America, don't hate us for the Offspring's 'Cruising California'
Forgive us, as we forgot about the Offspring. We weren't paying attention to the band, and left unchecked, this, apparently, is what happens.
While we can't speak for all of California, please know that many of us, as much as we may love the Golden State, are tired of rock songs about California. Even we understand that it's time to be inspired by something other than beaches and skinny people, and just in case Anthony Kiedis is reading, it still counts as a "California song" even if it's about a girl whose last name is California.
That all being said, we knew that this year, what with the Beach Boys reuniting and Best Coast issuing a new album, we were pushing our luck on the California-song overkill. But we didn't even see this one coming. Honestly, we didn't think we'd encounter the words "the Offspring" printed anywhere outside of a KROQ-FM festival.
And then -- BAM -- late last week this thing called "Cruising California (Bumpin' In My Trunk)" suddenly appears, arriving with an attitude that was seemingly time-capsuled in pre-women's suffrage America. Look, we expect nonsense from Katy Perry, an artist who regularly shoots substances -- fire, frosting, dignity -- out of her bra. On the other side of the spectrum, we expect grown men in their mid-40s to not use the word "caboose" in reference to anything other than working on the railroad.
Now, we are well aware that the Offspring long ago swapped the all-inclusive, anything-goes ethos of punk rock for the world of radio-hit novelties, so ixnay on the "can't you take a joke" comments. But having a song called "Original Prankster" in your catalog doesn't mean you can deliver a punchline, and if "Cruising California" is meant to be absurd, then the band should have done more than deliver pandering, Carly Rae Jespen synths and a video in which a gaggle of senior citizens and tweens ogle barely-clothed strippers. Yes, the video, like the song, is not age-appropriate. Hilarious.
We don't want to call any more attention to this song and video than is necessary, especially because it quotes a classic from the Ramones and we don't want think of this nightmare when we hear "Blitzkrieg Bop." We simply wanted the rest of the country to know that some of us here in California are sorry that our pop-culture personalities continue to brag about wasting their lives away in beach towns.
Most of us here work hard, and many of us are jealous of things like seasons and baseball parks that aren't full of beach balls. Should you come to California, there are not, as the Offspring would lead you to believe, travelling buses full of women in G-strings -- unless, maybe, you're still collecting royalties on "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" and can afford to act like a boob.
Pop & Hiss
The video is below:
-- Todd Martens
Image: A screenshot from the Offspring's "Cruising California (Bumpin' In My Trunk)." Credit: Columbia Records / Vevo.com