Back when you were Black



For the barfing, green-clad university students, yesterday wasn’t Thursday at all. Indeed, it was Friday.

Friday, yes, Friday.

It’s easy to hate on Rebecca Black from our aged positions of wisdom. We are fine wheels of cheese. We have lived. We could sing about way cooler more interesting stuff.

Doubtful. In fact, weren’t we all naïve teenagers at one point? Haven’t we all had trivial, flaky moments like those Black expresses? Did we not dread those five monotonous days of school in favour of the weekend?

Humour me for a moment. Black is 13 and in the eighth grade.

I have here my diary from grade eight.

May 13, 2001:

“That was the best worst weekend I have ever had! On Friday we went to a kickass dance with awesome music and hot guys. Later that night at the sleepover I got heat rash. The next morning I woke up to the stomach flu. I was sleeping in the same bed as Maddy and she had the flu last week.”

Note my attention to the days of the week and their weighted importance in relation to my knowledge that I will never grow old and die. Note also the contrast between things that are “awesome” (admittedly, a longer word for "fun") in relation to things that are the “worst.”

If you had to condense this sentiment into a song, it would go something like this:

"Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday / Today is Friday, Friday (Partyin’) / Tomorrow is Saturday / And Sunday comes afterwards."

It is this period in adolescence that Black’s producers at ARK Music Factory target so aggressively. It comes before angst and after diapers. Do you not remember junior high dances with Aqua and Britney, the earliest users of AutoTune’s closest relation? You danced. You know you danced.

If you didn’t, maybe you grew up in a different generation, maybe a different country, but in a Western World junior high female context, tweens are psychologically built like Black. She hasn’t been forced to grow up early. She’s developing “normally,” whatever that means. She has an interest in musical theatre and modeling. She’s attempting to be a star through the new medium of her generation — YouTube. She’s wholesome, she’s got confidence, and she’s got more views than Kanye’s Runaway. Whether you like it or not, she speaks for an age group and we’ve all been there.

I’ll admit it: I laughed at Black. But this playground-style Internet bullying must end. These ARK tweens, after all, will inherit the earth.

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