Bad song lyrics, Rants and Whimsy

Katy Perry vs Similes

June 16, 2014

Let me just start this by saying I like Katy Perry. This is in no way a hate blog, a complaint blog, or a bitch fest. I love sparkle tits, comedic music videos and really pretty hair. Katy has all of these things. Frankly, if you’re in the mood for cheerful pop music you could do worse that Katy Perry. We all need some pop in our lives, you can only slit your wrists to emo rock so many times before you realise a wide and varied taste in music is better for your mental health and well being. Well, it works for me.

Anyway, I’ve noticed that Ms Perry has a certain affection for similes. I have a certain affection for taking things far too seriously and completely missing the point. So let’s take this to its logical conclusion. Let’s bury ourselves deep in rhetoric and attempt to ask why. For no reason whatsoever that isn’t covered by the great protagonist of innovation that is “shits and giggles”.

The Song: Firework
The Simile: Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?

Let’s start somewhere obvious. No, I’ve never felt that my present condition could be likened to that of a plastic bag. Mainly because I’ve never taken the time to consider how a plastic bag feels. Katy suggests that plastic bags want “to start again”. Really? Are plastic bags actually that heart-breakingly nostalgic? Is this only plastic bags, or do paper and cloth bags long for their lost youth as well? I guess if you’re a bag of any kind, the epitome of your existence is to be used as an aid for carrying things. If you’re a bag full of things, en route to a new location, you’re living the dream, baby. You’ve successfully achieved your goal in life.

So then, one could assume that a plastic bag flying free in the wind is fresh from a successful thing-carrying-journey and has been discarded, to go, to be free and enjoy its victory out in the big wide world. Is this the worst case scenario from the bag’s point of view? It’s done its job, and now it’s getting out of the house, visiting the world and enjoying retirement. It could be worse. It could be in the fire, in the trash, in land fill, or suffocating a marine mammal. Maybe this is what it fears. Maybe Katy is trying to tell us that plastic bags feel an intrinsic need to recycle and reuse. Maybe plastic bags care for the environment, and when they’re not being used to carry things they fear involvement in environmental mayhem and wish to return to the safety of the grocery store. Maybe the lyric is actually saying, “do you ever long for the days before you were the primary cause of a major ecological disaster?”. It’s a very specific fan base she’s targeting with this one.

The Song: Firework
The Simile: Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow,
And when it’s time you’ll know

You know what, if your heart were to glow like a lightning bolt we can be pretty certain you’d know about it. Thank you for the tuneful warning, Katy, but we know we’d know. That’s a massive electrostatic discharge happening right there in your chest cavity. It may only last a split second, but there’s a great likelihood of death. It’s also fairly nasty for onlookers, gazing in terror as your tits become incandescent with a fiery glow. You’ve probably just melted your ribcage. I don’t even want to think about where the thunder’s coming from. Pretty uplifting stuff, huh?

The Song: Hot N Cold
The Simile: You change your mind,
Like a girl changes clothes

Ok. I get what this is trying to say. Girls like clothes and fashion and stuff and they have lots of different outfits, where as you, man-who-song-is-about have as many differing changes of opinion as girl-who-song-is-about has outfit changes and it’s creating some difficulties within your relationship.

But let’s break this down. Do women really change more than men? Some people will wear the same clothes for a week. Some will change multiple times a day. I suppose most people will have one set of clothes for bed, maybe another set if they’re exercising or doing something physical, then they have the clothes they go about their day in. If they are doing something fancy in the evening, they may change from their day clothes. If they have a job that requires a uniform, this may have to be factored into the mix as well. But generally, this is the same for boys as it is for girls.

Even if song-girl likes to mix her outfits up, she’s still working from the same wardrobe. She’s probably even reusing some of the same pieces in different outfit combinations. Everyone has their favourite items of clothing that go on heavy rotation in your wardrobe each season. Let’s face it, song-girl probably has her signature style and she sticks within that genre. It’s unlikely that she’s going from hippy chick Monday, to rubber dominatrix Tuesday, to goth Wednesday, to disco-sparkle-too-tight pants Thursday, to sweatpants and dirty tshirt Friday, to stylish and demure dress Saturday through to animal fancy dress costume Sunday. And if she is we possibly have some insight into why this guy is having such a hard time figuring out if he likes her. That’s a lot to take in during the course of a week, when you also have to remember to take out the rubbish bins, feed the cat and turn up for work on time. He’s probably a little fried.

The Song: Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
The Simile: I smell like a minibar,
DJ’s passed out in the yard

Do minibars have their own specific smell? If she just means that she smells like a bar, then that’s quite different than a minibar. There are dingy bars, high class bars, bars that need cleaning after a long night… These bar variations can mix the smells of urine with spilled, discarded alcohol, the lingering scent of sweat and possibly the much dreaded aroma of a mystery vomit. These musks would fit with the theme of the song.

Conversely, a minibar is pretty much a small cupboard (and fridge, usually) filled with snacks and drinks. Maybe Katy is trying to say that she smells overpriced? Maybe she feels that she smells like someone taking advantage of the hungry and the lazy? If this is the case then she really ought to have explored it further into the song as it’s just kind of dropped when she finds the DJ passed out.

Of course, you could open everything in the minibar and tip it everywhere, creating a bar-after-a-party type smell and mess, but you’d probably have to be fairly drunk in the first place to attempt this, and thus bringing with you a unique selection of smells related to bad-decision-making, so I feel it unfair to attribute your morning-after aroma solely to the minibar.

The Song: Birthday
The Simile: So make a wish,
I’ll make it like your birthday everyday

Who wants a birthday everyday? Sure, cake and presents are a positive aspect of this birthday everyday scenario. But then you have rapid aging, a constant terror of surprise parties and phone calls and visits everyday from acquaintances and family members who you were happy only to deal with once or twice a year.

Your Facebook notifications feed will be rammed with messages from people like that guy you sat next to in class when you were eleven, but you’ve never really spoken to since, and he now considers himself to be the freaking birthday fairy. You’ll get too many cards. People will run out of witty niceties to write on these cards. You’ll eventually lose friends as people start to avoid you.

Then we come to the obvious problem of what to do when you have an actual birthday? How do you differentiate it from the way you live your day to day life? And if you do manage to differentiate it then you need to carry on doing that same thing everyday for the next year because you have vowed to to live every day like it’s your birthday and this new thing is now what you do on your birthday.

Basically, if you do get to make a wish, by all means wish for cake. Wish for balloons. Wish for a distortion in the space time continuum if you must. But don’t wish for it to be your birthday everyday. You’re just making it weird. For everyone.

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