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Alanis Morissette Once Again Unintentionally Redefines Irony

April 3, 2007

If Madonna, the original Hipster, refined the use of irony in modern pop music, Alanis Morisette redefined it, unfortunatelywith poor grammar. Now Alanis has a video taking a pot shot at the Black Eyed Peas unintentionally funny song “My Humps,” in which she slows the song down to her speed, the funeral dirge, so that we, the literati, may chuckle at the song’s inane but innocuous lyrics. Just so we know that she’s being ironic, she’s released a video of her dancing around with some comically threatening White guys and wearing some iced out jewelery.

The parody is unfunny and misses an opportunity. She’s just slowed down the song enough so that the song is now out of it’s musical context. The song’s lyrics are just another layer of percussion for a dance tune, indicative of nothing other than pop music’s desperte need for hooks. Is what she’s saying that today’s pop music is empty calories? WOW!! Thanks Alanis, it is really ironical that you say that because that’s just what I was thinking while I was shaving! We need MORE former kid pop stars to let us know what is wrong with the popular music of today!

I suppose (as others have commented, like over at Poplicks) that in the video she’s attempting to comment on the objectification/commodification of women in “urban” music videos AND herself. Well, I don’t see it, at least with the latter. She’s tweaked the original a bit to show a bunch of men pawing her, okay. She has no intention of taking a shot at herself, unless you consider that she is ballsy enough to dance on TV without being able to dance well.

It might have been interesting to see the booty challenged Morissette do a straight cover of the song, yet really go extreme with the cars and jewels, mock Fergie’s attitude, make herself the aggressor and the one taking control in the millieu, something, anything but this.

The video is like a really bad Weird Al cover only without any bad puns. Or a Barry Sobel routine.
Now, the video:

and the original

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. bridgett permalink
    April 3, 2007 8:12 pm

    I thought it was her knowingly making fun of her own overwrought tendencies toward drama and self-importance — as in, “I could turn anything, including a stupid booty-shaker from the Black Eyed Peas, into a histrionic feminist dirge.”

  2. April 4, 2007 12:24 am

    And so the accompanying video would have featured her in one of her ultra-serious post-flower child monk spiritualist poses, perhaps sitting in a field of wheat. Now, that might have been funny. Maybe.

  3. bridgett permalink
    April 4, 2007 12:43 pm

    Yeah, true. Better.

  4. April 4, 2007 6:14 pm

    After watching both videos (thanks for providing both!) I have to respectfully disagree with your analysis. Perhaps my feelings stem from not being a big Black Eyed Peas fan, so there’s that. But I’m not an Alanis Morissette fan either.

    It seems Ms. Morissette is doing a couple things here. 1. She’s making fun of herself. At the end of her video she’s crying ridiculously and suddenly stops. This indicates knowing how overwrought she can be. And she knows she’s not exactly known as a sex symbol so by dancing & wearing sexy clothes she’s playing with how others may “see” her. Which I think is great. It shows humility. And for the record I don’t think her dancing was that bad.

    2. She was very much commenting on objectification in some pop videos. In the original “My Humps” Fergie and the other women in the video are scantily clad at times. The men never are. Infact at many moments Fergie is writhing aroud on a floor, on the back of a motorcycle, crouched below a man. All symbols of submission. She’s saying because of her T&A men want to spend money and be near her. In the spoof Alanis is kicking some ass! She’s not just letting guys feel her up because of her nice “lumps.” She’s sticking up for herself when these guys want to cop a feel. Defintely not submissive. And instead of just women being exposed she has a guy shaking his bumps & exposing some of his skin. It’s not just women showing flesh.

    You may disagree & I’m okay with that. I hope you have a great day though!
    ~F

  5. April 4, 2007 9:04 pm

    i don’t agree that the lyrics to my hump are innocuous. hegemonous. if that’s a word. i mean, it is explicitly a song about how great her body is. ‘my body is so great men want to have sex with me’. now, there’s nothing exactly wrong about that, but it’s not innocuous. it’s saying her lady lumps are worth writing a song about. and yeah, it’s just fun and whatever, but it still belies a political viewpoint, which might be just that there isn’t anything wrong with reducing yourself to your curves, but that’s still a viewpoint.

  6. ryan permalink
    June 18, 2007 8:12 pm

    Or maybe (just maybe) its all a bit of random fun. Go round youtube and see all the videos taking the mickey out of pop videos. The only difference here is that a celebrity is doing it, rather well i thought too! I say kudos to her for having the balls to do something as pointless as this!

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