You Shouldn’t Hate Pop Music, You Should Hate Yourself.

There is little certainty in life. It is easy to feel like we have little control of our lives and that our fates are in the hand of some indifferent higher power. It is because of these feelings that we created pop culture. People wanted the opportunity  to play God. They wanted the chance to build up others so that they could have the satisfaction of tearing them down. Just like God, we as a society, have the ability to create and destroy. We pluck people out of obscurity, make them into celebrities, worship them and then when we become bored or envious of them, we destroy them. We either strip them from the limelight or we destroy the reputation.

We hate pop music because it reflects our most negative attributes. Pop music is an acknowledgement and celebration of our society’s most perverted pleasures. It is superficial, it is contrived and it is narcissistic. But at the end of the day- aren’t we?

People bash the pop genre. People say that every song sounds the same and that it is an industry based on stolen and recycled content. People say that it’s reductive and that it lacks intellect or passion. They say that’s it’s mass produced and mechanical. At the end of the day, pop stars can’t get a break. If they try something experimental, they’re criticized for being polarizing. If they release something similar to their previous work, they’re  criticized for not growing as an artist. The constant battle that pop stars face is releasing music that is meaningful and original while catering to the masses.

Those who reject pop music ignore the reality of our society. Pop music is the dominant genre because it is the most honest. People are inherently self obsessed and only interested in materialistic things. Teenagers like to drink, they like to have sex, they like to party all night. We are a society that lives for instant gratification, and pop music gives us this gratification. We listen to pop music so we don’t have to listen to the voices in our heads. Now that we live in a global world, we’re painfully aware of the injustices around the world. We know about the poverty of third world countries, we know about human rights abuses. But we choose to do nothing about them- we drown out the cries of the world around us with polished beats and hooks. Maybe all pop songs sound the same, maybe they don’t. But one could argue that pop music just reflects the reality that there aren’t really many original ideas left. We are a society that likes to build upon what we already have and while pop songs may sound similar they are constantly evolving.  We’re a society of thieves, built upon cultural appropriation and globalization.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that before people criticize pop music they should look at the society we live in. Pop music isn’t the death of culture, it’s merely a reflection of it. There’s something quite liberating about acknowledging our own excess and narcissism. Everyone craves to be the center of attention, everyone wants to be remembered when they die. We all long for some perverted form of immortality and relevance. Being superficial is a part of human nature. The issue is when we allow this type of thinking and living to dominate all aspects of our existence. Pop music is meant to be fun and problem free. Sometimes we need that. It is when we choose to live in a reality that ignores injustice and abuse that this becomes an issue. I don’t expect pop music to change the world. I don’t expect to find great meaning in it. I need it to be easy to dance to.

2 comments

  1. I agree (and love how you put this, btw) about how pop isn’t the death of a culture, but reflection. As a “hater” of pop music myself, I agree to disagree about how much is reflected. The “haters” of pop music don’t like it because they have a different view and don’t see how it is a reflection. They believe that sex is wrong until you are married, underage drinking sucks, and that people rely too much on material objects. Many do- and that’s okay. I’m personally okay with people liking this music. Yes, I will voice my opinion ONLY when they voice theirs. My friends openly criticize my music genres (musicals, alternative, etc) and claim it’s nerdy, so I tend to retaliate without thinking. I’m okay with someone walking down the street with headphones mouthing “Roar” or something. What I’m not okay with, is the pressure people apply. I’ll be in my room, writing, and forced to bear my sister’s One Direction blaring. Or going to my friend’s house and her insisting on playing Pink in the background, despite my polite pleas to turn it off. Or even riding the bus as my bus driver blares explicit pop on a SCHOOL bus. But if you like to listen to it and it doesn’t effect me, so be it. Insisting that I listen to it because Phantom of the Opera is “stupid and nerdy” (which I’m not saying you did – this article was perfect since you never really insulted the haters or insisting we all listen to it. It was well written too.) is a bit rude.
    Thank you for your time,
    Keep writing this ruled,
    Annyonmus

    Like

  2. Hello,
    Very solid and insightful blog post. I would argue that acknowledging that pop music is a reflective of the American obsession of immediate gratification is actually the best reason to openly despise it.

    I think you are right that pop music is a sort of dopamine inducing means of washing away the world’s problems. But all the immediate gratification related components of our culture aren’t representative of who we definitively are. They represent what we have become, and striving to change that is a worthy goal.

    It’s a difficult fight to fight. People don’t want to hear bad things. But I don’t think that is a reason to resign to defeat and give in to corrupting influences that prompt us to forego thought in favor of immediate happiness.

    Real happiness is reflective of years of work and effort building the life and helping shape the world you want.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s