Craig Shaw Gardner: Dangerously Creative Writer of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction


Broadcasts from the underside, and somewhere over slightly to the left

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pussycat Dolls
Despite everything we try to do, I guess age creeps up on us. We are no longer hip, groovy, cool, or whatever the current term may be. Heck, we don't even know what the current term might be! Despite years of fighting against it, we are now officially out of the loop.

I am brought to these thoughts by the Pussycat Dolls. The Pussycat Dolls seem to be this large group of young female musical performers, all of whom dance around a lot, and one of whom sort of sings. Suddenly, the Pussycat Dolls are everywhere -- or at least in a lot of TV and commercial stuff that passes me by as I watch my beloved Red Sox. Now, I also seem to have mysteriously gotten a subscription to BLENDER (a magazine I never ordered, and sometimes can barely understand) -- my guess is that it got piggybacked onto my ROLLING STONE sub. But the most recent issue of BLENDER has those darn Pussycat Dolls on the cover, plus an article/interview with them in which they appear even more boring and shallow than I originally thought possible.

Why do the Pussycat Dolls annoy me so? I guess it's because, besides the fact they they have Very Little Talent, they are blatantly about one thing -- sex. And of course, they are prepackaged like the Backstreet Boys or the Spice Girls, but with far less personality than either (which before now, I would have thought impossible.)

Not that I'm against sex, mind you. But there have been myriad performers over the years -- from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna -- who have combined sex with actual talent. Whenever I hear the Pussycat Dolls sing "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?", I immediately think, no thanks, I prefer women with personality and brains.

I guess I'm just funny that way.

Posted by Craig Shaw Gardner at 1:57 PM |

25 Comments so far ...

Blogger Craig Shaw Gardner, 9:21 AM | Story

So Webmaster Dave just posted a picture of the Dolls along with a link to the actual vacuous article in Blender! My grumpy musings enter the twenty-first century!


Blogger Derek, 9:49 AM | Story

I have yet to hear any of their, ahem, music, but I’m going to assume it’s targeted at tweens and early teenage girls. It’s probably designed to promote a certain attitude in our children, get them to beg for specific styles and fashions and basically drive parents bonkers. With a 10 year old and a soon-to-be 8 year old (tomorrow, in fact), I hope my daughters’ will give it a miss. But, of course, I always have to remember that I listened to music that drove my parents batty, as well, and going back and reading over the lyrics I have to tell you, I’m pretty darned surprised they let me listen to it at all. I’m still waiting for the day when my 10 year old zeroes in on a specific style of music she likes (she’s like her old man…all over the map). However, the younger one just went nuts when she opened a gift at her birthday party and found that it contained a Hilary Duff cd.  

Anonymous M!, 9:53 PM | Story

At the risk of putting a damper on things, I think -- while their music is designed for kids -- their public image is for middle-aged men who want to bang the babysitter.

The first time I fell for this trap was in the 1990s, Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl". She had string of hot videos on MTV. Caught up in the fever, I actually bought the LP.

Without Paula giving me a lap dance, the songs themselves suddenly had no merit. My turntable nearly blew up from the sheer crappiness of the songs.

The good news? That experience prepared me for the next wave of talent-less video vixens. No Britney, Spice Girls or Jessica Simpson on my iPod!  

Blogger Craig Shaw Gardner, 11:14 AM | Story

So, Derek, this means we're going to see Pussycat Doll -- dolls? (We might, too!)

And yes, the entertainment industry is very good at promoting image over substance. It's so weird to go into a supermarket and hear music from the 60s on the speakers, until you realize that this time period was one of the rare cases when talent (rather than image) was allowed to run pop music. I very much doubt, 20 years from now, that we'll be hearing "Don't You wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?" or "The Thong Song" as shopping muzak!  

Blogger Derek, 10:07 PM | Story

Would that be a case of the Muzak version's quality actually exceeding the original?  

Blogger Craig Shaw Gardner, 3:01 PM | Story

And now, "The Thong Song" by the One Hundred and One Strings!  

