This is a tough one. Below, please find "Hello Kitty," the new video from Canadian pop superstar Avril Lavigne, who will turn 30 this year, a fact not abundantly in evidence given the ear-abasing nature of the track (Skrillex' Inferno, basically) and the society-abasing depiction of modern Japan as a sake-and-sushi-and-cupcake-skirts-and-anime-minx hellhole that makes Audition look like The Muppets Take Manhattan. This is not a good look, in the parlance of our time.
There is a grim precedent here, of course, from Gwen Stefani's ill-considered Harujuku Girls period (upon which she repeatedly doubled down) to Katy Perry's "I just watched Memoirs of a Geisha on Netflix" 2013 American Music Awards fiasco —but the issue is that Avril, from the onset of her career, was presented as Smarter Than This. A down-to-earth, punk-ish, unsullied, refreshingly "real" antidote to the vapid Britney/Xtina/etc. antics that marred the turn of the century. That's a glib, paradoxically superficial, George Will/Rick Moody sorta gloss on the situation—Avril was shrewd marketing above all else—but I remain a fan: This is a genuinely great song, and this is a genuinely great album. This, however, is a tire fire of breathtaking size/intensity.
Avril's sweaty benefactors are currently in Whac-a-Mole mode with embeddable versions of this jam—here is the permalink on her site, which may stand as the sole consistent document until she either readies a heartfelt apology or a fragrance line. (There's a precedent.) Let this serve as a cautionary tale to us all. #cancelavril. Trend it.
Now if you'll excuse me, Lily Allen has a wacky new song about menstruation.