I vividly remember the box of Nike basketball shoes. Laid at the foot of my bed on my ninth birthday, they were a peace-offering from my father.
I had spent an afternoon during the previous week in the local shoe store, in tears, yearning for a pair of shoes that would make me fit in with my third grade basketball teammates. I wanted Nikes. I would have taken Reeboks or Filas. My father wanted me to choose Chuck Taylors, because they were made in America.
When you’re eight years old, it is hard to understand globalization, capitalism, and why you ought to buy canvas shoes that have zero ankle support and are genuinely untrendy to your elementary senses.
I have come a long way in seventeen years. I go out of my way to buy expensive shoes that were hand made in San Antonio. They make me look like an old man, and I relish that. I have a pair of Red Wing boots that I expect will grow old with me, showing signs of wear and tear that mimic my own body. I was 0% interested in buying a smartphone until Google announced that the Motorola Moto X would be assembled in America. I now have a Motorola Moto X, and I love it. I will continue to go out of my way to buy products made in our country, because I believe it is important. “Made in America” is a lifestyle, a choice: a brand in and of itself.
So when a song is titled “Made in America,” I listen. Seriously. I tell everybody to shut up, and I turn the song up, which is what happened in the kitchen of my restaurant last week. Some females were singing a resounding “Made In America” hook and I was into it.
Mind you, this is the second song I am aware of by that same title. “Made in America,” by Toby Keith, is one of my favorite popular country jams. Keith sings an ode to his father, “Spent a couple more at the store for a tag, in the back it says “U.S.A.”, and I tear up. Goosebumps. Seriously, I cry, and I’ve heard the song hundreds of times. Keith is paying homage to his father. My tears pay homage to mine.
So when Cimorelli’s song, “Made in America”, was bumping on that fateful afternoon, I was on board. Granted, I didn’t hear much of the song, but I was loving what I did hear.
I went back and listened to it this morning, which was a severely disappointing experience. In fact, it is quite possibly the worst song ever written. From what I can tell, it actually has nothing to do with anything being “Made in America”. Okay, it has to do with these wack-ass ladies being born in America, but there is not even an attempt at parlaying that into a double-meaning, the kind that most pop songs employ. Here is your worst nightmare, folks. Fair warning:
This is quite possibly the most embarrassing display of “America” that has ever been recorded. I have so many questions.
First and foremost — who fucking signed these women to a record deal? Who authorized them to record and terrorize us with this music video? And, for the love of God, who wrote the lyrics to this song?
Let’s start from the top.
“Striped flag, wrapped around my head,
Blue, white, a little bit of red,
Live free, like we always said.
First of all, have these girls seen an American flag? This is an important question, because I am pretty goddamn sure there is more red on an American flag than blue. So to say “a little bit of red” — I know it rhymes and everything, but have you seen an American flag? Honestly? I find it incredibly humorous that at no point during this video do we see any of these girls with a flag wrapped around their head. What a bunch of phonies! I need to see visuals of patriotism to back up all this patriotic shit-talk.
Okay, perhaps my favorite line (not actually true, we’ll have three of four of these moments by the time I’m through): “Live free, like we always said”…
I need a few moments to rest my face in my hands.
“We”. Who is “we”? These girls? Americans? People from New Hampshire? Bruce Willis? Walter White? And “live free” is so vague in this scenario, it’s as though they’re referring to the motto of their 8th grade girls soccer team. I already hate these girls, and we’re approximately 45 seconds into their “music video”, which we should really call a “shit-show documentary of white privilege set to shitty music”.
Side note, which might help explain the horror show that is Cimorelli: this band is made up of six sisters. Their last name is Cimorelli. It is unclear whether that is a coincidence or not. They are from Sacramento. It is clear that that is not a coincidence. Moving on.
The chorus hits. I smash my head against the table.
We jump into the second verse. This is where things go downhill, as though we could possibly still be above sea level:
“New York and back to LA,
Sac town, down to M-I-A,
Bright lights in the U.S.A.
New York and Los Angeles, check. Sacramento and M-I-A, chec– wait, what?! Okay, so they’re from “Sac town”, fine. And yes, I understand that “M-I-A” is probably referring to the American metropolis of Miami, and not the six sisters’ status in the War on Reality, but that sequence is an entire verse that is supposed to have something to do with things being “Made in America”. My brain is fried. This song must end.
But wait! We have a bridge, ladies and gentleman! This would be the time to invite your soda-guzzling, football-throwing, tailgate-sitting, stone-cold-sober, borderline-hunks to the party, because it’s about to get messy in the cleanest way possible.
“I pledge allegiance to the home of the brave”
“Ball caps, blue jeans, and football games”
“Fireworks outside on the fourth of July”
Good thing the fireworks are outside, as opposed to…
“Summer night barb-eque, bring the apple pie!”
Andddddddd we have a Hail Hitler. No I’m serious, we have a Hail Hitler in the video. This happens at the 2:49 mark:
Well that’s not very patriotic! That’s the opposite of patriotic. I’m no longer bringing the apple pie. I will, however, bring tons of alcohol so that we can get cocked and this Cimorelli girl can tell me her true feelings on white supremacy while vomiting in the bushes. And then we can really put the cream on top of the apple pie, if YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
“To the cowboys riding in the pick-up trucks”
Those aren’t cowboys.
“To the girls in the city yelling turn it up!”
Okay, we get it. There are city girls and country boys. No exceptions. Which probably makes a lot of sense if you’ve never left the city limits of Sacramento.
We are finally done with all lyrics that are not repeats from earlier in the song, which is great. We are, however, only 75% of the way through this gloriously wholesome music video. Spoiler alert: the last 25% is not quite as wholesome:
That’s right folks, we have girls jumping on trampolines. Granted, this is the most PG-rated sequence of trampoline jumping ever recorded, but at least we’re making some progress. At this rate, in the sequel to this video, the girls are going to be dressed up like meth-heads, guzzling sizzurp whilst grinding their donks into the upstanding men who represent Sac-town.
Then we’d be getting somewhere. Then we’d be getting a proper lesson in what it means to be Made in America. Let’s just make sure the boys are wearing Chuck Taylors, because my dad would be into that.