Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gwen Stefani -- "Hollaback Girl" (2004)

This sh*t is bananas

I hope you enjoyed a fun-filled Cinco de Mayo.  (Not feeling too hungover still, are you?)

2 or 3 lines spent this wonderful holiday with its close friend Snooki, star of the Jersey Shore reality TV show.  As this photo shows, we celebrated with Mexican Bulldogs -- which you make by sticking a Corona bottle into a big-ass frozen margarita.

Snooki celebrates Cinco de Mayo
with a Mexican Bulldog
Anyway, let's pick up where we left off -- which was midway through my recent pleasure-business-pleasure trip to San Francisco, San Diego, and Granbury, Texas.

I go to San Diego every year with several other attorneys from my law firm because we exhibit at a trade show held annually at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel:

(The tree in the foreground of that photo is the naked coral tree, or Erythrina coralloides.)

I always seem to get a room with a view of the gynormous Dole Food Company facility at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, which is just south of the hotel.

Dole trailers at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal
San Diego is one of the 30 busiest ports in the U.S., but it handles less than 2% of the container traffic that each of the two busiest American ports (Los Angeles and Long Beach) handle.  

Dole imports roughly 500,000 tons of bananas and pineapples from Central and South America through San Diego each year.  It's the Port of San Diego's biggest customer.

Dole's fleet of ships takes fruit to Europe, the Far East, and four ports in the U.S. -- Wilmington (DE), Port Everglades (FL), Gulfport (MS), and San Diego (which is the entry point for fresh produce going to stores west of the Rockies).  

Dole imports about 185 million bananas through San Diego every month.  It recently signed a 25-year lease with the Port of San Diego for almost a million square feet at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

The Dole Ecuador
Every time I've been in San Diego, there's been a Dole ship tied up just south of my hotel.  Each of those ships holds about 500 40-foot containers full of fruit.  

Dole's banana ships are about 550 feet long, but they look like rowboats compared to a US Navy aircraft carrier.

The USS Ronald Reagan
While I was in San Diego last month, three of the Navy's ten aircraft carriers -- the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), and the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) -- were in port.  The speculation was that this was the result of the Navy's need to save some money due to the sequestration thing.  (The home port for the Vinson and Reagan is San Diego.  The home port for the Nimitz is Everett, Washington.)

Here's a shot of the three carriers (with a ferry boat in the foreground) taken from across San Diego Bay:

Each of these ships carries a crew of 5680 sailors and 90 aircraft (mostly F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets).  These three carriers alone pack a punch that is superior to that of any other country's navy.  (The navies of the UK, France, Russia, and China each operate only a single aircraft carrier, none of which can compare to any of the US Navy's carriers.)

F/A-18 E/F "Super Hornet"
There was one other very impressive ship in port when I was in San Diego: the 199-foot, $80 million  yacht Méduse, which is owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.  The Méduse sleeps 12 passengers (plus 15 crew members), and is equipped with a recording studio and a helicopter.  

Here are a couple of views of the Méduse:

That's a big-ass yacht, but Allen actually owns two that are even bigger -- the 302-foot Tatoose ($162 million) and the 414-foot Octopus ($200 million), which was the largest private yacht in the world when it was built in 2003.  The Octopus is equipped with two helicopters, seven tenders (the largest is a 63-footer), a swimming pool, and two submarines.

Allen left Microsoft years ago, but reportedly still owns 138 million Microsoft shares (which have a market value of about $4.4 billion).  He owns the Seattle Seahawks football team, the Portland Trailblazers basketball team, most of Ticketmaster, a $250 million art collection, and a bunch of guitars that once belonged to Jimi Hendrix.

Allen reportedly bought the Fender Stratocaster that Hendrix played at Woodstock for $2 million:

Allen is a major philanthropist.  He's given away an estimated $1 billion to various nonprofit organizations, and is one of 105 billionaires around the world who has signed "The Giving Pledge," promising to give at least half of his fortune to charity.  But there's plenty more where that came from.

"Hollaback Girl" was released on Gwen Stefani's very successful first solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

The term "hollaback girl" (or "holler back girl") was originally used to describe a cheerleader who repeats -- hollers back -- the words of the cheer that the squad leader shouts out.

More generally, a hollaback girl is a girl that waits around for guys to call her up and then agrees to do pretty much whatever they want her to do -- a doormat (or booty call), in other words.

Gwen  makes it clear in this song that she isn't a hollaback girl in either sense of the expression.

Gwen Stefani about to
strangle Courtney Love
"Hollaback Girl" was written in response to some disparaging comments Courteney Love made comparing Stefani to a high-school cheerleader.  (Love said she wasn't the cheerleader type -- you can say that again.)  As far as Stefani is concerned, Love's sh*t is "bananas."

Here's the "Hollaback Girl" video.  It's a hoot:

"Hollaback Girl" is one of the songs that is prominently featured in the Super Mash Bros mashup, "Young Gelt Cash Gelt Billionaires":

Girl Talk also uses "Hollaback Girl" in the "Hand Clap" mashup:

Click here to buy "Hollaback Girl" from Amazon:

1 comment:

  1. That Dole freighter sent my mental jukebox back to the 1950s for the "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" both the original by Harry Belafonte and the "demented" version by Stan Freberg. To this day, when I go through the produce section of the market, I double check to be sure no "deadly black tarantulas" hitched a ride on "a beautiful bunch of ripe bananas". "Like, man, I don't dig spiders. They bug me!"