The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Monday, May 15, 2006

They're Too Sexy For This Blog



I've said it once, I've said it twice. Something was terribly awry with American culture in the early 90s. As strange and dysfunctional as American pop culture in the year 2006 seems to me, nothing can compare to the unbelievably bizarre clothing, hair, and music that somehow managed to dominate this strange nether-period between the excess and greed of the cocaine-drenched 1980s and the dot.com/boy band boom period of the later Clinton years. Yet out of all the profound weirdness that epitomized the 90s, nothing seems stranger than the phenomenon of Right Said Fred.

Certain events in history are constantly analyzed to figure out how and why they occurred : George Bush becoming President of the United States, the Holocaust, the unbelievably unwarranted rise to success of the Black Eyed Peas, but no one has effectively scrutinized why the pop star wunderkinds known as Right Said Fred, became the biggest band in America during the summer of 1991. Oh, sure people made fun of Right Said Fred at the time. They still do. All the time. But making fun of Right Said Fred is very similar to making fun of Chris Martin, it's cheap, easy, and ultimately very satisfying. And yet, it's easy to figure out why people like Coldplay. The members of the band are vaguely talented and Chris Martin is a nice stand-in for people who find Thom Yorke too intellectually taxing (and for the record Thom Yorke is far from a Mensa candidate).

Ultimately, the question remains: how in God's name did Right Said Fred, perhaps the most flamboyantly homosexual act since the Culture Club, storm to the top of the charts with a song called "I'm Too Sexy," and no one even questioned how a song this terrible, this weird, and so incredibly stupid could become the most popular song in the entire nation (it did hit #1 on the American charts, not to mention #2 in Britain behind Bryan "Canada Has Repeatedly Apologized For Me," Adams). Are to believe that at any time, a song and a video like Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy," is just waiting to strike? Are we to believe that tomorrow, two young British men have the potential to wake up and draft a song and music video featuring them flexing in mesh see through-tees. This is too much for me to handle.

What people don't seem to realize about Right Said Fred's shocking rise to popularity is that people went out and actually bought their record and watched their video. Sometime in 1991, millions of normally thinking Americans heard "I'm Too Sexy," on the radio or MTV and said to themselves, "Hmm...this is a pretty good song. These Right Said Fred boys are okay. I think Ima' go to the Wherehouse and pick up their album. I hope there are some more gems like "I'm Too Sexy On It."

Americans are normally a very homophobic people yet somehow they side-stepped all their prejudices and rushed to purchase an album made by two brothers whose sole attempt to claim musical legitimacy seems to involve lines like "I'm too sexy for my cat." 15 years later we're viciously fighting over whether or not gay marriage should be legalized, but not too long ago, American culture had no problem embracing two men who brag about "shaking their little tush on the catwalk." Huh? (Side note: The usage of the word "tush" in a song automatically nullifies any chance it may have of being a decent song. See "Tush" by Ghostface Killah and Missy "Rosie O' Donnell of rap" Elliot. However, this rule does not apply to ZZ Top.)

But perhaps the most fascinating thing about Right Said Fred isn't the cultural tidal wave that they began (what tidal wave? I'm getting to it), but that the members of Right Said Fred, Limey brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass were actually accomplished musicians before starting a band that gave off the appearance of being born in a Berlin S&M dungeon. Apparently, Fred Fairbrass, the singer in the group went on tour at one point with Bob Dylan (this really is true). I can just imagine the conversations that must've gone on between Freddy F. and Bobby D.

Right Said Fred: "Bobby, I've got this great idea. Me and my brother are going to start this group called Right Said Fred. Our first single is going to be called "I'm Too Sexy," and the lyrics will involve me telling millions of people how not only I am too sexy for New York but that I'm also too sexy for Japan. What do you think? Does this spell hit or what?"

Dylan: It's no "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding," but it's close. It's definitely very close.

However Freddy wasn't the only brother with musical bona fides as his brother Richard (who I'll bet dollars to donuts went by the nickname Dick) played bass with David Bowie and Mick Jagger on tour. Potential screenwriters start your engines now!

And now for the cultural ramifications that you've all been waiting for. You see, at first, I didn't get how Right Said Fred had occured, thinking their success to be an outgrowth of the culture at large, rather than seeing them as bold new vanguards of a cultural shift. I was wrong. If anything, Right Said Fred were innovators. Studying the lyrics and the video of "I'm Too Sexy" reveals it to be a not-so-clever satire of models. Think of it as a poorly done prototype for Zoolander. To the lazy observer, one might think of Right Said Fred and models and think that there's nothing more to the equation. However, 1991 is widely held as the dawn of the Supermodel era , and while there were supermodels prior to 1991, nothing compared to the adulation and attention that supermodels received in the period between 1991 and 1997 (when it is assumed that the era ended). The reason for this trend is simple: Right Said Fred.

