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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What aren't they watching? 

One answer is, apparently, Rebecca Black.

You might recall, dear readers, the teen phenom who burst on the scene this past Spring with the pop ditty, "Friday." Audiences were captivated with Ms. Black because of the rags-to-riches story that accompanied her hit. She was not promoted by the multinational companies that run the record industry. Her Mom paid a local recording studio $4 grand and young Rebecca picked a song that "felt like her personality." Although derided in many quarters, she was a YouTube viral sensation with over 170 million views of the original video.

The song was no worse for the wear when we viewed it again today.1 We did not understand the vitriol Ms. Black generated then, and we still don't get it now. We found her generally charming, for example, this mature, composed appearance on the Tonight Show that belied her age and newness to stardom. Having grown up in era when Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and Paula Abdul hit the charts, we couldn't find a significant qualitative difference between typical bubblegum pop and Ms. Black's music.2

However, as the title of the post indicates, her fifteen minutes must be up. How do we know? For one thing, she was recently contracted to play AOL's employee holiday party. Is there any less hip company than AOL?3 And the YouTube event of that little soiree, it truly tells the tale. Check it out here. And note the 57,000 hits, less than 3 one-thousandths of the hits she got for her original video. To give you, dear readers, a dramatic conceptualization of that kind of drop-off: it is the equivalent of the following, if the Sun, which is some 96 million miles from Earth, were suddenly less than 3 one-thousandths of that distance, it would be some 30,000 miles away and we would all be fried crispy.

Like Ms. Black's career?

1According to Wikipedia the original video was removed from YouTube in June after almost three million "dislikes." It was re-uploaded in September.

2Don't even try to go with that Autotune card, dog. Plenty of legitimate musicians, even those with great voices, let them play around with their sound on the Autotune... okay, okay we concede she can be kinda hard to listen to, but that never stopped many stars.

3Don't say Time Warner, we were looking for un-hip, not down right evil.

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