Dear Asher Roth
Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 07:04
Dear Asher Roth,
"If you have a drink,
would you please put it in the air?"
I'm not gonna lie — I dig your song. Yeah, you're the focus of quite a bit of criticism, ‘cause you rap but you're a pot-smoking white boy from suburbia, yet I don't care. I'm psyched for you to open for The Decemberists and Ludacris this weekend for SPRING FLING AT TUFTS! The beat is irresistible; it's blaring out of every freshman's MacBook, and after weeks of not really listening to "I Love College," I finally gave the words a listen in Club Tisch on Saturday night.
I agree: "pizza a dollar a slice" is pretty awesome. And "my good friends is," really, "all I need." But I got to the following...:
"I can't tell you what I learned from school but
I could tell you a story or two, um
Yeah, of course I learned some rules
Like don't pass out with your shoes on
(Get the Sharpie!)
And don't leave the house ‘til the booze gone
(No, we're not leaving)
And don't have sex if she's too gone
When it comes to condoms put two on
Then tomorrow night find a new jawn"
I'm a volunteer health teacher for Boston Public Schools through Tufts Peer Health Exchange (PHE). PHE-ers talk to ninth-graders about everything from sex to abuse to alcohol to nutrition to physical activity. So I appreciate your line "Don't have sex if she's too gone." That's considerate. Pop culture does some awesome things for kids! After Chris Brown "allegedly" hit Rihanna, while it was horrible, the situation became a great example for talking to kids about getting out of abusive relationships and how the victim is never at fault. So, thanks. But there was another line that made me cringe.
Two condoms is a common misconception. This will sound obvious after you hear it, but "double-bagging" is actually a really bad idea, and, sadly, it usually befalls people who are trying to be doubly safe. During the ...um... momentum… of sex, the two layers of latex rub together, and the friction can break BOTH of them REALLY FAST. Obviously, this is counterproductive... Well, actually, I guess it's "productive." If all you learned in college was to wear two condoms, do you know how many Asher juniors there could be out there?
From a public health standpoint, you can view pop culture as a HUGE weapon/position of power. Example: fans of Michael Phelps picking up a piece of their own or fans of Cal Ripken reaching for the milk instead of the Red Bull. The fear, in this case, is that two drunken teenagers will aim to be safe, and one will grab the other's shoulder, look deep into their puffy, 4/20 eyes, and say "Baby, WWAD?"
"Wear two condoms — that's what Asher would do!"
This is not the first time an error in iTunes Top 20 has created tension on a mass scale. In 2003, "Hey-Ya!" by André 3000 and recorded by OutKast on their double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was known by the breakdown "Shhhhhhhake it like a Polaroid picture!!!" In their outrage, Kodak filed a suit against OutKast, because "shaking it?" actually damages the image, however, they later dropped the charges and took advantage of the incredible marketing possibilities.
"Because current Polaroid film is sealed behind a clear plastic window, casually waving the picture has no effect on the film's development. Vigorously shaking the film may actually distort the image by causing the film to separate prematurely and creating blobs in the final image. Nevertheless, Polaroid sought to market off of the allusion... Polaroid sponsored parties for OutKast, where Euro RSCG distributed Polaroid cameras. OutKast made a deal to hold Polaroid cameras during some of its performances. Polaroid does not release sales figures, but its public image, previously in decline with the growing popularity of digital cameras, was bolstered by the song."
A good friend of mine, upon discussing this last bit, suggested that maybe Trojan should cave and endorse you. If people are using two condoms at once, it'll double their sales!!!
Thus, we'll have lots pregnant teenagers with damaged instant snapshots.
Is that really what you want, Asher? Think of the kids. The inebriated, horny, kids.
Thanks for listening, and see you this weekend with LUDAAAAA!
P.S. What the hell is a jawn?
Laura Kroart is a freshman who has not yet declared a major.