Anonymous Anonymous, 4:40 PM | Story

I don't think the pussy cat dolls are actually very young. Probably reaching their 30's if not already in them. Granted that isn't really old, but it's not in the 16-20 year old range and it is definately not geared toward younger teens. late teens to college really. Anyone who goes to clubs that play primarily hit-list songs.  

Anonymous Anonymous, 10:13 PM | Story

ummm,actually they are targeting teens of the ages 12 to about 16 maybe 17!!!!!!!!they are awesome and do have talent so do not put them down!!!!!  

Anonymous Eleni, 4:54 PM | Story

All I have to say about them is that I like the way they dance, but no crazy about them. Yes, I admitt that I like their music but I know this is just permanent, I'll soon get bored of their songs. And they are skinny. Tooooooo skinny. Well, I'm skinny myself, but that's the way my body is. And then they wonder why teenagers get anorexic.... kisses Greecexxxxxx  

Anonymous ]{atie, 2:57 AM | Story

hmm.. Well. lets see.
The Pussycat Dolls are by far known as a burlesque-like show, before the musical act was born.
Personally, I was not the biggest fan when I seen "Don'tcha" on muchmusic. I was like wow, another pop addict with no fizzle. just looks.
But I recently seen them on tour [with Christina Aguilera], and Nicole, the lead singer, actually has a very good singing voice! While the others mainly dance, I say that we have to give nicole some credit. Shes living a dream that many people don't get to live.
And since we're all entitled to opinion, this one is mine. I like PCD :) . Let's quit taking music so damn seriously.  

Anonymous Anonymous, 9:56 PM | Story

Whenever I hear the Pussycat Dolls sing "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?", I immediately think, no thanks, I prefer women who are actually hot :)  

Anonymous Anonymous, 3:33 AM | Story

I dont get why people are putting such negitive feedback on the pussycat dolls, i think their music is awesome, has a fun beat and isnt slutty or rude. I dont get how people can compare the pussycat dolls to a slutty image when singers like snoop doggy dog or eminem repeatably have have naked, topless girls in their videos "shakin their thang" also if i can recall eminem had a video about killing his pregnant girlfriend. The pussycat dolls do have other songs like "Stick wit u" which is about a couple who are inlove. All the people that do criticise the pussycat dolls for being a bad role model for younger girls are definantly wrong and should take along hard look at other singers! and hey atleast the pussycat dolls when they sing, every second word aint a swear word!  

Anonymous Anonymous, 12:24 AM | Story

I think you should take a technical dance class while trying to sing melodies while looking sexy (which is now a bad thing, apparently). it does take talent. you can not like their music and thats fine, but i think its a little self righteous to go out of your way to publicly put someone down who has obviously worked very hard to get where they are at.  

Anonymous Anonymous, 11:43 PM | Story

Um, have you even seen these women dance and work their asses off? It's a girl group who encourages independence and confidence in young women.  

Anonymous AnGeLiCa., 3:40 PM | Story

For someone as old as you this probably doesn't seem facsinating or witty but the problem is those songs weren't ment for your age group. They're for the teens & people who appreciate music. & another comment on you saying they don't have talent..why dont you try singing & dancing the way they do. Then we'll be the ones to say YOU don't have talent. [so stick that in your juice box and SUCK IT old man!!]  

Anonymous Anonymous, 4:59 AM | Story

shut up all of u you sound like idiots .. i'm going to assume that its for teenage girls and...they target ... middle aged men. shut your hole who cars >.>  

Anonymous Anonymous, 10:21 PM | Story

Hello! How I wish people will just keep an open mind about this female group. I do agree though that the 1st Single (Don't Cha) is not really appropriate when you hear your 10 year old daughter singing it. It's really alarming. But that is not the only song in the album. Try to listen to "Beep", "I Don't Need a Man", and "Stick Wit U". This songs talk about Loyalty, Independence, Girl Power, and How filthy a guy can be. It may sound like I'm a fan of the PCD. I love music and I don't just listen to them just for the sake of listening. Also, PCD are also talented dancers coz they create there own routines. They can choreograph there own moves. Now that's real talent compared to the likes of other artist who needs the help of other choreographers to make there videos.  

