Saturday, June 04, 2005

The True Meaning of "Awesomely Bad"

The phrase has enjoyed a strong use lately, especially thanks to VH1's recent special on "Awesomely Bad" music videos. What does awesomely bad really mean though? It sounds cool and funny because it is used to enthusiastically acknowledge something for being corny or awful. At the same time, this phrase seems to me a way for its user to distance himself/herself from the campiness of what he/she labels "awesomely bad," e.g. old Celine Dionne music videos. It is very much a hipster comment because it lacks genuity, never insulting nor lauding its target. Even though I currently have the phrase on my Instant Messenger profile, I advocate ending its use in favor of the compliment "awesome" or the criticism "bad," that is, in favor of going one way or the other. Meatloaf's "I Will Do Anything for Love," is awesome in its wrenching melody and its music video's old French Chateau-cum-1990s L.A. set. It is bad in its absolute melodrama, but melodrama is the stuff of opera, so maybe Meatloaf deserves a break. The Carpenters are not awesomely bad either because their songs, though full of melodrama, touch a chord. Hey, maybe even the hipsters who would deign them awesomely bad find some strange poignancy in "Superstar."

3 comments:

Gonzalo said...

"I will do anything for love, but I wont do that" what is "that"?

Anonymous said...

arg, people need to start asking better questions, especially when the answer is right there in the song.

"But I’ll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life, no way
And I would do anything for love, oh I would do anything for love
I would do anything for love
But I won’t do that
No I won’t do that"

"I would do anything for love, and I’ll take a vow and seal a pact
But I’ll never forgive myself if we don’t go all the way tonight
And I would do anything for love, oh I would do anything for love
Oh I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that, no I won’t do that"

Meatloaf

Okay, sorry, I'm just sick of that question.

Anyway, we need awesomely bad. There is good, like Lawrence of Arabia, there is bad, like, say, Master of Disguise, which is just painfull to watch, and then there is awesomely bad, like say, Mr. Nanny. Good: the Temptations. Bad: Celine Dion. Awesomely Bad: LFO. Three distinct catagories. Three names needed.

Elaine said...

You get points from me because you said the Temptations are good! I'm honored.