This morning on Tumblr, I posted a picture of a music review someone had written on Chris Brown’s album Fortune. Not only did the reviewer call this album “repugnant”, they implored the reader to not support Brown’s music because of his history of violence against women. Having read excerpts from a report given by the Los Angeles Police Department, I couldn’t agree more. Chris Brown does not deserve to be public figure adored and idolised by people.
Yet people keep leaping to his defense.
I received this message in my inbox shortly after posting the article:
bitch your mother should not be celebrated. who tf are you? a cracker. please sit. no1cur about your thoughts. HE STILL GOT MORE MONEY THAN YOU!
That is a direct copy and paste, in its entirety, from Anonymous’ message. Yup, Anonymous. Unless the famed 4chan hacker has me locked in his crosshairs, then the person who wrote this message didn’t even have the guts to put their name on it. Cowardly support of a man who punches women in the face. I’m using my real name as I post this. I’m not hiding behind an alias. Is it too much to expect that people won’t respond in kind?
What is Anonymous’ argument? Why should I withdraw my condemnation of Brown? He has more money than me. Wow! Apparently money can’t buy you love but it can buy you the right to do what you want without anybody criticising you.
This is not right. This should not be. Turning a blind eye to a person’s unrepentant sin, just because you enjoy there music, is not on.
Back in the late 90s, one of my favourite past times was second hand CD shopping. Remember, this was a time before iTunes. Before YouTube. Even before JB HiFi and its large library of obscure and cheap CDs. For me, back then, the best way to discover music that was a bit out of left field was the second hand CD shops. My main tactic was to track down any one hit wonders I’d heard on Triple J and see if there was any gold on the rest of their album. And there was. Some of my favourite CDs were discovered on these expeditions. And chief among these was a band called Eve 6.
Eve 6’s self titled album became one of my all time favourites. I couldn’t understand why these guys were relatively big in America but virtually unheard of here in Australia. They became my favourite band. And then they broke up. And I was sad. However, after 8 years apart, Eve 6 have reunited and released a new album, Speak in Code. I was apprehensive. Would they be just as good? Or would this be an ill advised return?
Speak in Code has now arrived. And it is indeed worthy of my anticipation.
Over the last year or so, Greyson Chance has been positioning himself as the younger, cuter, and newer version of Justin Bieber. At 14, he’s a Youtube sensation and has his own album out. Unfriend You is his latest single. It’s your stock standard song about teenage heartbreak clothed in enough modern day lingo that it appears fresh and speaks to a new generation. And while there is nothing remarkable in the lyrics or the film clip, it’s the marketing of Chance and the part he plays in current trends that has me concerned.
So, Justin Bieber has a song called Pray. How about that? The Bieb has gone on record to discuss his Christian faith and there’s a bit of controversy going on at the moment about some of his convictions that have come across in a recent issue of Rolling Stone. So it was bound to happen that Bieber’s faith would be reflected in his music. Pray is Justin Bieber putting it out there and sharing his prayer life with the world.
And now I have some questions.
C.S. Lewis was once quoted as saying that in his youth he was “very angry with God for not existing”. It’s a common, though paradoxical, statement. If God did exist, then surely he would see all the suffering and pain in the world and do something about it. The fact that he hasn’t stepped in and got rid of all the bad stuff in the world is surely evidence that there is no God. Isn’t it?
In 1986, the band XTC had a surprise hit with their song Dear God. How much of a surprise? It was released as a B side on another single. (Side note: Do people even remember B sides? Do I need to explain what a B side is? I feel so old.) There was controversy and outrage over this song. How dare they release a song that was so heavily atheistic in nature? “If there’s one thing I don’t believe in, it’s you. Dear God.”
It’s no secret that life in this world can be hard. Sometimes days, weeks, years can go past and you wonder to yourself “is this all worth it?” The world is so full of pain and hurt and suffering. There’s got to be a way out. There’s got to be a survival mechanism. There’s got to be a way to make this life bearable.
To stay on top of things is this world is impossible to do on your own. The pressure is too much. But maybe, just maybe, two people could do it. Maybe if I had someone with me, a boyfriend or girlfriend, whatever. Maybe love is the key to salvation. Maybe love will save the day. As it says in The Gossip’s song Heavy Cross, “It takes two. It’s up to me and you to prove it.” But will love really save the day?
The character of Alice Cooper is the villain of his show. You’re meant to cheer against him. He says things and does things that fly in the face of normalcy and decency. He is counter cultural and digs up those things we’d rather be left buried. And that’s a good thing. He challenges us to recognise the things in this world that we’d rather sweep under the carpet and ignore. And sometimes, whilst he’s delighting us with sick fantasies, he can reveal something about human nature that we’d rather he didn’t say. Because it’s true. I DO just wanna be God.