SuperGenius guitarist Slash — of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver fame — released a new album this week called, genuinely enough, “Slash” and it is the number one selling album on iTunes right now.
The celebration of the backside of the Black female form — from Saartjie Baartman in 1810 to Fergie in 2010 — is a fascination of cultural values that has been amalgamated in mainstream music for fifty years. In the 1960’s, the celebratory code phrase for the pleasing female “big butt” was “big legged” and I suppose there’s some anatomical sense to be made from that rising frustration: If you have big legs, then your butt has to be even bigger to better negotiate your sense of balance. In the late 1960’s, Blues sensation Albert King immortalized the “Big Legged Woman” in his ovaric song, “Born Under a Bad Sign.”
After yesterday’s blistering of Keith Richards’ cocaine/ashes habit here in Urban Semiotic, our conversation turned to the need for, and the requirement of, semiotics in society and I made this promise then:
We are going to talk more about the corruption of the young around us with craven semiotics that are imitated and intended to infiltrate and infest mainstream popular culture to influence behavior, values and the common decency of human morality.
We will begin our discussion of A Meme of Craven Semiotics in society by examining a single cultural touchstone — The Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps” music video released in 2005 — that recently inspired both Will Ferrell’s imitation of the song while on a treadmill in the movie “Blades of Glory” and Alanis Morissette’s new achingly awful mocking of the song. If the original version of “My Humps” had some sense of irony or sophistication, the inferred semiotic would be influential and, perhaps, even interesting instead of merely craven.