That’s a line from Shadrach, a song on the Beastie Boys’ seminal 1989 album Paul’s Boutique. I know this because one of my more obscure and less useful talents is the ability to recite Beastie lyrics, chapter and verse, at the drop of a hat (I can also beat a biter down with an aluminum bat). I used to joke back in university that I had a PhD in Beastie-ology because of this odd ability.
As a big, big, big fan of the band, I’ve been following very closely the controversy regarding start-up toy maker GoldieBlox’s use/parody of a Beastie Boys song in one of its video ads. In a nutshell, the company recently took Girls, from the album Licensed to Ill (1986), and gave it new lyrics. While the words to the original song were misogynistic – there is some debate as to whether it was itself a parody – the toy folks cleverly flipped it around to be the complete opposite. As a company geared towards making products that encourage girls to get interested in fields such as science and engineering, the lyrics instead mock tropes about how they’re expected to play with dolls and “girly” toys that are pink. Read the rest of this entry »