If pop ate itself, this is the pop centipede - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #219

Meghan Trainor doesn’t appear to live in the world. Perhaps her brain is kept in a vat of iodine plugged into some psychotic Norman Rockwell Barbie-and-Ken four-square blocks of Mcarthyite America, or maybe she’s a member of ISIS determined to bring down western civilisation, and like a devilish mastermind has figured the best way to despatch infidels isn’t by blowing a bag of nails into your guts in the bathroom of a service station Little Chef but to flood the market with such harrowingly, ennui-inducing tripe that any member of the public listening to the radio will be compared to hang themselves with a belt, or queue up at the nearest bridge or high building.

Or maybe she’s a vacuous pop tart with less depth than a teaspoon and the musical talent of a potato falling down an especially echoey mineshaft. There are good pop songs, I know because I’ve heard them on occasion. Good pop is composed of creativity and quiet power, not a candy-coloured sucker-punch of paradoxical memes and wink-nudge sexuality more middle of the road and whitebread than a drive-through bakery. Meghan Trainor has three songs that I can bear to hear, mostly because they’ve been fed to me on the office radio like I had been tied to a post, blindfolded and given a last cigarette before a firing squad pelted me with shit. I’d say the middle child of the thalidomide babies was the least stunted, but even that is the kind of helium-balloon hollow that will see delicate listeners clambering into the trees or wandering into the sea, convinced that every development in human evolution after that point was a mistake. It’s called Lips Are Moving apparently, and they are, how else would I fit the shotgun barrel in? It’s also literally an advert, which is the sort of breathtaking next-level irony that almost had me convinced this was a deep-art project to demonstrate how far from rational discourse, intelligent debate and deep feeling we’d really come.

Werner Herzog said it best. You must not avert your eyes, this is what is coming at us, this is what a collective anonymous body of majority wants to see on television. It is horrifying because like a shocking overdose of Xanax or Benzedrine accompanied by night driving or a late-afternoon blood-warm pitcher of largactil and Tennants; people seem to want to join Meghan in her iodine vat; rather than face the impossibly grim corporate apocalypse. Sitting in front of the television, the warped images and contrasted colours burning into the retinas, bit by bit forgetting what pain tastes like, forgetting what sensation and deep feeling can do. In a fug of prescription drugs, shit booze, terrible telly and Meghan Trainor, we may completely lose sight of the cure for what ails us.

Written under duress by Steven.

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