The Problem With Your Stare: Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” Vs. MC Lars & K Flay’s “The Game”
August 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm, by Jonah Rank
Note: The following contains references to adult themes.
If Jewish wisdom has one thing to say about love at first sight, it might be Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi‘s nugget on sight and insight:
In other words: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or: Don’t judge by looks.
A few years before Carly Rae Jepsen told some guy with ripped jeans, “Here’s my number, / So call me maybe,” K Flay approves of the jeans on some boy in the club, and confidently asserts, “You’re liking what you see, baby, so call me.”
“All these folks wanna hug and kiss,” observes Flay. “Seeing our style, and they can’t resist. / We attract hotties, / Perfect 10s with the banging bodies.”
Flay welcomes MC Lars (the other nerdcore star of Single And Famous, their collaborative EP), and Lars reassures us that he’s “a baller, / but I’ve got discerning taste. / Not about to hook it up with a butterface.”
Given his good judgment, what follows is MC Lars and K Flay suggesting perfect hookups for each other: “a startup CEO about to make mad money,” some girl with “a Minor Threat shirt and a rad tattoo,” a “dude [who] looks like Cristiano Ronaldo / (He’s five feet tall though),” and “a babe with a tramp stamp / [who] can do it upside down in a handstand.”
Having scanned the room to “see what [they're] all about,” Lars tells Flay, “Let’s get poppin’.”
Aside from the misogyny here, this is a song that’s hard for me to hear in ways. Random hookups are hardly synonymous with Jewish marital or sexual ideals.
I’m not sure if I can attribute it to Carly Rae Jepsen, or to Ben Knechtel, the director of the “Call Me Maybe” music video. Nonetheless, I am impressed by what he calls the “twist ending” of her acclaimed music video. Carly Rae gets it right.
The video teaches that looks can be deceiving. And infatuation can be misled.
I find it lame that we live in a society where “twist ending” = a physically attractive person turns out to be attracted to a sex other than your own.
If it’s truly a twist ending, I wonder if this means North Americans always expect to get what they want out of love, or at least hookups. Do North Americans pretend that emotions can’t get in the way of physical attraction?
Carly Rae’s video shows us that things sometimes don’t turn out like we hope they will. And sometimes they don’t turn out like they look they might.
Unlike “The Game,” “Call Me Maybe” demonstrates how it’s not worth judging a vessel by its outer appearance.
In a dating culture where physical attraction is so emphasized, this simple lesson often gets lost.
We have to look inside each other to find what we’re looking for.
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