Why Carly Rae Jepsen’s name should be etched on Butler
I’m all for tradition, but I think it’s time we add the name of a musician to the Butler facade. Yeah, Plato, Sophocles, and Shakespeare are fine and dandy, but what Columbia really needs is to witness the immortalization of music in stone. Obviously, the question of whom to include is rather difficult: How do we decide between Mozart, Beethoven, McCartney, or Dylan? Well, I came across a truly ground-shaking realization the other day.
One fateful Thursday afternoon, I was surfing YouTube (not in class, of course—don’t be absurd!) when I came across the music video for a musical composition entitled “Call Me Maybe.” I have watched it dozens of times since, and I am now unafraid of the contention that bubbled up in my brain the first time I heard the song.
Forget Mozart—put Carly Rae Jepsen‘s name on Butler Library.
I don’t care if you have to wipe Vergil’s name from the facade. But this Canadian songstress—nay, poet—is the type of artist for whom our generation has been searching for years. Let’s start with the song. Instrumentally, it’s a thrilling mix of the best staccato, fake-violin sounds money can buy, the laziest guitar playing ever put to tape, all set to a beat so generic that it makes Britney Spears look like Aphex Twin. In other words, it’s entirely mediocre, but also catchier than some type of Sub-Saharan hemorhhagic fever. Just try and get Madame Jepsen’s high-pitched bleat out of your head—it’s like trying to wriggle free from a doe-eyed, soprano Venus Flytrap.
And the words? Pure poetry. We have a post-modern reconstruction of the 21st century relationship here, where nothing makes sense and Jepsen misses the just-met object of her affections “soooo bad” despite having just met them. But she acknowledges this logical gaffe with a statement that references what our dear friend Kierkegaard calls “the absurd.” “I just met you/And this is crazy/ But here’s my number / So call me maybe,” goes the song’s titular refrain, acknowledging the futility of social convention in a world devoid of any meaning.
But wait! The dramatic allusions don’t stop there, as Jepsen makes a Faustian deal with a wishing well in exchange for a kiss from this ripped-jeans-clad stranger (who, tragically and ironically for her, turns out to be gay in the music video. Maybe Mephistopheles will make Carly happy.) All in all, it’s a deep, poetic ode to unrequited love and untamed desire, brimming with the intensity of a thousand Shakespearean sonnets and the musical complexity to match. I’m just waiting for news of Jepsen’s impending Nobel Prize.
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