I spent a productive half hour tonight drinking red wine and browsing Rihanna’s Instagram feed. (If you’re over 40, I simply don’t have time to explain all those words to you.) As I scrolled through photos of freakishly fabulous underthings, Chris Brown’s naked upper half, and hashtags like #dopedealer, I couldn’t help but wonder…(c) Carrie Bradshaw…
I kind of want Rihanna’s life. She and I are nothing like each other, except for our love of flashy things. (She just bought matching TEN GADJILLION DOLLAR Rolexes with Chris Brown, I have a massive peace sign necklace that I bartered for–yes, bartered–and snagged for a cool $3 on a beach in Tijuana.) We also both love catchy songs. And weed. Just kidding! I hate weed, it makes me feel like I have an eyelash stuck to my eyeball. But my optomological paranoias are another blog post entirely. What was I saying? I hate weed, I love heroin…oh yes. Rihanna’s life.
Like, in the music video for Freakin’ Weekend or whatever that song is called, she looks so happy! And then she sings, “Life’s too short to be sitting ’round miserable.” And this question opens up in me a deep, jagged existential chasm, which I think we can safely presume is the intention of all Rihanna’s lyrics. I think, “Am I sitting ’round miserable?” And then I think of all the things I wish I was doing instead of watching Rihanna’s music video:
1. Eating fries at Hopleaf
2. Reminiscing about that time we hung out with the Biblical-looking British guy at Hopleaf and I felt bad because he got a weird tiny thick beer
…and so on. You get the point, my life is full of creepers and French fries.
But then I think to myself, Rihanna is a human being, and as such, she experiences depressive depths and manic highs just like the rest of us. So what if her Instagram feed doesn’t reflect that? She’s a celebrity and it’s all about image. And then I think: what’s my image? I’m not sure, but I sure as hell hope it’s this:
(This man, Daniel Wood, is everything I want to be in life: memorable stare, slightly off-putting hair, BURST INTO FLAMES WHEN TASERED BY THE POLICE.)
One thing I appreciate about Rihanna and all Top Forty music in general (including my bff Britney “omg ur so medicated these days” Spears) is that it’s not high art. I think I might legitimately hate high art. I tried to read some New Yorker-type short stories over break and I was like WHY AM I LOOKING AT THIS AUTHOR’S WELL-PLUCKED NAVEL? This doesn’t move the people! And if it doesn’t move the people, can it approach truth? And if it doesn’t approach truth, is it high art? RIHANNA IS JACKSON POLLOCK TAYLOR SWIFT IS HEMINGWAY.