Weezer is known as the math rock band from the 1990s with amazing albums like Pinkerton and the Blue Album. Their recent record “The White Album” included a particularly interesting track called “Thank God For Girls”. Being that the band has a history of being the “underrated nice guy playing Dragons and Dungeons trying to do his best to stay relevant to the hot girl ” vibe, I was interested to see if Weezer had matured in a sense according to the title.
To my surprise, the track held a lot of depth with some religious allegories sprinkled in with scientific nerd jargon to add nostalgia. There are two music videos the band created. I chose to blog about this particular one I attached because it definitely worked with the lyrics by contradicting them instead of being so blunt and explanatory like the first. The music video I attached is of the band running a church. The lead singer, Rivers Cuomo acts as a Televangelist, praising the word of Weezer. Curing people of their aches and pains while relieving them of their money, he is perceived as a savior. We then see the band go into a door of the church that leads to a whore house where the members gamble with harlots, swashbucklers, and tarts. The music video juxtaposes these two scenes until it crescendos into River’s losing the faith of his congregation as well as losing his hand at a game from an attempt at cheating. In this video, women are displayed as either in the congregation as naive and easily fooled, or in the gambling room as suspecting vixens. The duality of how women are marketed are being portrayed here. There’s also the duality of organized religion and how it’s pro’s are equalled in it’s cons when it comes to corruption of power and money accumulated and enforced in the name of “God”.
The lyrics themselves hold a completely different meaning which contradict the video. The first verse, Rivers talks about how the gender roles of women are limited to being the wife and cook for their husbands and nothing more. Their freedoms are limited while their husbands “encounter dragons and ruffians” (poking fun at Dragons and Dungeons) exerting their masculinity. When really at the end of the day when they return home, with scars and bruises, they need to be consoled by their meek housewife. It is her power that they are able to feel like a man when they’re incapable to make themselves feel that way. She then proceeds to console him by sticking a phallic object in his mouth (the cannoli). So we see a shift in gender roles, where the woman takes dominance over her husband to console him and instill confidence in himself. This can be seen through the relationship that Carlos and Virginia have. Virginia was able to acknowledge Carlos for who he was and not be overshadowed by his freckles. She gave him confidence to continue to endure the wrath and abuse of her father, Peter.
I found the last verse held a lot of meaning to Carlos’ interest in the role of Adam in the Tale of Adam and Eve. I found through the annotations, Carlos’ exile off the island was the only way that he’d be able to salvage his relationship with Virginia and clear his name. Peter plays the role of God (a vengeful one) while Carlos plays Adam and Virginia plays Eve. There’s definitely a Freudian relationship that Peter feels towards his own daughter and therefore see’s Carlos as a threat. It goes to question if he uses Carlos’ innocence as a scapegoat. As much pain as this brought Carlos after being exiled-emotional for not knowing if he’ll ever see Virginia again, along with leaving the home that is rightfully his-and physically from the experiments/ disgusting harsh conditions Peter subjected him to. But what seemed to be a curse of being exiled, was really a gift in disguise for allowing the case to unravel and the truth to be revealed.
The role in women play within the lyrics are that of a strong, influential juggernaut of desire and power. Known to make men weep and wail, according to Rivers. Rivers sought out to expose the true emotional dependency people have toward women in a weird Freudian mother role whether they’re a partner, friend, etc. Their emotional tolerance with their tenacity makes them the force to be reckon’d with- “She’s so big, she’s so strong”. Usually attributes that would be labelled for a man but no! It reminds me of illustrations by R. Crumb and his fetishization of amazon women. His drawings of him being dwarfed and made inferior became a fetish for him that was manifested in his art. In a way he almost looks like the singer Rivers Cuomo with the brown hair, glasses, and petite stature. Weezer does a great job analyzing the contradicting roles women play and show their importance as strong, attractive, unstoppable people.