Monday, April 09, 2007

A Challenge To Mims (And Others)

My classmate is tired because she spent all night running MANOVA analyses on pathology data. You’re not because you didn’t. That’s the basic logic behind Mims’ one-hit wo-, I mean, breakout hit “This Is Why I’m Hot.” Already, you can tell something is a tad amiss.

“I’m hot ‘cause I’m fly / You ain’t ‘cause you not.“ Obviously, Mims didn’t pay any attention to that ludicrous Calculus I lesson, either. You remember it -- sponsored by the Colorado Tourism Bureau. “It always snows in Colorado. Sally lives in Colorado. Has Sally seen snow?” Yes, she has. She has, okay? She probably goes skiing in March with her father, the wealthy mitten manufacturer. Meanwhile, we Tennessee kids clutch our Trapper Keepers to our chests, buffering against early spring tornadoes.

But sometimes it snows in Tennessee. Just because we don’t live in Colorado, where it always snows, doesn’t mean we’ve never seen snow. We’re hot, too! Or cold, whatever.

Rob Harvilla at The Village Voice sees my point. In this article, forwarded to me by the delectable Mr. Words, he offers “a graphical dissertation on the number one song in America.” Actually, Harvilla supports Mims’ reasoning, and maybe he should, given the massive radio play of “This Is Why I’m Hot.” If popularity implies veracity -- if, as V.I. Lenin said, “Quantity has a quality all its own” -- then little Sally will never see a tornado. Beyotch.

It’s fine for Mims to proclaim “I could sell a mil sayin’ nothin’ on a track,” but let’s see him put his closed mouth where other people’s money is. If you’re so hot, Mims, can you get a degree sayin’ nothin’ in a thesis? There’s my challenge.

Okay, I realize a master’s degree doesn’t demand recognition like, say, a gat. Your next album will be prominently displayed at Virgin Megastores nationwide, while my thesis will sit on a shelf above the psychology administrative copy machine. But think of the turf wars you’d win with Master P. “You call yourself ‘Master,’ but where’s your thesis? Look over there, above the copy machine. Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

In the event that Mims cannot write my thesis, I’d like to enlist the deductive skills of these musicians, as expressed in their hit songs:

John Mayer, “Waiting on the World to Change.” In this tune, Mayer indirectly reveals that his childhood home never contained dirty dishes. Old Mrs. Mayer never announced, “Somebody better wash these dishes! They won’t just wash themselves!” Ah, but if you wait long enough… I’m happy to wait for my thesis to finish. In the meantime, I’ll be over here playing Sims.

Bonnie Raitt, “I Can’t Make You Love Me (If You Don’t).” You can’t make a coffeemaker make orange juice, because it makes coffee. This is sort of a no-brainer to me, but Ms. Raitt’s song is a staple in lite rock‘s oeuvre. (It’s also on more than one of my mopey, high school “unrequited love” mixes.) Extrapolating from this song, a strong sense of ethnic identity protects self-esteem against ethnic discrimination because it does. Or it doesn’t because it doesn’t. Funny how Bonnie Raitt begins to sound like Mims.

The Beach Boys, “California Girls.” This song begins with a solid thesis: “I wish they all could be California girls.” Brian Wilson et al then proceed to list the virtues of girls from every state but California. East Coast girls have fashion sense. Southern girls have cute accents (howdy do!). Midwestern girls are strangely comforting. Northern girls are great kissers. Hawaiian girls look good in bikinis. California girls…? What’s left? Know how to apply sunblock? Have a strong sense of ethnic identity?

Anyway, they don’t live in Colorado, so they’ve sure never seen snow. That is, perhaps, why they’re hot.