The Pain of Being a Hopelesss Unbeliever by meeks
July 1, 2008, 10:28 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

The Christian right decided some decade ago that a great way to stay in touch and bring in more youths into the cult was to put out some Christian Rock Music.* The music espoused Christian values of praising Jesus, praying, praying, and of course praising Jesus. The music always felt so fake to me most likely due to the lyrics transparency. There was no two ways about it – the music was propaganda meant to attract youths to the faith.

Christain Punks

* I felt it so ironic that these bands often wore the punk fashion stylings that their sugar daddies had so vehemently fought against. These corporate buffoons are recycling a perversion of the punk fashions devoid of and antithetical to any of its original social sentiment.

So I guess my pondering is – Is music a viable form of propaganda? A useful alternative to say a novel, or pamphlet, or (these days) a blog, useful for promulgation.

Personally, my musical tastes lean towards ambiguity, which I feel would inhibit the propaganda potential. David Bowie, one of the all time crazy cryptic with completely inaccessible lyrics, and Beck, a man who maintains that much of his lyrics are nonsense, I name as two of my favorite artist.

It’s on Amerikas tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
‘Cause Lennon’s on sale again

-Excerpt from Life on Mars

It is really hard to discern the subject matter that Bowie is talking about much less present a cogent perspective.

Even more puzzling is Beck’s Hollywood freaks in which it is unclear that Beck is even talking about anything at all as opposed to just mixing smooth sounding sounds.

People look so snooty
Take pills make them moody
Automatic booty
Zero to tutee fruity
Sex in the halls
Niagara Falls
Local shopping malls receive
Anonymous calls
Hot like a cheetah
Neon mamacita
Eat at tacoria
Pop locking’ beats from Korea
Looking like jail bait
Selling lots of real estate
Looking like a hot date
Banging like an 808

-Excerpt Hollywood Freaks

Music is my preferred form of poetry, open, dense, and personal. Not having a clear idea of the artist’s original intent (if any) allows me more freedom to personalize the meaning of the song to myself. I usually feel a little deflated hearing an artist talk about the “real meaning” behind a song as so wild, free, ambiguous; I don’t want to hear I am The Walrus is some silly acid trip. It feels against the spirit of the song to leak.

Nevertheless, Christian Rock is a industry meaning it is profitable and that people listen to it. There is a viable market for propaganda music – I am just not part of it.