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'Call Me Maybe' has dirty secret

OPINION

(Reuters file )
July 22, 2012|By Stephen Markley, For RedEye

We already know the song of summer is Canuck pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," and that's why approximately nine months from this April the spring of the "Call Me Maybe" baby will begin.

Though I have no social science research on this—no hard data, no double-blind studies, nothing—I am a keen observer of the human condition, and through my assessment of this summer I've determined this infectious pop ditty has led to an alarming spike in the number of young women giving their numbers to men they've only just met.

While on its surface "Call Me Maybe" sounds like an effort to hearken back to one's first teenage crush, to a simpler sexual epoch in life when the most stomach-quivering, loin-tingling encounter would be a lightly copped feel in the back of one's mother's minivan, we must all understand that this song does not play for teenagers. It plays for us, the jaded, drunken masses at bars and parties who long ago lost interest in the nervous thrill of a phone number exchanged between coy and attractive people.

"Here's my number/ So call me maybe" does not denote a flirtatious, irresistibly precious moment of youthful connection as it might have at a middle school dance we once attended during the Clinton administration.

We've seen too many cutaway scenes in films where that exchange turns, with a minimum of effort, into wall-slamming, clothes-shredding PG-13 sex that everyone in the audience except for the lamest of moms wishes had gone for the R (and you know those moms kind of want to see a chiseled, Channing Tatum-quality butt; trust me, I know moms, and it takes like half a glass of wine to get them to admit as much). Thus the song's very innocence in an age of explicit, hyper-sexual hip-hop acts as a surreptitious gateway through which our horny inner demons escape.

Because the previous line—"I just met you/ And this is craaaaazy"?—Dear God, people, do you know what "craaaaaazy" means to the prodigal Millennial generation that got bored learning about the sexual revolution in history class and spends most of its time underemployed, screwed by an age of scarcity and drinking ourselves stupid in angsty fury?

It means condomless three-ways with our second cousins in the room, stuffed animal crush-porn broadcast over Skype, and live-Tweeted orgies with ex-girlfriends, their current boyfriends and some British guy who bought us shots. It means bisexual hide-and-go-seek, oral sex Russian roulette, body-fluid slip-n-slides and naked re-enactments of Confederate prison camps. Forget dogs and cats living together—they'll be our sister wives by the time "Call Me Maybe" falls off the charts.

A spike in out-of-wedlock children nine months from now (whom I demand be called the "Call Me Maybe Babies") will be the least of Focus on the Family's problems.

The song momentarily removes from women the societally advantageous inhibition about approaching men, which in turn removes the thin veneer of respectability that men maintain only to separate ourselves from feces-hurling apes.

Which, incidentally, is another spiking sexual activity for which we can surely blame Carly Rae Jepsen.

REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR STEPHEN MARKLEY IS THE AUTHOR OF "PUBLISH THIS BOOK." REDEYECHICAGO.COM/MARKLEY

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