Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Black Eyed Peas: Where is the Hyphen?

In the absence of a hyphen, we might have good reason to assume that it's the peas, rather than the eyes, that are black. However, the linguistic latitude afforded to artists, in the prevailing postmodernist climate, introduces an element of doubt. If they had called themselves the Lame Brained Peas, we might have been willing to extend a similar courtesy to their cerebella. I'm not sure which is the most disconcerting aspect of this linguistic license: the fact that the prodigiously successful Peas are prepared to limp roughshod over the English language, or the fact that we allow them to do so with impunity -- almost no-one cares (assuming they've noticed). Pop's proletariat are, seemingly, happy to overlook an element of linguistic abuse, as simply part of the package deal, when musical mandates are extended to the Hip-hop-pop-rock-racy.

If The Lame Brained Black Eyed Peas' linguistic transgressions were mitigated by musical distinction, then they would have little to fear from an Attack of the Pedants (it's doubtful if such a beleaguered minority could assemble a barber's shop quartet, let alone an army), but the critical momentum seems to be growing.

from via 3QuarksDaily:

"Taste has no system and no proofs"—this much we know. But some 40 years after the critic Susan Sontag made this and other observations on the good, the bad, and the in-between, the times have a-changed: Irony and camp have recast taste as an ethical shell game and we feel no guilt celebrating things that are, in the parlance of VH1, Awesomely Bad. But are there still songs that qualify as "bad"? Consider the Los Angeles hip-hop quartet the Black Eyed Peas. Their current single, "My Humps," is one of the most popular hit singles in history. It is also proof that a song can be so bad as to veer toward evil.
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