Monday, July 02, 2007

A deconstruction of the modern American male circa 2007 via the lyrics to a Gym Class Heroes song

(Note: It is quite possible that Gym Class Heroes were not trying to capture the zeitgeist of an entire culture's gender with the lyrics to one pop song, and do not deserve to be this thoroughly scrutinized. Tough shit.)

"CUPID'S CHOKEHOLD"

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

In modern American society, girlfriends are defined by their ability to "put out," ensuring that their boyfriends can "get a lot" (I, like Gym Class Heroes, am referring here to fucking). A girlfriend who does not enable her partner to get a lot is therefore not much of a girlfriend.

It's been some time since we last spoke
This is gonna sound like a bad joke
But momma i fell in love again
It's safe to say i have a new girlfriend

A modern American male who falls in love often is to be considered a joke, and an unfunny one at that. Even by his own mother.

And i know it sounds so old
But cupid got me in a chokehold
And i'm afraid i might give in
Towel's on the mat, my white flag is wavin'

When speaking metaphorically about romance, modern American males rely on imagery either extremely cliched (Cupid, Roman god of erotic love), soldierly (the white flag of a battle surrender), or homoerotic (the multiple wrestling references).

I mean she even cooks me pancakes
And alka seltzer when my tummy aches
If that ain't love then i don't know what love is

A modern American male's ideal partner is one with strong mothering instincts.

We even got a secret handshake
And she loves the music that my band makes
I know i'm young but if i had to choose her or the sun
I'd be one nocturnal son of a gun

The modern American male is stunted in a preadolescent developmental state, is narcissistic, and has extremely unhealthy priorities.

(ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)


It's been awhile since we talked last and i'm tryin' hard not to talk fast
But dad i'm finally thinkin' i may have found the one
Type of girl that will make you way proud of your son

Modern American males constantly seek their father's approval.

And i know you heard the last song about the girls that didn't last long
But i promise this is on a whole new plane
I can tell by the way she says my name (ba ba da da)

Modern American males do not learn from their mistakes. Also, they judge attraction based on the timbre and cadence of their mate's voice.

I love the way she calls my phone
She even got her very own ringtone
If that ain't love then i don't know what love is (ba ba da da)

Modern American males do not know what love is.

It's gonna be a long drive home but i know as soon as i arrive home
And i open the door take off my coat and throw my bag on the floor
She'll be back in my arms into my arms once more for sure

Modern American males sense of entitlement is such that they not only demand but fully expect they be given first priority by their lovers, even if they throw their shit around wherever they feel like it.

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)


She's got a smile that would make the most senile
Annoying old man bite his tongue
I'm not done

Modern American males have no respect for the elderly, and are impatient to boot.
She's got eyes comparable to sunrise
And it doesn't stop there
Man i swear

(see previous annotation regarding metaphors)
She's got porcelain skin of course she's a ten
And now she's even got her own song

Modern American males have a points system for assigning worth to females. From the ones that write terrible, terrible, terrible songs, being extraordinarily white guarantees a perfect score.
But movin' on
She's got the cutest laugh i ever heard
And we can be on the phone for three hours
Not sayin' one word
And i would still cherish every moment

Communication between a modern American male and his love interest is vapid and empty, which is exactly how modern American males prefer it.
And when i start to build my future she's the main component
Call it dumb call it luck call it love or whatever you call it but
Everywhere i go i keep her picture in my wallet

Modern American males are concerned with planning the rest of their lives in a sensible, thought-out manner. (Okay, I'm going to call bullshit on that one)

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)


ADDENDUM: While googling these lyrics, I discovered that it is somewhat of a rewrite of the title track off of Supertramp's 1979 release Breakfast in America (a terrible, terrible, terrible album, mostly notable today for how many suburban dads own it*). This speaks volumes about the overall state of the modern American male, and also explains why "Cupid's Chokehold" is so aggressively shitty.

NEXT TIME: A DECONSTRUCTION OF THE MODERN AMERICAN FEMALE CIRCA 2007 VIA THE LYRICS TO A WILDLY POPULAR HIT SUNG BY A HALF-DOZEN IDENTICAL AND RETARDED CHEERLEADERS

*: (okay, I think "The Logical Song" (featured on the Magnolia soundtrack) is kind of awesome, but I'm owing that more to Paul Thomas Anderson than the talent of a bunch of coked up, beardy yacht rockers)

12 comments:

Ryan said...

Joe:

Every morning during my sophomore year at Rice, my suitemate would wake up to a double-speed, Eurodance remix of "The Logical Song" playing very loudly from his stereo alarm clock.

I can tell you it was funny at first, but after eight months of it being the first thing you hear every single morning, it wasn't that funny.

Princess Sparkle Pants said...

Joe Mathlete: If you weren't a ducky and I weren't a princess sparkle pants, which would clearly be wrong, I would want to marry you and have your children because of this post. Just so you know.

Tanya said...

I was already enamored from Marmaduke, but now I'm smitten.

Brian said...

I loves me the Mathlete, but fuck you, Supertramp is untouchable.

Patrick said...

I'm not kidding, I just saw a commercial for one of those albums with kids singing contemporary pop songs, and this was one of the tracks. I cringed, vomited a little in my mouth, and considered turning off the television. Then a decided that the everyone else in the waiting room might object. So I just when outside to smoke.

James Lamb said...

Hey, I own that Supertramp album, and I don't live in the suburbs (yes, slightly past middle-aged, but the dad part was never proven) !

o.k., so the whiny male voice is an acquired taste; remember your first beer? But you have to admit, the lyrics of many of their songs are amusing; yes, amusing enough to be echoed a generation later ?

Adam said...

I gotta disagree, for once, Sir Mathlete. Supertramp is, in fact, fairly awesome. I'm honestly surprised you didn't recognize the sample-- what kind of bandleader in this great decade doesn't recognize The Tramp? They're no Journey (I admit that freely) but they beat Styx with sticks, and even the mighty Foreigner has a hard time topping them.

Loverboy never stood a chance.

Loverboy has always sucked.

Joe Mathlete said...

Wow... Was totally unprepared for this much Supertramp love. I guess most of the above vitrol stemmed from the bewilderment that they'd be "sampled" (if this really even counts??) 30 years later by this sort of band. Those who do not study history are doomed, etc. etc.

I will admit that they're not the worst band of all time, even though they're not my cup of pee. Opinions, as they say, are like assholes: mine makes much more sense than everyone else's.

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