Monday, October 22, 2012

Ke$ha's False Premises

In the past I have highlighted foolish worldly pop-culture 'thinking' before, and I propose to do it again.  I encountered a song on the radio the other day by a 'singer' (quotes emphasized) named Ke$ha.  I'm guessing this spelling was an unfortunate error on the part of the nurse filling out the birth certificate.  Anyway, I wanted to share some lyrics (though you'll thank me for not quoting all of them) from one of her songs:
I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums
Oh what a shame that you came here with someone
So while you're here in my arms
Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young
We're gonna die young
We're gonna die young
Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young
What's of interest to me, and ought to be of interest to everyone is the conclusion drawn.  For Ke$ha, the prospect of dying young entails hedonistic premises and leads to hedonistic conclusions.  And yet the assumption here is that questions of the meaning of life, of why we're here, of what true and lasting pleasure are, of death and the afterlife are all secondary.  For Ke$ha, death is just an obstacle to more pleasure.  And I fear for many of us, and for her enthusiastic listeners, this is often the case.

I know it's just a really dumb song, and the people who listen to it claim not to care about the lyrics, but they deserve a contrast from the opposite end of the seriousness spectrum.  I have previously compared music lyrics to Edwards, and I'm about to do it again.  Jonathan Edwards was the picture of a man who wanted desperately not to waste his life.  I quote now from his resolutions:
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.
For many, music functions for us as a way to escape the responsibilities of existence.  It is a means to forget about work and family and life and just lose oneself in the beat.  If music is used in this way, it becomes a tool of self-destruction because, like a drug, it deadens the soul to our deepest and most desperate needs, while at the same time leaving those needs completely unaddressed.

Lets take Ke$ha's advice and live like we're gonna die young.  But let's do something different because of it.  Don't waste your life, people.

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