Remember when you were a little kid and you used to mindlessly sing lyrics to catchy songs without really thinking about what they meant? Then, when you were a teen, you started thinking about lyrics in this heavy, meaningful way and the music of your generation became really important and you discovered things like it was the first time this music had ever been heard-
I think most of us go through that.
The other day I heard my five year old crooning about Jesus being crucified, crucified and I was thinking- she has no idea what she's saying, but someone thought it was appropriate to teach my five year old this song- what the fuck! What happened to lighter fare like 'Jesus loves me, this I know, cause the Bible tells me so...' no, they taught her full on horrifying stuff, really. I was ready for the next verse to be "then he hung there bleeding, bleeding, while the flies buzzed around his thorny head!"
I remember singing "Jimmy crack corn and I don't care..." and "I'm a yankee doodle dandy..." what the heck was that?
I think even more insidious that that is what is seeping into our teen culture now. I turned up the music to Billy Joel's My Life "I don't care what you say any more, this is MY life, go ahead with your own life, leave me alone." The perfect teen anthem if ever there was one, and a song I carry around in my pocket when I can't please everyone. But overall, a song I can still get behind. Self reliance- resistance to peer pressure- the message there? "They will tell you : you can't sleep alone in a strange place, then they'll tell you : you can't sleep with somebody else- ah but sooner or later you sleep in your own space, either way, it's okay, you wake up with yourself."
The other day I was listening to the radio and Bruno Mars song Just the way you are (don't get me started with how Billy had a far superior song of the same name) and I was thinking to myself- teen girls love this song but it is begging them to be even more insecure and needy than they already are.
HE has to tell her she's beautiful and amazing. She can't see it herself. She hates her laugh- she always asks if she looks okay.
This song, it's catchy, Bruno has a lovely, melodic voice, but look at what this song is saying to girls? We need guys to tell us we look okay- she's more attractive when she hates her laugh. This is the kind of thing that Pink was railing against in her music, the dumbing down of girls.
Stupid girls are everywhere and we are supposed to admire them. Cause they're pretty? Pretty girls get a pass when they don't get it exactly right. Today I watched a video of all the Miss America contestants answer the question "Should evolution be taught in schools?"
I was BEGGING for one of them to give an intelligent answer. Surely they couldn't all be that stupid. Most of them said "Sure, but we should present both sides." Both sides of WHAT, ladies?
Lots of them said kids should have it presented to them so they got to make up their own minds later...
It is mind boggling. Evolution is really more than just a theory, beauty queens. Are they really walking that line? The I'm a Christian, vote for me, I have decided that I believe the Bible when it said the world is flat...and I support Galileo being jailed for heresy when he insisted on that scientific fact. I mean it was just a theory of his, so it's obvious that if it goes against the Bible, it has to be a lie! Everything in the Bible is true and we must abide by it. Throw out your cotton/poly blends, they are of the devil. It's great that these women are competing for COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS because they definitely need an education.
Why is it that once again, being an intelligent woman is terrible? I mean, lots of people spent a lot of time making sure these fifty women were ignorant and then they raised them up on a platform of beauty and someone had to tell them they were pretty! They couldn't look in the mirror and tell that themselves? We need a contest to decide who is the prettiest? God forbid they be smart, you know, no one likes a girl who is vain and intelligent.
The other day a woman called me conceited and self impressed because I listed languages I studied and speak- one of them happened to be Latin. Hey, she asked if I knew who Cicero was- I replied, of course, I studied Latin for years, though he wrote a great deal in Greek...
I am pretty sure I'm not ugly enough to know that. Because if I was, that would have been okay.
And newsflash, ladies, you can be a Christian and believe in scientific things like evolution- cause if you believe in the magical man in the sky, he could easily have made the animals evolve, he's GOD, he can do anything including evolution.
My daughters are all very pretty girls. But I didn't raise any of them to be shy about being intelligent. Anyone who doesn't appreciate how sharp they are is in trouble. I love my brain, I think it is the sexiest thing about me, and always was. A long time friend of mine stopped being friend with me, reportedly because I thought I was smarter than she was.
First of all, I wouldn't have been friends with her if I thought she was an idiot but this is a result of me not HIDING my intelligence from her. I'm not sure when the brain got SO threatening. I know it scares a lot of guys. Cause you might figure out their game? Cause girls are not supposed to be smarter than boys? Cause it somehow goes against nature? It would have been quite difficult for me to date someone who was smarter than I was. I gave that up a long time ago, it was never a pursuit I was interested in. Sure, I wanted to be with an intelligent guy but compatibility is about so much more than that!
It would be really difficult for someone to compete with my background, if this were about competing, which it isn't. People find out I was raised by two PhD's and they have been known to be threatened. I went to some great schools and some terrible schools and I learned a lot from all of them. Ever read a terrible book? It taught me what not to write. Life is not a competition. In fact, I never desired a PhD for myself. I knew all along, no matter what higher degree I pursued, it would never be about the letters, but what I learned. The education itself is the value. The deep and critical thinking is the gift. And that can be attained as easily through life as through college, but you have to be paying attention.
I had that all along, and what I truly valued was the ability to do it. Somewhere along the line, no one taught these girls that basic ability. To value what they have, to use their innate ability to think critically and deeply. So, please, give us catchy tunes that tell us something that makes us think. Give us deep and meaningful lyrics that speak to our souls. Stop picking apart and valuing our worst insecurities and putting them to catchy music to complete the dumbing down of this generation of women. I'm not falling for it and neither are my daughters.