Culture

Rambling Dispatches: It’s Thanksgiving

it's thanksgiving

Every week in Rambling Dispatches, resident malcontent Quinn McGee rants about whatever he damn well pleases.

Hey everyone. It’s that time of year again, where Christmas begins to relentlessly fuck my earholes on all radio stations, stores, strangers on public transportation, State Street and commercials I absolutely love on television. I actually like the holidays, because it means the replacement of pumpkin spice with egg nog, a far superior flavor. The only thing I really hate about the season is the music, not because it’s bad but because it happens nonstop for around two months.

My hating on Christmas music is not the point of this article, and you’d think I wouldn’t actually be that angry at this happy time of year, but one thing had me raging at my computer last week, and it’s actually a case of being careful what I wish for. I always wondered why at Thanksgiving I have to hear about Christmas, and as if by fate I finally got my Thanksgiving song. You’d think it would be some heartwarming song by The Carpenters, or a hardcore song about the accurate depiction of how the Pilgrims stole from the Native Americans and thanked them with “special” blankets. Instead of all this, we got “It’s Thanksgiving” by Nicole Westbrook, a 12-year-old girl who apparently has no parents. I don’t actually think she’s at fault, because tons of 12-year-olds put music up on YouTube, and anyone can make a horrible song and put it on YouTube. (I was thinking of doing an Alanis Morissette cover band with a buddy of mine, so anyone can do it.) The issue lies in the quality of the video and the production. The man responsible is a guy called Patrice Wilson.

If you haven’t seen the video, you probably don’t have internet. For those who have, you’ll notice something familiar about the tone of the song and the writing. That’s probably because it’s a goddamn alternate version of Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” The people over at ARK Music Factory (Patrice Wilson and crew) apparently have a single Mad Libs sheet that they fill out with words relating to something the age group of the people in the videos should be learning in school at the time. In the case of this video, it’s holidays and months. You must be thinking that this has to be produced by some hack that has a lot of money and sees that there’s even more in tweeny bopper music. Nope. It was totally produced by a former singer-songwriter from Nigeria. That’s right. Patrice came from Nigeria to take young girls and make videos of them singing. That sounds creepy as hell, right? It fucking should. Let’s break down the video that Patrice filmed this little girl in, shall we?

The geniuses over at ARK created a new video with a bunch of 12-year-olds alone at a house eating a Thanksgiving dinner with a random R&B singer who dresses up as a turkey. That’s the only adult there: some dude who just shows up and sings with her. This is America, right? Was there a follow-up video with the pictures of each kid on the back of a milk carton? And if that isn’t enough, we get a tiny white girl rapping about mashed potatoes and not being hateful on Thanksgiving. That was a part written for her. Let’s follow this all up with her singing into a turkey leg at the end of the song, which looks superimposed and kind of phallic, if you ask me.

I pick apart this video, but I’m not blaming this girl. She probably just had a voice for Auto-Tune and fit within the creepy age range of Patrice Wilson’s enterprise. Speaking of this guy, why the hell is he allowed to do this? It’s because the parents are paying for this. Rich parents are paying between $2,000 and $4,000 to have their kids put into songs written by Patrice. There isn’t really a factory, either, because the songs are solely produced and written by Patrice. Parents are paying a random man who knows some guys with cameras to have their daughter in a music video. Here’s what I hope it really is: an elaborate birthday package. You pay money and get your kid in a video with a few of their friends, and one random R&B singer is included in the deal. The thing is distributed on YouTube, and the parents show their kid and teach them that the internet is filled with assholes that will be as honest as possible. And that’s how the parents make their kids into adults. What it likely really is involves some creep in a room that has music equipment and attracts people with the promise of internet fame and fortune. You change the business model to target adults, and you have amateur porn.

I actually bet that Nicole Westbrook is a nice girl. Rebecca Black probably is too. They were just people who were used by a random Nigerian man and really stupid parents. So when you’re heading home for Thanksgiving and getting pissed about the Christmas music, remember there are worse things in the world. Be thankful for traditional music, and that your parents weren’t into giving money to strangers to film you.