Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let's Go Get Raped!

Sex, drugs, alcohol - yawn, boring. These things have been an idolized part of pop culture for so long that they no longer turn heads. They have been firmly cemented into our party psyche to where it's a regular thing to cruise high, pop a bottle, and get laid. Regular Friday night. No big deal. What's next?

How about rape?

Well, date rape. And, actually, BEING raped, to be exact.

As an avid pop culture/party observer/goer, I am as fascinated by the latest in revelry trends as the next guy. Also like him, I like to keep an eye on the future - sort of try to predict what might be the next big thing on the party menu. And it has come to my attention that it is becoming increasingly popular to wake up after a weekend of partying and have little idea of what you've just done - or been done to.

A trend probably started by 2009's The Hangover, waking up clueless after a party has since become such a cliche that it sounds trite just mentioning it. That's because it is following the path previously taken by sex, drugs, and alcohol toward a thorough de-mystification, regularization, and integration into modern party culture.

The Hangover was so brilliant that it skyrocketed its three formerly unknown stars into immediate fame, made almost $500 million dollars to date, won a Golden Globe, and inspired a rash of music and film references, as well as a sequel. It essentially made 'forgetting' cool.

Thank you, Hangover.

Waking up clueless is difficult to do with alcohol but easy as pie, as depicted in the films, with roofies and other anti-remembering pills. These pills are most well-known for their rape-related side effects. Forgetting comes with pills, which come with rape.

Tonight, Tonight, by Hot Chelle Rae, currently number 12 on Billboard's US Pop chart and number 20 on their US Hot 100 chart, states: I woke up with a strange tattoo - not sure how I got it, not a dollar in my pocket - and it kinda looks just like you mixed with Zack Galifianakis.

Smile, by Avril Lavigne, which peaked at number 36 on the US Pop chart, says: Last night I blacked out, I think - what did you put in my drink? This was done to her by someone she is in love with. She lists the fragmented things she remembers doing, comments on her obligatory new tattoo, and then says she'd do it all over again.

Good Life, by OneRepublic, currently at 16 on the US Hot 100 and 6 on the US Adult Pop charts, talks about waking up in a strange city, having no idea how he got there, but having some pictures on his phone.

Last Friday Night, by Katy Perry, currently number 4 on the US Hot 100 chart, is entirely devoted to describing a scene similar to the post-party Hangovers. There's a stranger in her bed, a warrant out for her arrest, and she's trying to connect the dots. Last night is a blacked out blur and she thinks she kissed someone but she forgot.

Then there are the many less-obvious references. Big Sean's My Last has a verse dedicated to waking up not remembering anything. Katy Perry's ET discloses how she wants to get filled with poison, abducted, and become a victim. The album containing Sleeping With Sirens' hit song Do It Now, Remember It Later peaked at 78 on Billboard's Hot 200 and hit number 5 in the Hard Rock chart.

The weirdest thing about this latest rash of date rape songs is how in each case the drugging has happened to the artists themselves, possibly self-inflicted or possibly done to them by someone else. They are thrilled with it and, in many cases, state explicitly how they can't wait to do it again.

Now that my point has been proven, let me emphasize that I'm no naysaying conservative and I'm definitely NOT a conspiracy theorist. This is just information, for better or for worse.

There may be a day in the near future where it's the cool thing to wake up sore, scarred, and clueless. Don't think it couldn't happen - it wasn't that long ago that Elvis was banned from the MTVs of his era for doing what by today's standards is a slightly comical dance. Rendering yourself clueless could very well be the next big thing, if it isn't already.

Where will you be?

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