View Poll Results: Is the POV singer a hero or a villain?
Hero 22 27.16%
Villain 59 72.84%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 08-24-2019, 05:01 AM
GuanoLad's Avatar
GuanoLad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 24,904
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
It's the same thing I was thinking. The singer isn't really interesting in Jesse's girl. He's jealous because Jesse has something that he doesn't have. The song could just as easily be about Jesse's car.
I think this is definitely a valid interpretation. I wouldn't paint him as a villain either, but he's not thinking in a very healthy way about any of this. It wouldn't take much for him to go one step too far and it would turn really bad.
  #52  
Old 08-24-2019, 06:19 AM
Two Many Cats is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,897
I've been funny, I've been cool with the lines.
Ain't that the way love's supposed to be?


Hoo boy, dude. That isn't love at all. You got some growing up to do.

I wouldn't call him a villain, unless he tries to pull some incel shit, or tries to hit on her.

But he's no hero either.
  #53  
Old 08-24-2019, 09:25 AM
scabpicker's Avatar
scabpicker is offline
Yo soy pinche idiota
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Funkytown (Fort Worth)
Posts: 4,694
Yeah, in the end he's just an average guy who lusts after a woman he doesn't know. It's just a coincidence that he already knows her current boyfriend, and it adds to the drama of the situation. I can't say whether he's a villain or hero because we only have the context of a short pop song.

I'll add: That song has a really odd structure for a pop song of that era. It's really kind of a master work in that respect, and I'd wager Mr. Springfield spent more time on that than the lyrics.
  #54  
Old 08-24-2019, 04:28 PM
Esprise Me is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 141
Yeah, I can see someone who falls for the toxic incel mindset starting out with this situation and these feelings, and maybe someone who's actually being a total creep identifying with the speaker in the song. But I just don't see anything within the four corners of the lyrics to suggest anything more than a young guy struggling with the triple whammy of 1) I want girls but they don't want me, 2) my best friend has a girl and I'm envious and feeling a little left behind socially, and 3) this particular girl is really attractive and I have a crush on her, and I have to see her all the time because she's dating my friend, but all I can do is sit here and eat my heart out. It's kinda refreshing that he doesn't claim to be in love with her when he doesn't know her at all, as the speakers so often do in pop songs. I also picture the speaker being about sixteen years old; I would view these sentiments much differently coming from someone old enough to rent a car.
  #55  
Old 08-24-2019, 04:38 PM
cochrane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 22,057
And when he does get a girlfriend, he tells her, "Don't talk to strangers."
  #56  
Old 08-24-2019, 04:49 PM
HMS Irruncible is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,401
Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
And when he does get a girlfriend, he tells her, "Don't talk to strangers."
Because they all need the human touch!
  #57  
Old 08-24-2019, 04:54 PM
HMS Irruncible is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,401
Quote:
Originally Posted by scabpicker View Post
I'll add: That song has a really odd structure for a pop song of that era. It's really kind of a master work in that respect, and I'd wager Mr. Springfield spent more time on that than the lyrics.
I agree it has a more elaborate structure than pop songs in general. But I would dissent on the idea that this was rare for the era. The 80's had its share of 3-chord bubblegum, but it was really common for songs to have elaborate chord/melodic structures. At least in the first part of the 80's.
  #58  
Old 08-24-2019, 05:51 PM
california jobcase is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: S. GA
Posts: 3,382
Well, he spelled Jesse wrong. Jessie is a girl's name, Jesse, a guy's name. If the guy's name really was Jessie, that would be as bad as being a guy named Frances.
  #59  
Old 08-24-2019, 06:18 PM
Tamerlane is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 13,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by california jobcase View Post
Well, he spelled Jesse wrong. Jessie is a girl's name, Jesse, a guy's name. If the guy's name really was Jessie, that would be as bad as being a guy named Frances.
I'd say most of the time you'd be correct, but exceptions abound.

I mean I wouldn't tell this guy that he has a girl's name .
  #60  
Old 08-24-2019, 08:40 PM
BigT's Avatar
BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 36,524
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
If I had, I would identify her by her name. I wouldn't be calling her Jessie's girl or Hank's wife. And he's not even sure if he wants whats-her-name or a girl like her.

