I came across this article the other day and it was so off-base, that I had to dust off my keyboard, recover my WordPress password, and write up a response.
Dear The Matt Walsh Blog:
You are a hypocrite.
Okay, maybe you’re not. You’re only a hypocrite if you:
- Watch sports
- Watch comedy sitcoms
- Listen to Chris Rock
- Watch fictional movies
- Listen to gangster rap (any rap where they’re talking about violence)
- Listen to male artists who talk about having sex (to put it lightly) with females
- Play sports
- Read magazines
- Hang out with your friends
- Go to the movies
- Eat anything unhealthy
- Play video games
- Read and/or post on music forums
- Read about musicians
- Almost anything else
- Have sex without the intention of having children (though from reading your post, I doubt you ever experienced this)
All those things I listed are things that we do for fun. Things that don’t have any inherent value, that aren’t about learning, but are just about enjoying ourselves.
Because that’s what pop music is.
In case you didn’t understand the origins of the word: pop = popular.
In case that’s still too difficult for you to understand, then, Popular: intended for or suited to the taste, understanding, or means of the general public rather than specialists or intellectuals.
Let’s table that definition for a minute.
Why do certain fans hail music as some holy grail that we should only listen to if it has some deep meaning? That if we listen to anything “simple”, that we’re sheep? When did music become Biology class to some?
When you’re at home on Sundays watching the Patriots and the Broncos – what amazingly deep value is that bringing you? What are you learning? Would you like somebody in your ear saying “he’s just sheep, watching that nonsense. He should be watching a political debate or a documentary”? Or when you’re hanging out with your friends. You’re just talking about nonsense. You’re not learning, you’re not teaching. If you eat a candy bar, is someone in your ear saying “that isn’t making you healthy!”. No. Sometimes, we just do things to enjoy them.
When I’m on my way home from a long day of work and i get in my car, I turn on the radio so I can listen to music and just RELAX. I don’t always want to think. Personally? I love listening to Common, Lupe, Ab Soul, Nas, etc. I enjoy that type of music. SOMETIMES. But other times? I like listening to to something catchy. Something about partying, or the weekend, or about sex. I just want to sing along to something catchy.
Pop music has been “simple” since the dawn of time. The Beatles weren’t solving poverty or discussing the benefits of using alternative energy. Matter of fact, let’s explore the genius behind “She Loves Me”, arguably the Beatles most popular song of all time:
She says she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad, ooh!
She loves you, yeah yeah yeah
She loves you, yeah yeah yeah
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
It’s safe to assume that Columbia University won’t be offering a class to analyze those lyrics anytime soon.
People who want to study lyrics – that’s a very specific niche. Just like documentaries and politics are a niche. Now, let’s circle back up to the definition of pop music.
Popular: intended for or suited to the taste, understanding, or means of the general public rather than specialists or intellectuals.
So, basically your argument is that pop music shouldn’t exist. That niches should be popular. Obviously, that’s a contra-statement. The general public has always enjoyed simple, easy to understand music, because the general public doesn’t consider music a classroom. Your entire article is devoid of value, if you ask me.
By the way, I noticed everyone you mentioned was a female. Beyonce, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus…where’s your post to all the male rappers and singers who talk about all of their sexual endeavors? Why aren’t you outraged by that? Or is it because it’s cool for a guy to talk about how much sex he has. That makes him ‘da man’. But a woman talking about sex? That’s just trashy. Or, what words did you use? Degrading and offensive. Right, because we all know it’s degrading if a woman has sex. Did you originally write this post in the 1950s and forgot to post it until now?
Stop acting fake-smart by mocking people who don’t listen to music that you deem intelligent. It doesn’t make them sheep anymore than you’re sheep for all the non-learning things you do. Music is an avenue to express whatever you want. There is enough music for you to be able to find something that specifically addresses what you value most. Don’t write a post telling people what they should or shouldn’t listen to. To borrow from RYLNYC on the Boxden forums, “it’s the equivalent of coming up to someone, smacking their food off the table and telling them to get something that tastes better… just cause you think you know better.”
And by the way, “Song of Solomon” is a horrible song, regardless of whatever genre of music you listen to.