Wednesday, 3 December 2008

3. Double negatives

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh lanugage and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Firstly, Afroman - Because I got High (2001)
Popular amongst chavs and dickheads when it came out, who didn't really get the point of the song. Also used in the movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in the same year, which was excellent btw Anyway, here he is...

I think we're all pretty much aware of this modern-day morality tale. Mr Afroman leads us through a resumé of his life, showing us how he lost so many opportunities because of his drug abuse. Lyrically, the song starts in a smug, cocky tone, leading us to believe he's proud of being one of life's dropouts. But as the song progresses, we find out that no! He's actually been a twat all along, and he knows it! He's hoping that by using the gradual reveal technique, he'll get the attention of those he's trying to educate. It may have worked, I'm not really sure.

I've got no real problem with the song per sé, Afroman's standing on morally sturdy ground. It's just that one part of the lyrics stands out to me as odd...

"I was gonna go to class before I got high,
I coulda cheated and I coulda passed but I got high."

Now, I'm not sure what his point is here. Had he gone to school, he'd have cheated in an exam and falsely gained qualifications he had no real right to. Knowing that he stood no chance of passing the exam legitimately, he chose to forego the test. The fact that he used that time to partake of illegal drugs is neither here nor there. Given the rest of the song, it's hardly fucking surprising.

So does Afroman think it's morally acceptable to steer kids away from drugs and into exams where they'll cheat? He's already told us that he was confident his deception would have paid off, had he chosen to sit the exam. Maybe he thinks that lying your way into a better "status of life" is better than being an honest, drug-taking loser? Come on, Afroman - SORT YOUR LIFE OUT!


Secondly, "under false pretences".

Not a week goes by without me reading or hearing some sordid tale of people obtaining money or goods "under false pretences" (that's 'pretenses' if you're in the US )

What the fuck are false pretences exactly? It's the act of pretending itself that's "false", surely? Using the phrase "false pretences" creates a double negative, meaning that the money/goods/drugs/toys have been obtained truthfully and legally.

Maybe I should be a lawyer, I'd be getting people off the hook no problem.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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