Where is the line between ironic commentary on sexist attitudes and wink-wink tacit endorsement of said unreconstructed chauvinism? Not sure – can you mock boorishness by being boorish or does any usage of this line of argument, this ‘fighting fire with fire’ attitude, however well-intentioned, inevitably end up endorsing attitudes instead of challenging them?
Yep, there’s a new Steel Panther song online. I’m stuck between admiring the pitch-perfect homage to Eighties Hair Metal and being slightly troubled by the absurdly sexist lyrics. Lyrics which, it must be said, are underpinned by an undeniable wit and sense of parody – and spend just enough time poking fun at the absurd shortcomings of the male ego to perhaps balance the uber-male tomfoolery going on in the songs for the rest of the time.
I have to admit that I’m loving this song, but I wonder just how many people (and by people, I mean to say young male metalheads) hear this stuff and don’t get the parodic subtext or the referentiality inherent in the band’s mock-biography (though nowhere near old enough to have been part of the LA scene at the time, the band’s biog claims that their musical career began in 1988).
I spend enough time on my blog hoping that people see beyond the surface of things and get to grips with ideas which might lurk under the surface of pop culture, so you might hope that I can extend a band like Steel Panther the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their intentions.
You never had to worry this much with David Lee Roth…