Remember when we were teenagers and we'd listen to our favorite records? (Remember records?) Invariably, our parents would bang on the door and tell us to turn down the volume on our stereos. (Remember stereos?) The noun used most often for our beloved popular music was "noise." As in, "Turn down that noise!"
At the time, of course, we couldn't imagine being so square, so old, so completely out of it that we would confuse music with noise.
Well, what goes around, comes around. My teen daughter and I may share many things, but our musical tastes are ... um ... different. I hate to confess it, but I just don't get a lot of today's hits.
Thank goodness for Zumba. Really. If it weren't for my Zumba classes, I would be even more in the dark about contemporary tunes than I am. You see, 2-3 times a week (4, if I'm being particularly good), I not only hear the latest songs, I dance to them.
This past week, two of my instructors added "Gangnam Style" by South Korean rapper Psy to our class. It must have been hysterical to watch a room filled with mainly middle-aged women gyrating and galloping in a sorry attempt to imitate PSY's signature move. (I'm sure any flies on the wall were laughing themselves to death.)
"Hey, sexy lady" indeed.
By anyone's measure, "Gangnam Style" is a worldwide phenomenon. With nearly 530 million (yes, million!) hits on YouTube, the video has been parodied by everyone from the British Prime Minister to the United States Naval Academy. It has provided the catchy soundtrack to countless flash mobs. And, it has been praised as a "force for world peace" by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
This morning, a friend had posted a video meme of the song on Facebook. I absentmindedly hit play as I was packing my daughter's lunch. The song's ubiquitous techno beat opening started up.
"Ohmigod! What are you doing?" my daughter called out in utter disgust.
"I'm just looking at a "Gangnam Style" video," I explained.
"Ohmigod," she repeated. "That's just wrong on so many levels!"
I didn't ask her to elaborate. I mean, how many levels of wrong can one mom take? Instead, I shut it off quickly and decided to wait until she was safely out of the house on her way to high school before attempting to watch it again.
It made me wonder, however, what other teens may be thinking about "Gangman Style." Is it cool? Is it stupid? Or, perhaps more to the point, was it cool and now it's stupid because so many moms are trying to dance to it at Zumba?
Mystery solved. Here's a take on it directly from the teens themselves:
"I do! I just like it so much!"
"The way you feel about it is just like awesome."
"This is the randomest video I've ever seen. But, it's the best video."
That last one, my friends, is my favoritest quote.