Take into account the success of "I'm Too Sexy," and then think of the waves that it sent through the music and fashion industries. Dare you think of a little 1992 knock-off hit called "Supermodel," by she-male Rupaul. Or how about the sudden rise to fame of Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Elle McPherson, and Claudia Schieffer. Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Cristy Turlington. How about the ill-fated and much hyped Fashion Cafe, that featured the financial support of Turlington, McPherson, Schieffer and Campbell. Or how about a little 1994 movie that esteemed director Robert Altman did about the supermodel phenomenon called Pret A Porter. One can ascribe a variety of reasons for the madness that ensued during these years, but the answer is simple: Right Said Fred.

Oh sure, today there are supermodels that exist today, but one can't claim that they occupy the same space in the American zeitgeist that they did in the mid-90s. Perhaps this is a good thing. After all, who really cares about super models? But for a shining moment in time, Right Said Fred certainly cared about supermodels. They cared about walking on the catwalk. They cared about cats. We are in a very volatile time in America. There is war, rising interest rates, creeping inflation, gas shortages, but most importantly, we are living on the brink. At any time, Right Said Fred could return, or even worse, a Right Said Fred imposter, waiting to unleash some sort of fashion extravaganza on the unsuspecting vigilance. The moral of the story is thus: we must be vigilant people. You never know when the next Pussycat Dolls song might start a revolution. At arms.

However, one might wonder what the lasting impact of Right Said Fred was on the American cultural landscape. It would seem that since the supermodel trend is long-since over, any impact that Right Said Fred might've been washed away in the tide with the rest of pop culture flotsam and jetsam. Again, this is wrong. One only needs to watch a little movie called "The Pacifier" to see the impact of Right Said Fred. Have the men of Right Said Fred ever been seen in the same room with Vin Diesel? I think not. It seems that almost every time we got to the multi-plex these days to see an amiable movie about a guy who doubles as a spy/babysitter (genius) we see Right Said Fred. Apparently, they weren't too sexy for the movies.

15 Comments:

At 9:11 PM, Blogger shaa said...

http://by22fd.bay22.hotmail.msn.com/cgi-bin/getmsg?msg=MSG1147338767.8&start=13224&len=1507&mfs=&cmd=prev&lastmsgid=MSG1147338774.9&msgread=1&etype=&wo=&curmbox=F000000001&a=fb0a4a82a4aabbdc33b9ecfa1408518ff1487a0c578d356a216dd0ba57eea52c

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger amphimacer said...

Okay, smart guy, enough with the Canadian jokes. We gave you Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Robbie Robertson (The Band) -- and Steve Nash. And you're complaining about Bryan Adams? At least if you're going to complain, complain about Celine Dion. Now that's embarrassing. Or our new Dubya-wannabe Prime Minister (really embarrassing). But leave poor little Bryan alone. He's not hurting anybody.

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

But most importantly, Canada gave us Alex P. Keaton, Marty McFly AND Teen Wolf. A wonderful land. Though, we will leave Alanis Morrisette out of this discussion.

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger Nate said...

Canada gave us Brett the Hitman Hart and Jacques Rougeau...enough said...

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger CrimeNotes said...

Vin Diesel would star in the Right Said Fred movie. Side by side, the resemblance is remarkable.

And while they might have played bass for Bowie and Jagger, I'm sure you know the rumors about those two.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Ian said...

Lay off "Pret A Porter"...if not for that movie, we might've never heard "Here Comes The Hotstepper." Life would be meaningless.

As for "tush," I gotta agree. It's just not a euphonious word. It's hard to believe ZZ Top would use that instead of "ass" or "can."

And I always thought that Thom Yorke's lyrics were the weak link in Radiohead. They're one of my favorite bands, but I hope no one ever asks me to explain why.

 
At 4:11 PM, Anonymous silawe said...

Wait, I am pretty sure that Daddy Day Care was Eddie Murphy and The Pacifier was Vin Diesel. I never saw the latter but I will have to bow my head and admit that I liked Daddy Day Care, it was cute.
You should also blame the 90's for Ugly Kid Joe, yuck. Oh and The Offspring, you could call them the Ugly Kid Joe of punk rock.

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody has pointed out that Canada also gave us Pamela Anderson and for the record most Canadian women are fine as hell. Quite possibly too sexy for this blog.

 
At 11:00 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Ini Kamoze is without a doubt a seminal figure in the mid 90s pop world. If Sean Paul or Shaggy thinks for one second they'd exist without Here Comes the Hotstepper they'd be sadly mistaken.

Agreed about Thom Yorke, why do people find him such a genius. He has a great voice no question, but the music in Radiohead is clearly what makes them standout. Though I may hate on him at times, any man who made the comment: Coldplay? They're just lifestyle music, is a-ok in my book.

Sylvia, thanks for the heads-up. I guess I get my closeted movie star tries to play a loving but stern role model for young children films mixed up. The Pacifier was the gem I was thinking of.

And obviously Canadian women are the finest import from the land of ice and snow (or is that Norway?). They may or may not be too sexy for this blog, but notice how Right Said Fred did not mention being too sexy for Canada in the song. Only NYC and Japan. Coincidence I think not.

 
At 11:19 PM, Blogger nerina said...

um was Avril Lavigne mentioned?

