Soundtrack to a Gotterdammerung

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This is the song that is lately playing in my head when I read about the latest outrage involving the Trump administration or Congress or whathaveyou…
 

 

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Why We Hate Certain Music

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I ran across a post on Freshly Pressed that referenced some of the most “hated” musical artists of recent decades. Not surprisingly, bands such as Nickelback and Goo Goo Dolls were among them. The author of said post explained this as a consequence of “living in the age of irony”, an assertion I’m hard pressed to decipher. Frankly, the Goo Goo Dolls leaned heavily on irony in their lyrics. I mean, read the words to “Black Balloon” and tell me that they’re straight forward.

Nevertheless, I got to thinking on why some artists who make perfectly good music end up hated by a wide swath of the listening public. I don’t think the resonance of the songs or the culture relevance (or lack thereof) explains the adverse reaction. Rather, the ubiquity of the music in and of itself determines it. The most satisfying music is challenging and not immediately accessible. Our satisfaction with it becomes earned through repeated listens. Most popular music, however, is highly ingratiating and immediately gratifying.

Listening to pop music is like eating candy. If you really love jellybeans, you can eat them all day long and not get sick of them. If not, you get your fill and then want to stop eating them for at least awhile. The problem then comes in the difficulty in getting away from some artists and/or songs because they stream frequently over the airwaves and become near-impossible to avoid. Thus, a strong backlash ensues.

In conclusion, let me just leave you with a simple aphorism: “Moderation in all things . . .”
 

The Immoral Moralists

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Raw Story quotes Phil Robertson saying something particularly hideous:

“I’ll make a bet with you. Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him.”

“Then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them, and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him, and then they can look at him and say, “Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now, is it dude?”

Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, “Wouldn’t it be something if [there] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.”

If it happened to them, they probably would say, “Something about this just ain’t right.”

Not only is wishing something like this on another human being reprehensible, it reveals something deeply disturbing about society’s self-appointed arbiters of morality: that they view right and wrong as the parameters of suffering that human beings deserve for their inherent sinfulness. To put it another way, moral systems are only established to determine who gets to harm whom and in what way. They see this world as an inherently violent one and only wish to determine where the hammer will fall.

I hope very few people subscribe to this way of thinking. It is not my view of morality, which is as a social contract, an agreement to ban certain behaviors for mutual benefit. I will elaborate more on this in a future post. In the mean time, here’s a palette cleanser:
 

Pissed Off Rednecks and Angry Vertebrates

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The viral video that you (may or may not) have heard all about:
 

 
Plus, Pharyngula has an interesting reaction to the above video. An excerpt:

OK, you know why you are “controversial”? It’s because you say idiotic things like that.

You are part of real America. I’m one of those liberal college professors, and I’m also part of real America. I come from a family of blue-collar factory workers, and they’re part of real America. Those black teenagers getting shot in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri? Also real Americans. You don’t get to appropriate the term “American” as only rightfully belonging to rural rednecks. It’s that selfish, unthinking self-righteousness that rankles.

Oh, America. Will you ever be at peace with yourself?