Wednesday, June 08, 2005

REALITY OFFENDS

Majority of the mainstream music these days is insufferable, contemptuous and irrelevant. Want proof? Watch MTV sometime. It is the epitome of western cultural decay and apathy. I realize that I am generalizing and not all music aired on that channel is bad, but majority of the content of this Music Television Network is bloody awful.

Considering these rather gloomy times we live in, where the only remaining superpower is controlled by neo-fascists who are hell bent on global dominance, one would expect to hear many songs of protest and anger against the establishment. They are plenty of subject matters to choose from, courtesy the US government, but majority of these so-called artists are too self-obsessed or money hungry to come up with any relevant content for their songs that is reflective of our times. Apart from a few of the current crop of musicians, the rest of these rock and rollers are unconcerned with what is happening around the world, at least that is the impression one gets.

When it comes to using profanity, promoting sexual deviance, or demeaning faith, they are the first ones to fight for the right to free speech and are unwilling to comprise their artistic integrity. So what happens to their courage when their government lies to invade other countries and murders thousands of innocent people? I guess the US foreign policy is least of your concerns, when you are busy working on hits like Get Your Booty on the Dance Floor. I don’t expect the likes of Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and Justin Timberlake to wax lyrical about what ails the world, but the sexagenarian rockers like Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and the like, who have more money than most third world countries, ought to grow some testicles and sing a few protest songs for a change.

It is a sad indictment of our times when majority of the artistic voices are muted in the face of blatant western government hypocrisy and belligerence. These musicians have the means and a large fan base to accent their dissent and question authority but apparently they are too busy buying their eighth Ferrari, launching their own line of ridiculously priced merchandise that no one really needs or appearing on Oprah to candidly discuss their fourth failed marriage.

These are the same people who will now jump at the chance to be part of the line-up of artists who will perform for the Live 8 concerts, organized by Bob Geldof. It so nice of Bob to organize such events every twenty years so these artists can sleep comfortably in their beds at night knowing that they have done their required bit of philanthropy to end world hunger. Bastards!

I think it appropriate to end with lyrics from a song called ‘The Century Ends’ by David Gray (a real artist/musician in my view). Although he wrote this song for an album that was originally released in 1993, his words are particularly relevant now than ever before.

THE CENTURY ENDS - By David Gray

Try to focus on it all
Find a spirit of resistance
Instead of pride before the fall
Forge some opposition
From disparate strands
It ain't the prettiest position
As a century ends

Unstable situation
Faces made of wax
Streams of melting glass
Sheets of butchered facts
The roar of the machine
Hooded hearts and jewelled hands
And anger spilling out like gasoline
As a century ends

Everything I seen, everything that I heard
It ain't even the top of the iceberg
Fire down memory lane
So pass me my rose tinted glasses again

Through a fog of contradiction
Out to the lake of tears
See society admiring it's own reflection
Chase a light that shines and disappears
Careful what you say, 'cause reality offends
Just sit back and let your soul decay
As a century ends

And it's easy to get weary
As you fight to get it done
Against a popular theory

That it's over before it's even begun
Strain the limit of compassion
Tend a wound that never mends
And honesty still out of fashion
As a century ends



3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.
But there still is good music and interesting poetry out there, you just have to dig deeper than before. It's so much harder to get published now than before, all the independents seem to be owned by the multi-nationals, all of a sudden.

Very good post! Much appreciated! I feel a bit less alone when I read stuff like that!

12:33 PM  
Blogger Hani said...

Absolutely rocking entry! Music is reduced to half naked women having sex on the screen. What happened to music being an expression of emotion? What happened to the passion? Bah.

You're also right on the other counts of these artists not getting the message out there regarding the double standards of the US govt. They know its not going to sell. Music is all about what sells and that sucks.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Januaryrain said...

It is true music is not what it used to be. I wish there were an outlet for American aritist to sing protest songs, unfortunately the vietnam war showed us that even if we protest, our country will do what they will. I think that is the reason most of us (Americans) don't do more to protest what we see going on. I know that it may sound like a cop out, but we middle American house wifes don't feel like the white house is listening. Plus it isn't big money, and like you said there are fewer famous musicans concerned with integrity, but that is not to say they don't exist. They just don't get air play.

4:35 PM  

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