I Don't Want This Weekend To End - Why 'Friday' Is My Rosebud



By Bub 

I like Rebecca Black's Friday. A lot. Too much, I've heard. I like it to the point where I watch it everyday, more than once. I've enjoyed it long after the novelty of the incredibly inane lyrics, shoddy cinematography, grating chorus and general incessant cloyingness of the video has worn off. I've been watching it long past the point where I guffawed at the absurd weight she imposed on the decision of which seat in her friend's car to be seated; past reveling in the incongruity of thirteen year-olds driving in cars and partying unchaperoned with adult male rappers (who rap nonsensically about school buses, race cars, and clocks); even past the amazement at the bridge where she literally explains the ordering of the the days of the week, and then inexplicably jettisons the use of verbs. I still enjoy this ridiculous pastiche of things that someone who is not a teenager imagines relating to being a teenager. Irony has ceased to be a part of it.

But my obsession is still more than if it were merely a catchy tune. There was something that struck me about Rebecca Black's Friday that I couldn't figure out - something that delighted and affected me in a way that penetrated my cerebral cortex and bore through all the way down to the amygdala.

It took me awhile to understand it. But it became clear to me as I was watching the face of my five-year old daughter as she was watching the video. She enjoys the song on the sincerest level possible. And the look on her face betrayed not only delight but also reverence, and slight trepidation. What had been affecting me was also affecting her in the same way, she just didn't have to filter out all of the cluttered layers of cynicism and experience to enjoy it. It was right there in the look on her face - Friday is the perfect distillation of what adulthood and even teenagerdom means to a child.

I cannot say if that makes Patrice Wilson, the writer and producer of Friday, a genius or severely emotionally stunted. But Friday captures the magic and the possibility, and also the awe and the dread of something inevitable that you do not understand. To a five year old, it is completely plausible that older children, Rebecca Black's age, would drive around in cars, and do whatever it is their parents do when they are left home on a Friday with a babysitter - presumably hang out with rappers, sit on tailgates, drive around aimlessly. Temporal ordering is still a very relevant topic; and grammar, even the concept of language is still amorphous and changing. With drugs and sex, and even money not yet entering into a child's consciousness let alone purpose, meaning, ethics; picking which seat to sit in actually is the most important dilemma imaginable. It doesn't matter what happens once inside the car. At that point we all are just along for the ride.

Friday gives me a lens to view life the way my daughter does; the way I once did. It lets me feel what life was like before I was cognizant of my own mortality and long before that actually meant something to me. It allows me to get back to that dense mass of hope, anxiety and expectation that has slowly dissipated throughout my life. It gives me the same feeling that I once had as a child on the couch in the living room in the moments before the kickoff of the TGIF lineup on ABC - that something profoundly enjoyable was about to happen and that it would not last long. Soon the weekend would be over. And I would approach each subsequent Friday with a diminishing sense of anticipation and serendipity. When I listen to Friday I can recapture a small piece of that feeling, if only for a brief four minutes.

5 comments:

  1. This is excellent.

    I just heard this song for the first time yesterday, as stated in my entertainment article posted Friday. This song is awful in a way, and I do feel most people listen to it for ironic enjoyment. And I'm 90% sure this song was uploaded to youtube in an attempt to cyber-bully Rebecca Black.

    The song is also undeniably the catchiest song ever written. After hearing it once, I had it running through my head all day long. It is an earworm.

    Rebecca Black is awkward, not very good at singing and abuses the english language in this song like any heterosexual male star in Hollywood does to their lover. I think that is partially what gives this song its charm, as well as the reasons Bub stated. I don't have a daughter, so I cannot listen to Rebecca Black through the ears of a child. But I have listened to it a second time.

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  2. Thanks Jake! I l'dol @ your comment "And I'm 90% sure this song was uploaded to youtube in an attempt to cyber-bully Rebecca Black."!!

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  3. This song will not leave your head ever! it's been two weeks since I listened to it and I can still hear it all note for note!!!

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  4. Nate, make a country cover!

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  5. Jake: already been done (not exactly country but folk) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FISHEO3gsM

    Bub: This was great. I'm sorry it took parents like you and Jake so long to watch this video! I wish we could have bonded over it when it came out.

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