The Secret Genius of Ke$ha
Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 19:11
About one year ago, my radio was invaded by an annoying, presumably alcoholic woman who sang about how she woke up feeling like P. Diddy and only slept with guys who looked like Mick Jagger.
Naturally, I was horrified.
By all accounts, Ke$ha seemed like the most vacuous, empty-headed woman on the planet. All of her songs were about drinking heavily and having anonymous sex. Admittedly, there's nothing wrong with either of those things, but when they're the only topics someone discusses in her music, you have to wonder if she has any personality whatsoever.
Taking all this into consideration, I had to wonder how anyone could be so shallow.
Then, I realized something. Ke$ha's not shallow at all; she's a genius. She's making terrible music on purpose to make a point about just how bad mainstream music has gotten. Much like Joaquin Phoenix did in I'm Not Here, Ke$ha is playing a very elaborate prank on America, and so far, no one has noticed.
I know this seems a bit far-fetched. It's strange to think that a pop star's entire career could be one big, ironic performance piece, but the evidence points strongly toward this conclusion.
Let's look at the facts; for one thing, Ke$ha is pretty smart. She received a near-perfect score on her SATs, and in interviews, she generally comes off as thoughtful and articulate – not at all like the woman who told a gentleman caller to "show me where yo d*** at."
Ke$ha also seems oddly self-aware about how terrible she is. Her Twitter name is @keshasuxx, and when Chelsea Handler told her she looked like trash at this year VMAs, she simply said "thank you." It might have seemed like her way of telling us, "I don't care what you think," but perhaps she was really saying, "You're right, I do suck. Thank you for catching on."
Finally, by all accounts, her taste in music is pretty good. In a Rolling Stone interview, she stated that her favorite album was Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline. Shortly after that statement, a clip of her singing Radiohead's "Karma Police" appeared on YouTube.
So, how do you go from Dylan and Radiohead to singing about boys trying to touch your junk? That question had stymied me, but I eventually figured it out.
It turns out, Ke$ha and I are kindred spirits. She has the same contempt for most modern pop that I do. The difference is that while I just complain about it in columns, she decided to give the industry a taste of its own medicine.
She wrote the most vain, idiotic songs she could possibly think of, hoping that the public would recoil and realize how foolish it had been for embracing such crap over the years.
Unfortunately, the plan backfired. The public ate it all up, and Ke$ha wound up representing everything she came to take a stand against. As it turns out, the American public is so shallow that it will send anything with a good beat to the top of the charts no matter how insipid it is. As a result, Ke$ha's grand point was lost, and she fit right in with the Black Eyed Peas and the Pussycat Dolls.
Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe Ke$ha is just a talentless disaster who can't write about anything more than boys, sex, and drinking. Still, I like my version better. It allows me to have a little respect for Ke$ha, and more importantly, to think there's one person in the music industry who knows how bad things have really gotten.