Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Le Grand Docu-Soap

Today I received a comment on a post I haven’t thought about, more or less, since I wrote it nearly three years ago. The post examines the song “The Loco-Motion,” which I apparently was thinking about a lot back then. Way back when, I decided that the song was fairly mean-spirited, mostly because it keeps telling the listener how easy a dance The Loco-Motion is to do — “My little baby sister can do with ease / It’s easier than learning your ABCs” — and even says that it magically grants happiness — “It even makes you happy when you’re feeling blue” — but never specifically spells out how to do it. All we get is that it involves jumping up, jumping back, getting the knack, making a chain, chug-a-chug-a motion like a train, and then eventually doing it nice and slow. That’s it.

Mean-spirited, right?

I thought it was funny, anyway, on an apparently dull day in September 2005 and wrote up my thoughts on it, which I chose to end with the rather flippant remark “Fuck you, Carole King,” as she wrote the song. (I’d later find out today that she is credited along with Gerry Goffin. My bad.) Nothing all that notable, though, and I quickly forgot about it.

The comment on this post reads as follows:
Chances are her husband, Gerry Goffin wrote the lyrics, and Carole King, the tune.
Drew....You're an idiot.
Fuck YOU! You rude bitch.
I immediately checked the blogometer to see where this delightful person, this arbiter of correctness and manners, came from: somewhere in Ohio, physically, and, in the online sense, from a Carole King message board, on which its frequenters are trying to determine whether a Yoplait commercial features music performed by the artist or not. A user by the handle “Little Prince,” who actually does seem to have some sense of politeness, posted the following:
Not sure I have seen the commercial referred to here, but do you think Carole would allow yogurt in The Living Room?

In googling for an answer to this most mystifying question, I came across a blog that I suspect is an attempt at being funny (not). The writer states he is "full of words." I think he is full of something else. If you find my insinuation here a bit offensive, do NOT read the last line of this guy's blog!
He linked to the Loco-Motion post. And this is fine, except for the post sentence “not,” which became uncool when I was in sixth grade, the exact moment adults started doing it. If Little Prince didn’t like the post, he had every right to say so, and I don’t really even feel like his posting the link was his way of trying to rally the rest of the Carole King-dom subjects to his defense. Anonymous, however, irritated me, and felt obligated to respond, which I did, in the form of my own comment. I’ve decided to post that here.
Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for you interest in my blog.

Apparently when I wrote this three years ago, I had been misinformed about who wrote the song. Goffin is indeed credited alongside King. Thanks for setting me straight.

Unfortunately, you got the impression that my post about “The Loco-Motion” was dead serious. One might think a hyperbolic title like “The Greatest Swindle in Pop Music History” would have been a tip-off, but if you didn’t get that, then you probably don’t see how one might jokingly consider a pop trifle like this one to be malicious. In short, it describes a dance that’s apparently easy and that also grants instant happiness, yet it doesn’t explain how to actually do the dance. Not that clearly, anyway. Out of context, the “Fuck you, Carole King” might seem flippant, but I feel in the tone of the article, it’s fine. If the dance truly does grant happiness and it truly is easy to do, then it’s an awfully selfish move on the songwriters’ parts not to have made the dance steps more explicit.

What really amuses me about you, however, is that you’ve apparently taken offense at my willingness to speak about Carole King in a harsh manner, and then chosen to do so by calling me an idiot, saying “fuck you” specifically to me, and then calling me a “rude bitch.”

What point, exactly, were you trying to express? That people should be nicer? Or just that Carole King doesn’t deserve to be subjected to what you’ve deemed defamation? Because if it’s the latter, believe me — she either doesn’t care or has a giant mountain of money to dry her tears on.

If I truly am a rude bitch, then at least I had the conviction to speak my mind openly, not drop a poorly punctuated anonymous comment on someone else’s blog — the online communication equivalent of a drive-by house-egging. Had you wanted to truly make yourself seem bigger than I am, you should have just corrected me and told me that you wished I’d spoken more nicely about someone you apparently admire.

But, again, thanks for telling me who actually wrote the song.
I either failed for bothering or succeeded in lowering myself to the level of someone who can’t understand the grammatical markings of direct address. It’s the John O’Hurley incident all over again.


  1. Anonymous9:19 AM

    You do tend to draw the winners, Drew.

  2. Don't forget to tell Clay Aiken fuck you. That really draws in the loonies.

  3. Oh humans. People are so really truly strange. Even if you really did hate Carole King, why does he care? He's acting like her 8 year old brother after you called her a "doo doo face." Geez...

  4. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Please, pleeease tell Clay Aiken fuck you in a post. I want to see what happens.