Anonymous Dana, 6:41 PM | Story

So, I pretty much agree.
I'm 15 year old girl, and I can't stand them.
Not their music so much as their image. I personally think they need to put on some clothes. They don't have to dress like their amish or mormon. But, perhaps an ensemble that doesn't look like it should be in the bedroom seducing your husband. As for their music it sounds just like everyone else. Not that originality seems to exist as much in this day and age, the Pussy cat dolls are far from the definition today.


Anonymous Anonymous, 2:09 PM | Story

My comment:) the girls look nice, but I haven't heard their music. I'm amazed at the distruction of the english language and penmanship just reading the above posts. prm  

Blogger Heart Of Darkness, 11:27 AM | Story

You are killing me, man! I have to admit, I do have two of their songs somewhere on my computer, but after watching the TV show "Search for the next doll" (c'mon, doll? Is that what we call it nowaydas?) I can honesly say that if the Pussycat Doll are sophisticated, classy sexy then by all means, do never call me either of those!  

Blogger Paulina, 2:20 PM | Story

i am an 17 old girl.-let me tell something bout them :they are talented look good and dance professional and when one of the videos like :dont u wish ur girlfriend was hot like me isnt for 10 years girls because of the way they are cllothed ur right but look at the videos of 50 cent why u cant say he gives an bad example on them with all the half naked ladies.the pcd are only try to help girls to be independent of men thats all they wanna say  

Blogger Alexandra, 3:00 PM | Story

stop hating! lol, why whine about the pussycat dolls when they are doing what they love and doing it well? they're songs are very catchy and fun, they can sing, and they aren't running around naked while neglecting they're kids like a certain talentless pop-tart i know... and they are geared towards older teen girls; of course younger girls are gonna look up to them, young girls constantly want to act grown-up. growing up too fast has always been a problem in America though; what's new?  

Blogger kyzalie, 12:45 AM | Story

Hmm, A lot of people in here are going on about "what about eminem or 50 cent...yada yada yada." Just because this blog is about the PCD doesn't mean that it's condoning 50 cent or eminem and their video clips. Sheesh. If we were to list every trashy "star" trying to use sex appeal to lure an audience the list would be infinite.

The PCD do not promote a good image, no matter how catchy or "meaningful" their lyrics are...heck I've found myself dancing around to it in the car sometimes.
Ridiculously skinny girls dancing around like whores don't promote confidence in young women. More like the opposite.
Young girls DO watch videos of the PCD...I'm 19 and when I was younger I used to dress and act like the Spice Girls when I was younger, so I don't doubt that younger girls...we're talking 11-15 here...will do the same.  

Anonymous Ray, 12:12 PM | Story

Some "anonymous" said:
>> It's a girl group who encourages independence and confidence in young women.

In what way does it do so? Independence and confidence are the results of having established an identity, learning from experience and having faith in your abilities. Sorry for being a party-pooper but "I'm so sexy" and "oh yeah let's show those guys"-type lyrics and showing a lot of skin (still very effective at stirring things up in America it seems, *yawn*) are a far cry from that.

"Young women" might fare better reading "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan ;)  

Anonymous JazZ, 7:43 AM | Story

I'm going to have to agree with Ray on this. And while I am unsure about the ages of most of these posters (though I think I can safely assume most are adults) I myself am a sixteen year old girl and I find this "musical" group disgusting.

They parade about half-naked on stage and they send a disturbing message to young minds. My fourteen year old sister started to try and dress like them...fourteen years old and complaining about the fact that my father found that notion utterly unacceptable and with good reason. I am terrified about what celebrity icons like that can do to young girls who find themselves being attacked by these images...and what message they send to guys my own age.

This group does not shine with "independence" and sexual freedom. They further restrict self esteem in young girls and they're lyrics are as unintelligent as the girls themselves. Yup...dump your girlfriend for a half-naked chick with no brains. What a wonderful message they send!*sarcasm*