Linda Perry, a songwriter behind hits like "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera and "Get The Party Started" by P!nk, is approaching lifelong nemesis status for me. She's the singer-songwriter behind 4 Non-Blondes and their epically shitty "What's Up?".
4 Non-Blondes is a band you could look at, know they were annoying as people, and sense what they smelled like. And Linda Perry continues that to this day. Here's a recent clip of her talking about how she loves beaver (ha! ha! she's a lesbian! get it?) and how Justin Bieber looks like a girl. HAW HAW HAW!
I'm not above remarking on Justin Bieber's epicence quality, but I put some effort into it. There's something about a tanned, tatted-up raccoon-eyed Skeletor making a lowball joke about a boy who looks like a girl (a joke that would have KILLED in 1982) with an acrid, molting bowler that's - ugh! And the interviewer laughs, as he is obliged to, while Perry pretends to be the new Fran Liebowitz! No, Oscar Levant! Oh, you raconteuse, you!
When the A.V. Club's ongoing "Hatesong" series (it's hit & miss) got to "What's Up?" it felt soooo good. Mickey Melchiondo from Ween goes deep:
I remember hearing it and thinking, “This is the most obnoxious fucking hollering I’ve ever heard in my life.” I could envision the horrible, horrible female that was singing it, and I knew that it was gonna be a hit, just by how bad I hated it. I knew that it was going to be played for years by every fucking bad girl band that came through my local bar, and sung on every karaoke night for the rest of time.
Aaah. Hate can be soothing. I've read the article twice now, each time brings solace. The world feels less empty. A friend and I have been howling and barking about "What's Up?" for about 20 years. Knowing others loathe it is good, we as a species may still get shit done. When the apocalypse comes (zombies, Jesus regulating, Shiva feeling done, Ragnarok, whatever) it's pleasing to know that instead of hoarding food, weapons, finding shelter - there will be a few of us who have our priorities straight. While the swine are squealing about, we the elite aesthete force, hearts full of pride in humanity and art and civilization, that will destroy all record of "What's Up?"