Brad Paisley’s satire

Okay, so what is it with Brad Paisley? He likes to do cultural criticism, doesn’t he. I just heard his new song “Online” on the radio. It’s much like his “Celebrity” from a couple years ago. The first satirizes people who assume fake online personalities, while the second satirizes the cult of celebrity — or, rather, how celebrity brings out the worst in celebrities.

But in the first he makes fun of the pizza delivery guy, the stereotypical trekkie who lives with his mother and who “never got to second base.” And in the second he makes fun of a similar stereotype: the guy who longs to be a singer, but can’t quit his job at the dairy queen (at least that part shows up in the video if not the recording).

I have to admit, the videos are funny (William Shatner is hilarious). And the songs do make fun of two definite foibles (fake personas and bratty celebrities). But I wish Brad hadn’t thrown in this idea that the laughable ones include the nerds, even the average Joes, who try to buy into society’s superficial values. It’s just a turn off. There’s enough of the ridiculous among the “big guys” in society to keep us laughing for centuries, so…

Or, maybe I’m over-reacting.

! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + Post Script

Well, I’ve been here at OSU for a week, and this is the first post I’ve made! Ah well… My first few days here, to be honest, I was plagued by an icy anxiety. But, fortunately, every day the air feels warmer and that demon is drying up and fading away. Mostly now I do a lot of smiling about how lucky I am to get to devote two years to making myself a good writing/rhetoric scholar and teacher. hee hee :-)

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3 thoughts on “Brad Paisley’s satire

  1. While I think there is some validity in the criticism of the online culture that Paisley performs in this song/video, it seems to me to be a thinly veiled defense of masculinity. We’re meant to laugh at this guy who can’t seem to get manhood “right”: socks with sandals, a crappy car, living with his parents, not “scoring” with women, and he uses an inhaler (and of course, the ideal of masculinity is a heterosexual, able-bodied stud).

    I think the end of the video is an attempt to show that all performances of manhood are valid as long as they are “real” (that is, not online) and you get the chick in the end, but the video fails to take into account that all performances are just that… performances. Why is it different for the character to perform “band nerd” “in real life” than it is to perform “GQ stud” online? And, perhaps more importantly, why is it different for him to perform “GQ stud” online than it is for Paisley to perform this physically? What makes one “unreal” and the other “real”?

    And yes, Shatner is hilarious. “I can’t sing?” Tehe.

  2. Thanks, Michael! Very interesting — the idea that the video is trying to show that online “manhood” is not real “manhood.” Perhaps anything so airy-fairy as cyberspace can’t be masculine. No steel, no muscle, no physical power at all. Can’t have that. Too uncomfortable. Must be unmanly.
    Laura

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