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Not unless Right Said Fred has done an updated 2006 edition in which case someone has a lot of 'splaining to do.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Joey said...

"Hot Stepper" was a crowd favorite at many a bar mitzvah from my youth.

Just imagine if Cam'ron made one of his delusional mixtape songs using a sample from Right Said Fred. James Dobson would probably have to hold a press conference to denounce homosexuality, black people, and the British Empire.

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Nate said...

Canadians did create the blackberry, so all of the hollywood elite that read your blog should be bowing down to them a bit. And I guess the Zamboni was pretty cool in it's own right. But any country with Mounties is alright with me. Earthquake and Typhoon (The Natural Disasters) were also both Canadian. Rick Fox and Steve Nash are also Canadian...that's 3 championships and two MVPs..

 
At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This time the holocaust will be black.

Austrian Sigmund Freud is known as the father of psychoanalysis yet people have (mental) health problems because of their disfavor, illustrating the preditory purpose of this discipline, this individual.
These people.

Of course Hitler was Austrian. Glock, maker of the semi-automatic gun favored by the most ruthless of black street gangs, the Bloods and the Crips, is Austrian.
RedBull Energy drink, Buwdeiser both Austrian.

The Holocaust was foreshadowing, yet another example of the Jews sacrificing to help the disfavored::::
1. 1492 exodus from Spain.
2. Spread throughout Europe as clue to heathen Christians worshipping a false god.
3. "Quasi-Holocaust claim" contradicting boss.
The Apocalypse (or an Apocalyptic event) will be initiated by an Austrian. When the national referendum to allow foreign-born individuals to run for president is introduced I recommend you DEFY and vote NO!! In the years prior to this vote the gods will send POWERFUL clues suggesting the IMPORTANCE OF DEFIANCE.

It will be the Koreans. There may not even be any invasion:::They gods will scapegoat them telepathically.
Black people like the ones who terrorized Korean businesses during the 1992 riots in California will be executed. I have personal reinforcing evidence.
This time the holocaust will be black.

Italy's boot is a clue showing the god's intent with the Romans.
Oshkosh. Oshkosh is a clue just as Lake Michigan and Green Bay are clues::::
Oshkosh is the ejaculate clue:::Life springs forth from this city.
Expect your traditional Second Coming of Christ to come from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Consistant with the possibility of matrilinial lineage it may be the mother's family from the Lake Winnebago area fulfilling some "Manifest Destiny" bullshit theater.

1. Corporate sourcing violently punished::::
They suggest the whole "sourcing" era, where it is positioned that their brain-less clones obtained product from China and other Asian countries for the lowest possible price, will be punished violently if the gods elect to employ the "Chinese invasion" script.
One of the reasons it was so important to get out before 1980 or before the end of each 20-year war-revelry cycle (1960, 1980, 2000, 2020, etc).

2. Deception of Southern rednecks to blame for Republican control:::::
Republicans, party of preditory disfavored, keep guns available. Easy gun availablility is an "open door" for the gods, a tool used to prey on the disfavored.
Republicans, party of preditory disfavored, gave you the Clinton impeachment theater 1998.
Republican loyalty is why noone cares that rednecks are set up for the slaughter.

The Simpsons offered many clues to the disfavored, not the least of which the frequent references to "pack/mob mentality".

This isn’t about reals and clones. This is about the brains and the brain-less.
This is the key which unlocks the god’s puzzle.

Kosher is a favor bestowed upon the Jews. The South eats LOTS of pork and there is a oyster bar on every corner.
It's kinda like liquor stores in the ghetto. This is the kind of irony the gods laugh about:::::

gods got rid of the retarded woman who lived across the street, prior to the fall of 2006 so your handiwork wouldn't stare you in the face while there was so much attention.
gods took similar evansive manuvers w/ bi-racial.

Bill Clinton wasn't impeached because he lied.
Bill Clinton wasn't impeached because he was orally copulated.
Bill Clinton was impeached because it was 1998.

HOW TO PRAY:::1. I'm sorry for what I've done wrong. 2. I don't want to sccumb to temptation and make any more mistakes. 3. I want to fix my problems. 4. Please don't hurt me.

We will ALL be held to the responsibilities entrusted to us, no matter what temptations contradict this.


If you don't do the right thing you're going to do the wrong thing, and the right thing to do is to ACTIVELY fix your problems and pursue the favor of the gods.
If you're not working hard to fix your problems, if you don't creatively work to get the hell off Earth then you will be consumed by it, by the reverse positioning-institutions they instilled as temptations::::popular culture, democracy, materialism.

 
At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Tsukiko said...

So, what exactly is your point?

I think it's absolutely pathetic and homophobic to post an entire entry on how lame Right Said Fred is and how "I'm Too Sexy" sucks. You don't like it? Leave it alone.

I think it's a great song, and in case you haven't noticed, North American mainstream culture is still "too sexually devprived" for you. Go with it or quit whining about it. Right Said Fred IS sexy, and there's nothing wrong with them or weird about them.

The only weird thing here is you and your old-fashioned, anti-gay, conservative views.

 

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