On Motherhood & Sanity

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kissin’ U~ guest post from TalesfromthHood

I'm really excited that the first guest post on Motherhood & Sanity is from a DAD. I've often visited him on his blog Tales from the Hood to rant about the complexities of development work, so now I guess it's his turn.

I hate Nickelodeon.

I’m serious. Give me rat-infested accommodation at the foot of an active volcano.

But spare me from Nickel-frickin’-odeon.

And of course, either the cause or effect of me hating Nickelodeon is that my kids watch it incessantly. If I sleep in for even ten minutes past normal, if I don’t haul my arse out of bed at the arse-crack of dawn, get downstairs and turn on the news, by the time I’m sipping my first coffee of the morning it will be with Jimmy Neutron annoyingly omnipresent in the background. When I walk in the back door at home after a hard day of explaining basic aid work to marketers, SpongeBob and the Fairly Odd Parents will be there to greet me along with my kids.

But more than anything else, I blame Nickelodeon for getting “Kissin’ U” by Miranda Cosgrove stuck in my head.

* * * * *

Okay, I can admit that she was mildly amusing as a precocious tween, opposite Jack Black in School of Rock. But even by the time she’d graduated to Drake & Josh, Miranda Cosgrove was full-on annoying.

Now that her album (Sparks Fly) is more or less mainstream in the tween world – and I offend myself by even being aware of the existence of this album – she’s reached new annoying heights. Annoying, like karaoke emanating up from the floor below until 3:00 AM, or like the snake-charmer outside a famous temple.

For those who don’t have children or who, for some other reason are not familiar with Nickelodeon’s format, they typically will promote their child prodigy singers by playing length-edited music videos between episodes of Victorious or Big Time Rush. The video that seemed to get the most airtime over the summer was – you guessed it – “Kissin’ U.”

It’s the typical, drippy teen-pop that you’d expect. More or less a modern remix of what we might have heard 20 years ago from Debbie Gibson or Tiffany. And the problem is, I can’t get it out of my head.

Gah! I’ve listened more hours of AC/DC, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, Cinderella, The Black Crowes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, My Chemical Romance, the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Billy Idol, the Virgin Marys, Wolf Mother… you get the point… than many others my age.

And yet, I cannot seem exorcise “Kissin’ U” from my brain.

Give me impoverished, desolate, dangerous places; let me eat bugs or cubes of congealed blood; give me armed guerillas and minefields; let me miss my flights and be stuck an additional two nights in Dhaka; give me dysentery and giardia.

But spare me from Miranda Cosgrove and that annoying song, “Kissin’ U.”

I have this sort of revenge fantasy that all the Nickelodeon teen pop is actually written by a bunch of fat, tattooed rednecks, out in the woods drinking Bud Light© and pissing themselves laughing:

Bubba: “Hey Cletus, check this first verse out – ‘Sparks fly, it’s like electricity; I might die when I forget how to breathe...’

[All laugh hysterically. Bubba falls off stump in a drunken stupor.]

Cletus: “That’s perfect, man. Way to release your inner teenaged girl. Here, what do you think of this for the chorus – ‘’cause when I’m kissin’ you my senses come alive, it’s like the puzzle piece I’ve been tryin’ to find...’”

[More hysterical laugher. Roscoe opens up two more Bud Lights, hands one to Cletus…]

* * *

Some of you may remember the awesome post about “Musical Stockholm Syndrome over on the Esteyonage blog, last November. Read it. As anyone who’s ever searched through a bin of pirated music looking for the extended Elton John collection or for whom “Careless Whisper” evokes memories of being evacuated knows, Esteyonage is dead on. It is totally the Stockholm Syndrome. For music. And now I know that parents are at-risk, too.

I’m pretty sure that Chris Cornell could kick Megan Cosgrove’s cute little ass in the real world, but no amount of Soundgarden can get “Kissin’ U” to stop playing in the background of my brain. I ran for one hour today and listened to Iron Maiden the whole way. But even before the chords of “Number of the Beast” had totally faded away, I was already humming the chorus of “Kissin’ U.” I have a few minutes in the evening to pick up my Telecaster to try to master the guitar solo in “Hells Bells”… but the intro to “Kissin’ U” wants to come out instead.

A few weeks ago in a moment of resigned weakness I bought and downloaded “Kissin’ U” from iTunes. Hurts me to admit it, but it’s catchy and maybe even a little bit cute. I have an iPod playlist that’s “child-friendly” – music to listen to in the car when the kids are in it. It’s mostly classic rock (my wife got grumpy with me for getting our daughter singing “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas). But “Kissin’ U” is on there. My kids roll their eyes and complain about “Back in Black”, “I Wanna Rock And Roll All Nite”, or “Edge of Seventeen”, but they light up and sing along when “Kissin’ U” is up. (Some days that fact alone makes me wonder if I’ve failed as a parent.)

I’ve embraced my musical Stockholm Syndrome, though. I can’t say which of the global hell-holes I’ll be deployed to next. But I do know – and I’m chagrined to say it – “Kissin’ U” will probably be on my playlist for the trip. Somewhere between Alice in Chains and Fatboy Slim.


Ian said...

It could be worse. For me it's California Girls by Katy Perry. On the plus side though, they have soundly rejected Miley Cyrus, and I did manage to get my kids to sing along to Bohemian Rhapsody.

J. said...

Ian - outstanding! I will add Bohemian Rhapsody to the child-friendly playlist today.

Relatedly, I always chuckle at the fact that Chuck Thompson, in his book "To Hellholes and Back" refers to Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, et al as "teenaged harbor trollops."

Alex@LateEnough said...

This makes me even more overjoyed that I don't have cable and my kids can't program the radio yet.

Rachel said...

Spongebob I understand, but you REALLY don't even a LITTLE BIT enjoy Jimmy Neutron or the Fairly Odd Parents? Huh. Seriously, they're, like, legitimately funny!