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Culture, Music
Rebecca Black

Devil Bibles

by Brandon Edmonds / 25.03.2011

Rebecca Black is a thirteen year old girl from California whose mother was kind enough to pay for her to record a few songs at a professional studio. One of which, co-written by a South African producer in LA, called “Friday”, has gone viral. Very viral. Over 35 million views on Youtube and $1.4 million in iTunes revenue and counting.

The song has instantly become a damning cultural touchstone, “the worst song ever”. Online meanies have told Black to “cut yourself and die”. Parodies are proliferating as you read. Her seasoned Twitter trending status (it’s been a week) means it’s no longer cool to hate the song and the counter-intuitive “we love it” brigade of “Blackheads” (yes she has her own fan tag already) are fast running out of contrary momentum as attention inevitably wavers. But this is more than a meme. It’s a genuine nadir. The terminus of a dominant strain of machinated software pop. As someone commented somewhere: “Rebecca Black’s CD will drop on the 12/02/2012 – isn’t that the end of the world?” Yes. Yes it is.

Friday is truly the moment the slick apparatus of contemporary music-production (rampant auto-tuned inanity, a parade of overdetermined party anthems and “hero inside yourself” aspirational drek) stopped working. Got exposed for all to see by a song so bad it shows up what’s wrong with everything around it. A black mirror to larger forces debasing culture. The misguided cult of youth, the absence of social engagement or political awareness in pop, the triumph of marketing over experience, saleable concepts over hard-won ideas, and the privileging of pro-tools software et al over inventiveness. Smothering the voice in effects suggests the wider loss of genuine Voices in popular music: figures that can put 21st Century life in all its turbulent dismay to song.

One of the biggest books in the world (made from the skin of 160 donkeys) is the 13th Century Codex Gigas or Devil’s Bible. So called because of a creepy drawing of that fallen angel Satan. It’s said to be possessed of course. There are strange discolorations around the image as if singed by flame. The real reason is fame. The page where the devil appears tends to be looked at most. Over time repeated exposure to air has led to more pronounced chemical changes. Reinforcing the effect. Fascination makes you look, looking produces what you see: isn’t this the diabolical dynamic behind internet memes?

The Devils Bible

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RESPONSES (24)
  1. ShlongDong says:

    For once I’m glad Youtube is blocked at work…

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  2. will says:

    Yah, no shit though – this really is the worst song EVER. I can’t believe how bad it is. WOW

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  3. Gotta make my mind up... says:

    …which seat can I take?

    As a friend once told me, this is the existential question of our generation.

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  4. Captain Lombard says:

    “whose mother was kind enough to pay for her to record a few songs” … that’s so funny.

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  5. dwight says:

    “Fascination makes you look, looking produces what you see: isn’t this the diabolical dynamic behind internet memes?” Too true!

    I refuse to watch this video on YouTube. I don’t listen to music radio either so I’m hoping beyond hope that I never hear it. Ignorance is bliss in this case.

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  6. TheMiggle101 says:

    dude you totally left this one hanging. couldn’t you finish it

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  7. Doh says:

    Brandon, fuck you very much for putting that embed up.

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  8. www.askjuju.co.za says:

    This Brandon Edmonds is reminding me very much of Kgalema Motlanthe – he is a very nice man but nobody understands what he is talking about. I have been watching this very silly song of the white girl with the irratating voice trying to be like a real hip hop fly girl. I can understand why they do not want want to put the sexual things in the video because she is still the very young ntombi, but why is there so little bling?? And they also have to put the very stylish black man in the middle of the song to stop the ears from hurting and to remind us what is the natural riddim.

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  9. Rare.Golden.Collectables says:

    I think the song is awesome!

    you guys are crazy for not liking this..

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  10. Impi says:

    Freedom…. has its down sides.

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  11. Douche says:

    Two words.
    RETARDED PARENTS.

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  12. Jeff says:

    Interesting to see the medieval devil wears nappies. Not Prada.

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  13. New school is da bêst if u have a prblem fuck your prblem

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  14. Bonzo says:

    I dig this song: “Friday, Friday, Friday, its Friday, Friday”. It’s like a mantra, a chanted repetition of all that is good.

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  15. DJ Bobo says:

    Eurotrash returns.

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  16. JM Koet$ee says:

    Rebecca Black: the final symbol of the end of empire?

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  17. Douche says:

    @JM Def. not the last.

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  18. Andy says:

    Wait! What about this one? Remember Ron Moss from Days of our lives, or the Bold and The Beautiful. He makes music as well. It’s real good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PSBp2zC6CY

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  19. sean says:

    Brandon makes a very good point with this piece. I’m willing to be well over half (if not the vast majority) of those 35 million hits are people wanting to see how shit the song is.

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  20. JM Koet$ee says:

    Fok, is this a spoof?

    Friday, unplugged:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CBzT2pv1Jc&feature=related

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  21. Douche says:

    @JM. Hahahahahahahahahahaha
    @DJ Bobo. Eurotrash never left.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    evil robot teens

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