This isn't a guy who's fallen for his dream girl. This is an incel who's upset that his buddy has a girlfriend and he doesn't.
I think that's a bit too far. I could see this person becoming an Incel, but I don't think they're quite there, yet. He doesn't present her as owing him anything, and doesn't hate Jessie for being a "Chad."

I remember having feelings like this early on in puberty. The objectification was an age thing, combined with what I'd seen in the media.

It didn't last long, though, as soon as I started having actual crushes, rather than just being jealous of guys with girlfriends. I'd say the changeover happened at most age 13.5.

That's what's holding me back in calling the guy a creep: how old is the singer supposed to be in this? I mean, he thinks "love" is being funny and saying the right "lines." He's rather naive.

Last edited by BigT; 08-24-2019 at 08:42 PM.
  #61  
Old 08-24-2019, 11:49 PM
scabpicker's Avatar
scabpicker is offline
Yo soy pinche idiota
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Funkytown (Fort Worth)
Posts: 4,694
Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
I agree it has a more elaborate structure than pop songs in general. But I would dissent on the idea that this was rare for the era. The 80's had its share of 3-chord bubblegum, but it was really common for songs to have elaborate chord/melodic structures. At least in the first part of the 80's.
Ok, yeah. The era did have plenty of other pop songs with weird structures. Saying it was special for the time was simply wrong, and I apologize.

It's not that it's chord progression is weird or anything tonally crazy - it's a screwy structure, with a weird double chorus and other little catches. It's not one of those songs where you can learn the progression and pretty much play it on autopilot, and it doesn't sound like anything but a song you could play on autopilot when you're just listening to it. When it came to learning it for a cover band I was participating in at work, I was surprised at how odd the structure was, I had to pay attention, and it still came across as a straight ahead pop song. I was a lot more impressed with Springfield afterward.
  #62  
Old 08-25-2019, 09:59 AM
Esprise Me is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 141
Contrast this with Toby Keith's "High Maintenance Woman," which is thematically somewhat similar but actually does have shades of incel-dom. In that song, a man old enough to not only be working as a maintenance man but to think of it as his career vs. an afterschool job, pines after what he assumes is a high-maintenance woman (because she's beautiful and rich, I guess), but concludes he can't ask her out because she wouldn't date a blue collar guy (because reasons?), yet despite thinking so poorly of her character, he still desperately wants her. There, I can see the seeds of toxic masculinity and NiceGuy-ism germinating. In Jessie's Girl, I only see the soil where such seeds might be planted, if the guy doesn't grow up a little before he gets on Reddit.
  #63  
Old 08-25-2019, 09:41 PM
Personal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Beach
Posts: 1,474
She's got to be Somebody's Baby. She must be Somebody's Baby.
  #64  
Old 08-25-2019, 10:06 PM
Pantastic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,199
I think it's grossly unfair to class someone as a 'villain' for having thoughts about a friend's girlfriend that he doesn't act on. The song reads to me as a young man who's jealous of his friend's girlfriend and probably not sure how to approach the whole dating thing in general. He's working through the kinds of thoughts a lot of teenagers have, but doesn't do anything to try to cause his friend to try to break up.
  #65  
Old 08-26-2019, 09:44 AM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 17,783
She might like him better if the slept together.
__________________
"Just love everybody. I'll sort 'em out later"

-God
  #66  
Old 08-26-2019, 11:50 AM
peccavi's Avatar
peccavi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: South Bay, SoCal
Posts: 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
She might like him better if the slept together.
But there's something in her eyes that says maybe that's never
  #67  
Old 08-27-2019, 12:36 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 85,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
I guess if I had to make a binary choice, I'd say he's a bad guy based off the "I've been cool with the lines" line which I could extrapolate into him trying to steal his friend's girlfriend. But mainly I just see him as a dude who's fallen for the same girl as his friend and is wrestling with the emotional fallout of being in regular proximity to her without being able to act on it. Not hero nor villain.
This.
  #68  
Old 08-27-2019, 12:57 PM
Dung Beetle's Avatar
Dung Beetle is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 16,614
What he needs is adult education.
  #69  
Old 08-27-2019, 01:01 PM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 17,783
Maybe it was Saturday night? I guess that makes it all right.
__________________
"Just love everybody. I'll sort 'em out later"

-God
  #70  
Old 08-27-2019, 01:37 PM
BrotherCadfael is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vermont
Posts: 10,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaDog View Post
The tragic point of the whole song is that Jessie's girl is named Stacy and Jessie is really in love with Stacy's mom. 'Cuz she's got it going on, of course.

