Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Funniest Song Of The Year

It’s not Alyssa Alano’s Keys Me. It’s not Weird Al Yankovic’s You’re Pitiful or Bitoy’s Mamaw and Ulam (although James Blunt, Kamikazee and Cueshe are funny too). It’s neither The Speaks/Barbie Almalbis’s High nor Paris Hilton’s The Stars Are Blind. The funniest song of the year is It’s All Coming Back To Me Now. Start laughing!

The Celine Dion cover, sung by Meatloaf and Marion Raven of I would do anything for love/But I won’t do that (huh?) and Pretty, pretty boy I love you (eh?) notoriety respectively, just tickles me to no end. It is a perfect example of Things An Old Washed Out Singer And A Forgotten Pop Kitten Wanting To Stage A Comeback Shouldn’t Do. I first heard the song during an FX ride from SM Megamall to Antel Global in Ortigas. The ride was short, but it was enough to finish It’s All Coming Back To Me Now and half of Hale’s Tollgate. Imagine the horror: I didn’t know if I should disembark or pray for the driver to turn the radio off. Not wanting to waste money (I’ve already paid my fare), I closed my eyes and sang Graham Lindsey’s Matchbook Song and Damien Dempsey’s St. Patrick’s Day in my head. When I was done, Antel was within sight. Well, I didn’t know who were singing then, but I assumed the worst: Christian Bautista and Rachel Ann Go consummating their horrendous relationship (a prime example of Pierre Bourdieu’s symbolic violence, according to Caloy) in an all-out screamfest, worthy of a visit to the shrink and the ear doctor, in that order.

Come on! Celine Dion was already torture, surely nobody would think about making people remember such horrors, right? Twenty percent of Canadians emigrated out of the country because of her! So the next day, I began my investigation to discover the perpetrators of such an attempt at genocide. My faith in Google rewarded me with a video download. A few minutes later, I was watching what must be an eight year old’s remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Even on mute, the visuals alone would have made Joseph Ratzinger fall to his knees and decry the beginning of Armageddon.

All that gore reminded me of Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin’s rehabilitation of Renaissance French writer Rabelais and his treatise on the carnivalesque. The unbridled lusting, crazed bingeing, primordial gaiety and even frolicking physical mutilation was a spectacle of the Renaissance carnival that approximates what Meatloaf and Raven did to themselves – and to the listeners/viewers. I will come short, however, of stretching this extravagant juxtaposition to the inversion of social themes and structure and the temporary suspension of hierarchies that represent a theory of resistance. Let it end at the gory part. Suffice to say, its temporal disorder and disregard for linear narrative reifies the carnivalesque characteristic of the postmodern. By way of ending, let me ask this: Does anyone have a copy of Nunal sa Tubig?

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