In the past few days you may have seen the stupendously awful video for the tremendously bad song "Friday" by a young lady named Rebecca Black. In case you haven't, it's embedded below. It's a good lesson about what days come after and before other days. So what the fresh hell is this? Where did it come from? Well, it came from a dark, scary, sad place. A place called the Ark Music Factory.

As others have noted, the Ark Music Factory is an LA-based production company of sorts that finds wannabe singers, mostly teen girls, and writes them a quickie pop song, slaps together a video, and sends it out onto the internet. Their ambition, it seems, is to land the next Justin Bieber, himself a YouTube-born star, and net the sweet profits. Like on Deadliest Catch when they throw out all those "pots" into the chilly Bering Sea, hoping that at least some of them yield pink gold. A quick survey of their current roster of artists, however, does not inspire much confidence.

While it's probably a little unfair to make fun of poor youngsters who dream of stardom and have been given a dubious platform by Bieber-mad big city LA schmoozers, it's impossible not to. The video at top, from some sort of fake-looking launch party and featuring a cast of kids talking about their "song," because at this point that's all they have, a single sad song, just says so much about our current American idea of fame and success and how to get it that it cannot be ignored. And if you have to break a few teenage hearts to make that omelet, well so be it.