If Jessie would get off his butt and make the move to Stacy's mom this would all sort out just fine for everyone with the exception of Stacy's dad.

Glad to help,
Bubba
Is there any indication in that song that Stacy's dad is still in the picture?
  #71  
Old 08-27-2019, 01:49 PM
eschrodinger's Avatar
eschrodinger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
Yeah, I can see someone who falls for the toxic incel mindset starting out with this situation and these feelings, and maybe someone who's actually being a total creep identifying with the speaker in the song. But I just don't see anything within the four corners of the lyrics to suggest anything more than a young guy struggling with the triple whammy of 1) I want girls but they don't want me, 2) my best friend has a girl and I'm envious and feeling a little left behind socially, and 3) this particular girl is really attractive and I have a crush on her, and I have to see her all the time because she's dating my friend, but all I can do is sit here and eat my heart out. It's kinda refreshing that he doesn't claim to be in love with her when he doesn't know her at all, as the speakers so often do in pop songs. I also picture the speaker being about sixteen years old; I would view these sentiments much differently coming from someone old enough to rent a car.
He does say he wants to tell her that he loves her -- but the point is prob'ly moot. You can take that to mean he wants a relationship with her where he would eventually tell her that he loves her, but I tend to think it's meant as right now.

I also see it as a teenage protagonist. I don't think it necessarily works to put a hero or villain label on him. (Or her. Mary Lambert has an excellent, and more mature, I'd say, cover of it. Interesting how it changes just with interpretive choices.) Teenagers are usually pretty dumb about love in many ways, for many reasons.

One aspect that I don't like, even more than the omission of her name, is that the relationship is characterized through possession. Jessie's girl. I want to make her mine. Which of course leads into discussions here about "stealing" a friend's girl. I know it was the imagery of the time -- I'm not faulting RS for using it, exactly. I mostly just want to point out for this discussion that you can't steal a person. You can be a terrible friend for not respecting your friend's relationship, or feelings. The girlfriend can betray whatever agreement she has, but, assuming she has agency, she can't be "stolen."

Last edited by eschrodinger; 08-27-2019 at 01:49 PM.
  #72  
Old 08-27-2019, 04:20 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 85,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dung Beetle View Post
What he needs is adult education.
And to shake off those ol' summertime blues.
  #73  
Old 08-27-2019, 04:33 PM
Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 81,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
Is there any indication in that song that Stacy's dad is still in the picture?
To break the theme of the thread with a serious answer, the song says Stacy's Dad walked out.

Quote:
And I know that you think it's just a fantasy
But since your dad walked out
Your mom could use a guy like me
  #74  
Old 08-27-2019, 05:06 PM
Grestarian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Garage & Lab
Posts: 1,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
I guess if I had to make a binary choice, I'd say he's a bad guy based off the "I've been cool with the lines" line which I could extrapolate into him trying to steal his friend's girlfriend. But mainly I just see him as a dude who's fallen for the same girl as his friend and is wrestling with the emotional fallout of being in regular proximity to her without being able to act on it. Not hero nor villain.
That was my understanding, as well.

Rick (the singer) is just an angsty teenager whining about how his good friend has gotten involved with a really appealing girlfriend and he's in love with her as well.

"I've been funny, I've been cool with the lines..." just tells us he doesn't know what it really takes to attract a girl or guy (i.e. you need more than just that). This is more stereotypical teen drama.

And wishing isn't pursuing; what we see is that he's too clueless to go find someone else for himself.

