Guilty pleasures. We all have them. No doubt on Voices of American Sexuality you'd expect me to jump into the underworld of sex - say sounding or vampire fetishes. My vice is simpler and perhaps more dangerous - I am a sucker for a good pop song. Tacky, you say, perhaps even immature in a 40-some year old male. Whatever. You try writing a great pop song - the formula may be simple, but few succeed. Hum ... am I talking about sex?
Anyway, once that magical musical phrase gets in my head, it's all over. Occasionally my addiction meets the approval of my social circles' ever so eclectic tastes - like Gorillaz' Feel Good Inc. More often the prognosis is (1) the beginning of social ostracizing (as in my high school years when I'd pop out the first Clash album to hear Earth, Wind & Fire's Fantasy) or (2) finding myself suddenly having the greatest conversations with folks a few rungs down the generational ladder.
Right now, the culprit is Rihanna (here at the Grammy's) and her Umbrella. Talk about a killer song, and all those great mixes and mashups, including Party Ben's Tender Umbrella, which got me hooked in the first place.
So for the past few months I've been packing a full fledged girl crush (for your straight folks, that's the queer equivalent of a man crush). Needing to fill my growing need, I turned to - gasp - celebrity blogs. My getting wet under the umbrella has been an eye opener. Rihanna stealing Jay-Z from Beyoncé. Rumors of menage-a-trois between Rihanna, Jay Z and Beyoncé. Rihanna showing too much cleavage. Alleged Rihanna sex tape. Rihanna's skirt too short. Rihanna's skirt just right. So much talk about so little. And tired gender stereotypes of "good girl gone bad" and all that comes with that.
I like seeing Rihanna - she's got a great energy, and I still get that smile when I hear Umbrella. But I really don't care who she's dating or what she's wearing or what products she's endorsing. And I'd like to think I can find more interesting things to talk about. Or do I? Maybe there are reasons our pleasures are guilty...