Gemma and I recently watched the 2006 film Idiocracy and I can’t recommend it enough. Luke Wilson plays the most average man in the US armed forces, who is selected for a top secret experiment into freeze-drying humans. He was meant to be awoken after a year but – you guessed it – ends up being frozen for 500 years. In the meantime, various factors combine to cause the human race to gradually become more and more stupid. They replace water with Gatorade, watch films called things like ‘ASS’ (which features one close-up of a man’s arse farting for 90 minutes) and are governed by an incredibly vain former pro-wrestler. Actually, it felt more like 50 years in the future than 500, but you get the point.
Shortly afterwards, we watched 5 minutes of Big Brother on Channel 4 and switched off, shocked. Yes, Big Brother was stupid before we ever saw Idiocracy but it had always at least seemed funny. Not any more. Society really does feel like it’s getting stupider. Dumbing down, it’s often called. BBC Breakfast has been reduced to a 2-hour commercial for forthcoming BBC television programmes. Car surfing is the new cool pastime. Kate Nash is in the charts.
There are many reasons to dislike Kate Nash. Her popularity, for example, or her chart success. It would be perfectly acceptable to dislike her for sounding very similar to Lily Allen – the dropped-aitches of their mockney accents are particularly grating. But none of these things make me dislike Kate Nash as much as her lyric:
You said I must eat so many lemons
Cos I am so bitter
You see, lemons aren’t bitter. They’re sour. Now I’m not the first to point this out but I am probably the first to waste half an hour writing a blog post about it. That lyric renders an already poisonously self-involved and poorly structured song so infuriating that I nearly wept when I first heard it. Last time I heard it, I immediately thought of Idiocracy. I mean, sure, there have always been bad pop lyrics around but this young woman is being lauded on all sides. She’s being given recognition and praise for a songwriting talent that just doesn’t exist.
Another thing I don’t like about Kate Nash is her use of the gender card. Responding to yet another suggestion that she might sound a little bit like Lily Allen, Nash said:
It’s lazy journalism and also quite sexist that there’s not enough room for more than one female singer songwriter from London
No, Kate: the reason that people are comparing you to Lily Allen is because you sound more or less exactly the same as her. It’s not sexism at all and I reckon it’s pretty low of you to use such a fallacious claim in order to divert attention away from your rubbish music.
So, yeah, I don’t like Kate Nash.