By Curtis Cole
Another year, another spring break. Another time for horny undergraduates to travel on their parent’s dime to the various vacation spots catering to young Whites. But, this also means another chance for The Lonely Island to release another politically charged satirical track. What is it this time, you ask? Only the emergence of a homonormativity at the expense of heteronormative representation. Enter: “Spring Break Anthem”.
Ultimately, “Spring Break Anthem” is concerned with ‘passing the torch’. It is a song where heteronormativity is seen but reticulated as homonormativity; socially, this is presented as an inverse of the usual way homosexuals are represented in the mass media. Instead of Gay men depicted as perverted sex-creatures with little to no control over their impulses, they are presented as socially responsible and morally upright individuals; all the while, meanwhile, their heterosexual counterparts are depicted in an unusual spot—immature, overly sexualized, and their eyes on something other than their respective futures.
In terms of dissemination, such an inverse gains its power through juxtaposition.
Throughout the song, as the heterosexual youths are seen in compromising, debauched situations, the token homosexual couple is seen as anything but compromised: for every moment the heterosexuals are clogging up the toilets for fun, or trading beads for girls’ bras, their homosexual counterparts are fixing seating arrangements, charming the in-laws, and preparing for their wedding. In other words, a sharp contrast has been established. But it is an important contrast because it defines what the subtext of the video is about; that is, legitimation of not only homosexuality but same-sex marriage.
In a certain sense, “Spring Break” is propaganda. But, since very little in this world is not propaganda, since everything (or, at least, the vast majority of things) is imbued with ideology, this is not saying very much. At the minimum, it is an activist piece, an attempt to show the young, heterosexual mainstream that their Gay counterparts are as every bit normal as the rest of humanity; the young, presumably White, heterosexual viewer is supposed to see themselves in the vice corroded heterosexuals on screen, having fun, while understand that the immaturity of their position—socially normal, healthy, but irresponsible—is supposed to elicit some sense of understanding that because the homosexual couple’s desires are responsible and well within the heterosexual’s own, eventual desires—long term relationships and copulation, a desire to be seen as a legitimate and free agent with relative autonomy—that, that makes each, hetero-and-homosexuality, as merely two sides of the same coin.
I certainly was thrown askew the first time I heard the line “And marry a man”. Honestly, a bit on sexual equality in a song whose surface title suggests drunken partying was not the sort of text I expected to include Gay people, let alone make them a critical component of the track. At first, I thought I didn’t hear correctly, but when the song kept referring back to it and I saw the Gay couple, I knew that I had heard correctly. Upon repeated listenings, though, I came around to the idea and knew that my favorite comedy pop band had come across another hit.