Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Kissed A Girl

The other night my wife was listening to songs on the internet and one had a very familiar title, but not a melody or lyrics that I recognized. Newcomer Katy Perry has a catchy summer hit with her song “I Kissed A Girl”.

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According to an Entertainment Weekly article, Perry is the product of a strong Christian home and has "Jesus" tattooed to her wrist. Her other ironically titled single is "UR So Gay".

The identically titled song that I remembered was by Jill Sobule from 1995. The video featured Fabio as a hunky boyfriend.

In the pre-Ellen/L-Word/Will and Grace world, that song was mildly shocking. Now a far inferior song with tune-cootie-ish hook will be hummed and sung my middle-schoolers for years to come. Interestingly, neither video features any actual kissing.

One of the signs of my incipient geezerdom is my perplexment at kids these days. Lindsay Lohan is just the latest celebrity to join the “does she or doesn’t she?” method of piqueing the public interest.

The whole Lesbian Chic and LUG phenomenon is puzzling, not that I mind.
The American male interest in sapphic soiries is of course purely prurient. Since I am unlikely to ever breach the gates of the Michigan Womyns Music Festival, one of the items on my bucket list is to visit Palm Springs on Dinah Shore Weekend.

Colleagues warn me that I am bound to be disappointed since Real Life Lesbians rarely resemble Porn Star Lesbians, but then few adult entertainers bear any similarity to real life people in any dimension. Still, I’d like to check it for myself.

In the meantime, I will have to settle for The L-Word and back issues of Girlfriend for my vicarious enlightenment. But I at least have hard-wired erotic responses to blame.

While I'm all for tolerance and openness, I think this trend could be a mixed blessing for the genuinely confused young women out there that are trying to come to terms with their sexuality without lots of mixed signals. With all this 'experimentation' going on, some hearts are bound to be broken when the novelty wears off. Just ask Melissa Etheridge.

The girl-on-girl infatuation stage seems to be an ironically chaste response to society’s hypersexual mixed messages. This new silly song may someday become as innocuous as kiddie party staple YMCA. But in the meantime, at least we can all agree that it is fun to kiss a girl.


Jeff and Charli Lee said...

I was trapped in the car with my 12 year old daughter the other day when this song came on, and she was singing right along as well. It didn't seem to phase her one bit. I quietly ignored the possible pending discussion let it play out unmentioned.

Great job on this post. Very well written and it captures exactly what I've been thinking.

Anonymous said...

Proof that there are a lot of different cultures in the US. I remember when the Jill Sobule song came out, and I didn't find it even mildly shocking. Mildly titillating perhaps, but certainly not shocking. But then, I was in that hotbed of sin Southern California, while you were down there somewhere on the fringes of the Bible Belt.

Man, the mid-90s were a great period for "angry chicks with guitars" (I forget which one of them said that): Paula Cole, Joan Osborne, Jewel, lots more.

Elizabeth said...

I've never heard either song before, but the second one is pretty catchy. I've also wondered if this new acceptence and coolness factor about lesbians will help young girls feel more secure in coming out. I had to go to Urban Dictionary to find out what LUG means. I think there is a lot of that going around too!

Pedeety said...

If more women knew the truth about what it's like to kiss a girl, says my newly-out, formerly-married-to-a-man girlfriend, they would ALL be lesbians.

Not to blow my own horn or anything.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I love the Jill Sobule song, not so keen on the Kate Perry cos its been played to death. Scary part is Perry started out as a Christian singer. That kinda makes me LOL>

yellojkt said...

I was going to spell out Lesbian Until Graduation but that seemed too pedantic.

There are a lot of pop bands with Christian or gospel roots. Jonas Brothers is another one. I guess church choirs are a great talent pool.

And I love the Angry Chicks With Guitars genre. Liz Phair is the queen of that niche.

cna2rn2009 said...

The worst part about this song is that when people find out I'm newly out they ask if my girl tastes like cherry chap stick... Now c'mon people. It's a song. Not every woman tastes like cherry chap stick.

And if you want to see what "real life lesbians" look like, feel free to take a hanker at my blog...

BTW congrats on getting your son off to college!