Talk Dirty (Feat. Sufjan Stevens)
To fully address the problems produced by the song ‘Fancy’ by Iggy Azalea (feat. Charli XCX), one would need a much larger of area for writing than most are, perhaps, comfortable with. Therefore, I shall divide my complaints, and place only in this paper the two most obvious problems. The two problems I find with the song Fancy is firstly the pronunciation of the word ‘Tokyo’, which is incorrect to the end of being quite a large, and easily noticeable annoyance. Furthermore, the line, “I’m in the fast lane from L.A. to Tokyo,” in itself presents problems on many levels, both for the audience, and, probably, for the makers of the song.
‘Tokyo’ is pronounced with two syllables, ‘tō’ and ‘kyō’. But the ‘kyō’ is not pronounced ‘kee-yō’, but rather as one syllable. It needs to flow from the mind to the tongue, and out into the open world without the hindrance of an extra syllable thrown in to increase the singing value of it.
With that small complaint out of the way, I will move on to the more important philosophical problem within the song ‘Fancy’. It comes about when Charli XCX is, in the chorus of the song, bragging about how fancy she happens to be, and how the audience already knows (further adding to the song’s worthlessness: it is unnecessary to tell us something we according to YOU, already know) that she is, indeed, fancy. It’s a useless song if it tells us nothing. If, perhaps, Miss XCX were unaware that the audience knew of her fanciness, then she would have cause for singing the song: she needs to tell us what we do not know. But all she need do is tell us that she exists, and we can place her in the fancy category simply by being aware of her existence. She could release a ten-second song filled with absolute silence (the nature of which should not be discussed here), and we would be aware of the FACT that she is fancy, because we are aware of her existence. Don’t trouble yourself, Miss XCX. Just as long as we know your name, and we know you exist, we can be sure not to mistake you as some non-fancy being. Imagine all of the work that went into this song, when she might have done nothing and still been fancy! Poor Miss XCX! If only she had noticed this slight miscalculation, and warned her producers about it before the song went into mass production and was downloaded illegally by so many! She might have saved herself all of the trouble, all of the heartache that must have gone into this glorious piece of music were it not for this oversight. Oh, the tragedy. It is so beautiful. A woman strives for fanciness, only to realize that she IS fancy, and that we already know.
Indeed, after bragging about this fact, she tells us that she is “in the fast lane from L.A. to Tokyo.” Upon hearing this for the first time, I moved my head slightly sideways, thinking to myself, “did they building a highway from California to Japan?” I was immediately struck by the absurdity of the idea, and discounted it almost instantly, laughing at myself for being confused. (It took a quick google search to discover that I was right in assuming that they hadn’t, in fact, built a roadway from the United States to). After this quick moment, I was well into the verses, and my mind was focused on other bits of lyric from miss Azalea. She had some interesting things to say, no doubt, but I found my mind wandering back to the roadway from L.A. to Tokyo. Could Charli think that such a thing exists? Is she planning a trip to Japan via car? Should I warn her that she might have some difficulties in this endeavor? Then is struck me: the purpose of the line. It must be a symbolic gesture of moving from L.A. to Tokyo. But what could be the difference? Is she speaking of the cultural differences between the Californians and the Japanese? Is she convinced that Tokyo is a place that is more desirable to be than Los Angeles? Could Tokyo be better than L.A. in her mind? If she wants to get to Tokyo in the fast lane, it is clear that, symbolically, she means that she is getting there before the mediocre citizens of L.A. and in that is more fancy than the rest of humanity: it takes someone who is truly fancy (in their very nature) to take the fast lane from L.A. to Tokyo.
So, surely this is a symbolic line. I can judge from the “fast lane” bit that it is indeed symbolic, because I can safely assume that Charli XCX is not, at the moment of recording the song, traveling at high speeds on a highway in an automobile, in the leftmost lane, designed specifically for fancy beings. That being (probably) so, the rest of the line must also follow suit, and be symbolic in some way. The “fast lane” bit is probably symbolic two things: 1. all of the mediocre’s attempts to get to said place quickly, and 2. the fact that she, the fancy one (which must not be forgotten), is getting there quickly. It is always desirable to get to a good place quickly. That needs no further explanation. The second point relies upon the earlier statement that miss XCX is fancy, though I am taking the liberty of assuming that this is so. It probably is. So, we are left with the symbolism of L.A. and Tokyo, the former being lower than the latter in some way. It could be that Miss XCX is mistaken in thinking that Japanese culture is a universal desire for the people of L.A., for I am sure to imagine a human from L.A. lacking desire to travel (especially in the fast lane), to Tokyo from their home in L.A. Japanese culture certainly has it’s highlights, as does L.A. culture, but neither is, in the end, more desirable universally. It is, rather, a desire unique to those that have it. One may choose L.A. over Tokyo for one reason, or another. It would not be absurd to think of a person wanting to live in L.A. more than Tokyo. So why is Charli XCX assuming that it surely is the case that the goal of every human being is to get to Tokyo from L.A. in the fast lane? If this is not the symbolism involved in the use of these two places, then surely there must be a paradox, for the combination of these symbols (including the “fast lane” and the location to and from which the fast lane is traveling) result in a metaphor, but the lack of one of these symbols, or the incompleteness—and in the incompleteness, the lack thereof—leaves the metaphor, un meta-d. It cannot be a metaphor, but only a literal statement. But, as I have explained earlier, to take this statement literally would result in the absurd.
My advice to Miss XCX is only this: complete each thought before conveying it to the world. I would say that those fancy beings such as yourself do not typically make this mistake, this paradox, this problem. If I were Miss XCX, I would be ashamed to call myself a fancy one.
The ‘j’ in my name tears itself from my self and stares at my face. I is in the living room. I am frightened. We stand in silence, facing on another. I try to say my own name. I fail. I fall to the floor, convulsing uncontrollably. I can’t think. The couch is frightened. The floor is frightened. The ‘j’ hovers in mid-air. I am screaming, now. Suddenly. All is silent. I cease convulsing. I am no longer screaming. I can think again. I look up at the ‘j’ and rise, standing before it. The ‘j’ is ready to speak to me, to communicate. I stand watchfully, anxiously waiting for the ‘j’ to break the unbearable silence. The couch is anxious. The floor is anxious. The ‘j’ speaks, but I do not understand. It says something unknowable, but I am aware that it is attempting to pronounce my being. But it is doing so incorrectly. The ‘j’ is saying ME wrong. I shake my head. I topple over. I hit my head on the couch. I am crying, now. The ‘j’ will not stop incorrectly pronouncing my self. I am at a loss. It is over. Everything I have worked for. I lose control. I find my banjo. Christmas is near. I can feel it.
"how do you like it?" asks the ‘j’.
I look up from where I am sitting on the floor. I cease strumming my banjo. “I don’t understand,” I tell it.
"…how do you like it?" it asks, more forcefully.
I sit, staring vacantly at the ‘j’, at the unknowable.
i am crying again.