thus they would never have sex and the entire human race would die out.

Tipper didn't think that plan through. Also, Tipper never thought to put warning labels on hot girls, because 10 minutes looking at a Hooters girl causes more damage in a teenage boy's mind than all the songs put out by Bret Michaels, ever.

These are the lyrics that got Tipper all hot and bothered. (And yes, I intended that pun.)

I knew a girl named nikki
I guess u could say she was a sex fiend
I met her in a hotel lobby
Masturbating with a magazine
She said howd u like 2 waste some time
And I could not resist when I saw little nikki grind

She took me 2 her castle
And I just couldnt believe my eyes
She had so many devices
Everything that money could buy
She said sign your name on the dotted line
The lights went out
And nikki started 2 grind


The castle started spinning
Or maybe it was my brain
I cant tell u what she did 2 me
But my body will never be the same
Her lovin will kick your behind
Oh, shell show u no mercy
But shell shonuff shonuff show u how 2 grind

Darlin nikki

Woke up the next morning
Nikki wasnt there
I looked all over and all I found
Was a phone number on the stairs
It said thank u 4 a funky time
Call me up whenever u want 2 grind

Oh, nikki, ohhhh

Come back nikki, come back
Your dirty little prince
Wanna grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind

{backwards at the end...}
Hello, how r u? Im fine. cause I know
That the lord is coming soon, coming, coming soon.

That's it. That's all. That's what drove Tipper over the edge and Al into the arms of the Sierra Club.

That song, together with George Michael's "I Want Your Sex" ("Sex is natural/sex is fun/sex is best when it's one-on-one") together destroyed civilization in the 1980s. We would right now be living in an era of peace and enlightenment and really really advanced machines, machines that could deep-fry cheese instantaneously, if not for those songs and the way they turned kids away from inventing and towards sex. You didn't get to travel to work via jetpack today because of Prince and George Michael.

Looking back now, it's hard to see what's so objectionable about those songs. One promotes monogamy. The other describes a lap-dance. They were not the only terrible terrible horrible songs, either -- Bret Michaels, when he had hair and less body fat, asked girls to talk dirty to him.

Those songs now seem about as risque as looking at a picture of a lady's ankle -- something that was fraught with peril at the turn of the century. I like to picture the guy's magazines at that time: "The 100 hottest celebrity kneecaps!" "Susan B. Anthony's profile, like you've never seen it before!" There just doesn't seem to be any reason to worry about kids listening to them anymore.

There doesn't seem to be any reason to worry about that because the kids now are listening to songs that appear to have escaped Tipper's attention, but which I have heard because (a) I am cool and (b) I am a moral cesspool after listening to Prince and George Michael growing up and (c) I share my iTunes with teenagers, which is both good and bad and sometimes is both at the same time.

It's good when they get me into songs I would not otherwise have heard, like M.I.A.'s "Paper Airplanes."

It's bad when I end up listening to a Miley Cyrus song and embarrassingly like it:

And it's good and bad when I listen to "The Bad Touch" and get Middle to download it and tell her to download the explicit version and then realize just what a horrible parent I myself have become, because not only am I allowing Middle to listen to "The Bad Touch," but I am encouraging her to do that and in fact encouraging her to listen to the explicit version of it.

Next thing you know, Tipper Gore will be out to put warning labels on me.

The lyrics to "The Bad Touch," by The Bloodhound Gang, shock even me, and I am unshockable because, like I said above, "moral cesspool, blah blah blah."

"Put your hand inside my pants and I bet you feel nuts?"

"Only God knows where we stuck it?"

Okay, those are clever -- they could just be puns, right? And I love puns. A little double entendre never hurt anyone. But what about this:

"Then we'll do it doggy style so we can both watch X-files?"

There's no way to disguise that. These guys are openly advocating watching reruns. Oh, and sex. They're advocating that.

But the bottom line is this: This song is awesome. There's no way not to like "The Bad Touch," which is The Best Song My Parents Would Have Had a Conniption About. There's no way not to hum along and sing the chorus and hope that God, and Tipper, will forgive you for what you're doing to your kids, and hope, too, that the kids will move on past this song and get back to being upright people and inventing things, because I really want faster deep-fried cheese.

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