--G!
  #75  
Old 08-27-2019, 05:27 PM
cochrane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 22,057
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
Maybe it was Saturday night? I guess that makes it all right.
No, it's another Saturday night and he ain't got nobody.
  #76  
Old 08-27-2019, 09:38 PM
Moriarty's Avatar
Moriarty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 2,834
He knows Jessie, but he’s not friends with Jessie. They don’t hang out or anything. Jessie is actually kind of a prick. So how come Jessie ended up with that hot girl he saw hanging off him? Man, he’s thinking, why can’t I find a woman like that? She’s loving him with her body, he just just knows it! Dammit, he wishes that he had Jessie’s girl.

It’s nothing personal, just envy from afar.

Last edited by Moriarty; 08-27-2019 at 09:39 PM.
  #77  
Old 08-27-2019, 11:06 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 85,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
No, it's another Saturday night and he ain't got nobody.
Doesn't he know that morning has broken, like the first morning?
  #78  
Old 08-28-2019, 07:46 AM
Vinyl Turnip is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 20,332
Is he a hero? The girl is Jessie's 4-year-old daughter, you bunch of sickos!
  #79  
Old 08-28-2019, 08:48 AM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 27,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip View Post
Is he a hero? The girl is Jessie's 4-year-old daughter, you bunch of sickos!
But she's very mature for her age.
  #80  
Old 08-28-2019, 09:08 AM
Dung Beetle's Avatar
Dung Beetle is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 16,614
He's nuts over her.
  #81  
Old 08-28-2019, 11:49 AM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 18,178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
He knows Jessie, but heís not friends with Jessie. They donít hang out or anything. Jessie is actually kind of a prick. So how come Jessie ended up with that hot girl he saw hanging off him? Man, heís thinking, why canít I find a woman like that? Sheís loving him with her body, he just just knows it! Dammit, he wishes that he had Jessieís girl.

Itís nothing personal, just envy from afar.
Actually, Jessie is a friend. In fact, he's been a good friend. It's just lately something's changed.
  #82  
Old 08-28-2019, 11:58 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 62,183
He doesn't actually do anything but whine about it, so I would say the question is rather moot.
  #83  
Old 08-28-2019, 12:06 PM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 17,783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
But she's very mature for her age.
But that girl, she'll be a woman soon.
__________________
"Just love everybody. I'll sort 'em out later"

-God
  #84  
Old 08-28-2019, 12:19 PM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
And to shake off those ol' summertime blues.
I know a woman who can take care of that
  #85  
Old 08-28-2019, 02:06 PM
BubbaDog's Avatar
BubbaDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: KC MO or there abouts
Posts: 5,723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
To break the theme of the thread with a serious answer, the song says Stacy's Dad walked out.
Hey, if I can declare Jessie's girl to be THE Stacy,
Then I can say her dad came back!

  #86  
Old 08-28-2019, 03:47 PM
Ashtura is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,337
It seems quite obvious to me that if his advances ("being cool with the lines") got any traction with her, he'd absolutely take the opportunity. Then he and she would be "the villain". I don't know, if someone tries to do something bad and fails, we don't usually look kindly on that, and definitely don't call them heroes.
  #87  
Old 08-28-2019, 05:20 PM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 17,783
To be fair, there's not much that goes on with he'in and she'in that could be considered heroic. Unless he saves her from a burning building or something.....
__________________
"Just love everybody. I'll sort 'em out later"

-God
  #88  
Old 09-05-2019, 02:29 PM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,078
I was going to do a top ten biggest assholes in an 80's video but could only think of a couple

The dude in "Voices Carry"

And Laupers boyfriend in "Time After Time" when she cuts her hair.
  #89  
Old 09-05-2019, 02:50 PM
Dung Beetle's Avatar
Dung Beetle is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 16,614
What about the guy Pat Benatar shakes her tits at in "Love Is a Battlefield"?


Or the dad from that Twisted Sister video?
  #90  
Old 09-05-2019, 03:15 PM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dung Beetle View Post
What about the guy Pat Benatar shakes her tits at in "Love Is a Battlefield"?


Or the dad from that Twisted Sister video?
Heh. I'd say Pats dad in that video is a much bigger asshole. Nice accidental find!

Edit: In 'Voices Carry', El Douche also* has a problem with her hair. "What's the deal with not liking womens hair in 80's videos??"

*Referring to 'Time After Time' here.

Last edited by Dale Sams; 09-05-2019 at 03:18 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017