I’ve known for a long, long time that humor is in the eye of the beholder. How many times have I seen or read something that I thought was howlingly funny only to find out that it was meant seriously or that others thought was really stupid? Oh, there aren’t enough fingers to count all the times.
So the advent of computers hasn’t helped my sense of humor at all. In fact, I’m continually baffled by what someone emails as a joke (ha ha?) or a YouTube link someone sends with the line “You’re going to love this!” (Love? What’s to love?).
The latest round of bafflement surrounds Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” I’d never heard the song before, nor did I know that it was controversial. To say that my musical taste stopped somewhere in the latter stages of the late century would be pretty accurate. So “Blurred Lines” missed my radar by decades.
I was alerted to the song and later saw the video that was done by Mod Carousel, a gay comedy group out of Seattle that I find wonderfully inventive and totally hysterical. (See their Swan Lake in minutes at Swan Tease: 12 Minutes Max from Paris Original on Vimeo.) Okay, so knowing nothing about Thicke or the original “Blurred Lines,” I thought the Mod Carousel version was the original–and I absolutely loved it. It stuck in my head for weeks.
Then after commenting to someone about how much I liked the song, I found out it was a parody. What? Parody of what? Huh? So I went back to YouTube and looked for Thicke’s version of the song. What? Yuck! Whoa! Horrible. Suddenly this song that I’d been humming for days and that had me bopping around the house was transformed into a nasty little misogynistic piece of near music. And just as suddenly I got the joke! Mod Carousel had turned something ugly into something beautiful, all in the name of silliness.
Finally, I felt the same sense of uplift that I did when I first heard Lana Del Ray’s “Hunger Games.” I never read the books (although I did sample them on Amazon and decided they weren’t for me), but I loved Del Ray’s song. Just like then, I got the joke.
Are you one of the ones lost in the back of the bus like me? Or are you one of the people who gets it, really gets it?
– Pat AAR