Today we’re looking at Ke$ha.
Typically, pop songs are well-crafted, well-sung. This one isn’t. Why? It’s all part of the message and the image. Kesha deliberately understates her looks, dresses down, and doesn’t bother auto-tuning the trailer park out of her voice.
But it’s still huge. There’s a reason it’s used in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid commercial, my first brush with this song. Why? It’s instructional. What it teaches you is how to cast a spell. This is arcane magic we’re learning here. Mumble some words, wave your hands, transform reality. You don’t have to be hot, you don’t have to be able to sing. Kesha goes downstairs to scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and her mom drops breakfast on the floor. Is it because she’s dressed like a hooker? She does have a really short skirt on.
But she’s not dressed like a hooker. She’s not dressed for the boys at all. Guys don’t care about bangles and eyeliner. They’ll pretend they do, but really they just want to see how big your boobs look. No, she’s dressed for the girls. She’s got boots on. High heels advertise sex. Flats advertise sensibility. Boots are a raised middle finger.
Nope, it’s because of her “I don’t give a rip” attitude. That they follow her out and stare while she leaves is just part of her fantasy. She’s ready to party, and the party starts and ends with her. “Consequences? So?” It’s not that the consequences don’t apply, they do. She just doesn’t care. She wants the consequences to happen. Consequences are fun. The po-po can shut her down, all she’s going to do is steal the cuffs and flaunt them to all her friends. She can sleep in a bathtub every night for all she cares.
She’s not trying to get anywhere, she’s not trying to do anything. The boys can line up, offering what boys do, money, looks. She just rolls her eyes and picks the one who doesn’t give a rip. He’s just like her, he’s not trying to get anywhere, just living for the present. Reveling in the pure joy of going against the grain and letting haters hate.
These are the ingredients you need to cast this spell. Just go with it. Take whatever happens and fit it into your fantasy. Fit the fantasy around the circumstances.
What’s the point of the bridge? “You build me up, you break me down.” These are the keys to her heart. She doesn’t care what you do with her so long as everything you’re doing is aimed at her. She’s just going to fit whatever you do into her fantasy. She doesn’t want to be bored. Don’t ply her with money or sex, because these things aren’t interesting to her. She’s anything but promiscuous. Offer her a good time. Take her to get her mani-pedi while in your Mick Jagger getup and blast annoying music from your car to entertain her with while she’s in there.
Maybe she’s having sex at all these parties she goes to, maybe she isn’t. Maybe she even has more sex than Nelly. Reality and facts are not part of the construction materials needed for an identity. Whether she gives you the time of day or not will hinge on whether you can spot what it is she’s looking for.
And that’s why the video’s so big. You don’t need looks to cast this spell, it works whether you’re hot or ugly, male or female. You can take everything crappy that’s ever happened to you, turn it around and wear it like a badge of pride. Flaunt your cuffs. And the second you do that, you’ve cast the spell. People will flock to you, drawn in by your strong sense of self. And people will hate you for it too. Doesn’t matter, they both feed right back into the spell and make it stronger.