On Ke$ha’s Charge for Authenticity: The Paranoid Style in American Pop?

March 7, 2010

I don’t understand Ke$ha. The excellent Steve Hely tells me on twitter that she received a near-perfect score on her SATs. And from this we derive that there is perhaps more to her fame than the NPR Culturetopia theory that “Tik Tok” is popular because it sounds enough like songs you actually like. Something more than the aura of popularity must be at play here. Perhaps some sort of diabolical plot to take over the world? As the WaPo wrote:

Shtick always has a limited shelf life, but a singer shrewd enough to rankle so many eardrums while tickling so many more doesn’t seem capable of vanishing quickly. We may find Ke$ha passed out in America’s front yard for many mornings to come.

But if such a diabolical plot is afoot (and it seems far more likely than Senator James Inhofe’s theory that Global Warming is a vast conspiracy perpetrated by the UN and IPCC, aided and abetted by NOAA, NASA, the US Military and the Oil Companies), there has to be a reason. Thankfully, she’s grown markedly more political these last few days, renewing the global push for an ethos of “keeping it real.”

Yes, it seems that she’s decided to speak out against her one-time friend Britney Spears, SLAMMING her for lip synching last year in Australia (this makes her about as punctual as Yesterday’s Salad), saying “When I am singing, I may sound s–t sometimes, but at least you’ll know I’m singing.”

(This is actually a pretty good burn.)

But what’s really the issue here is corruption. Ke$ha’s call is just like those of the tea party. She’s another person furious at the establishment, angry that they’ve gotten there by claiming to be something other than who they are. It’s a call for values. Incoherent and at times unlistenable, it’s classic paranoid style. Or something.

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