Thursday, March 24, 2011

Songs that Changed the Landscape of Human Thought and Understanding: Rebecca Black's "Friday"

People make a really big deal about certain days of the week. Nobody likes Mondays. Out of the seven days in a week, most die on a Tuesday. Wednesday is rather perversely known as "hump day." Thursday ... well, I honestly can't tell you what the hell is Thursday good for. But we all know the one day of the week that undoes the previous four days and gets us ready for the next two: Friday. Thankfully, thirteen year-old Rebecca Black reminds us how much this day of the week totally dominates in her 2011 smash hit aptly titled "Friday."

Friday hasn't always been the most popular day of the week. In fact, it is common knowledge that Saturday was THE DAY throughout most of human history. This changed, however, in the 17th Century, after the first performances of William Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It, when it appears that Fridays and Saturdays became tied as the favorite days of the week. In it, Orlando commands Rosalind to "love" him. Rosalind replies, "Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays, and all." From this point until the release of the double-whammy of the 1975 television comedy show Saturday Night Live and the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, it appeared that people still preferred Saturdays. However, the following year saw the release of another disco classic, Thank God It's Friday, and the tables forever turned. From this point on, Fridays were King. The film itself is solely responsible for this exultation. Subsequent studies have in fact proven that Friday itself is absolute proof of a Judeo-Christian God, hence the very phrase "Thank God it's Friday," and, of course, that glorious chain of fine dining establishments, whose food has more product in it that Guy Fieri's hair. Plus, would the formerly most pissed-off rapper in the world Ice Cube have made THREE films about the day if it wasn't so inherently excellent? I think not. When he says, "Damn it was a good day," it's of course Friday he is talking about, not lame ass Tuesday. Seriously. Besides, who would ever eat at a place called Thank the Absence of a Deity It's Friday? TTAOADI Fridays just doesn't roll off the tongue well at all.

Like blue moons, or people who have watched Showgirls all the way through sober, Friday's are rare. They only happen once every seven days. As a result, we need to be constantly reminded about them and their genius. Fortunately, Rebecca Black reminds us, and how. Nestled over a Euro-dance groove, Black's mixolydian dulcet drone of a voice presents Fridays for what they really represent: possibility. According to Black, Friday's present all kinds of crazy options. Should one be "kickin' in the front seat," or perhaps decide on "sittin' in the back seat"? "Everybody's looking forward to the weekend," she sharply observes. She points out how strong desire really is, in ways no other human has so directly expressed. While people have "fun, fun, fun" and like to go "partyin' partyin'" on the weekends, looking forward to all this fun and all this partying is far more cathartic. The weekends become, to evoke the theorist Roland Barthes, a pleasureable text, a jouissance, as our desire for revelation is intrinsically more pleasurable than the revelation itself. Also, because Friday's are so rare, we often forget "yesterday was Thursday" and that "tomorrow is Saturday" and "Sunday comes afterwards." It's that intense of an experience, this Friday thing.

In short, we should all not only Thank God It's Friday, or Tell God to Shove It Because It's Not, but we should Thank Rebecca Black for Reminding Us How Awesome Fridays Are. Even if that creepy rapper guy who makes a cameo toward the end of the song seems way too thrilled about passing a school bus.

Here's the brilliant promotional clip for the song:


  1. I'm horrified by this. "We, we, we so excited." That's not even good grammar. Rebecca needs to be spending more time in school, which doesn't happen on the weekend, unless you went to school in the 80s.

  2. This is sad. The video, not your post. But also that you sat through the entire video to see the rapper fired up about "riding in the front and back." And sad that I did, too. Speaking of the 80s, that's where the girls in the backseat (precariously perched on the hood) got those god-awful dresses.