How many of you care deeply about the messages within the songs and films you enjoy?
Do you often pass up songs because of the lyrics or the ridiculous antics of the songwriters? Or do you, like I do, regularly listen to the works of talented morons? Do you, like I do, struggle to ignore the inanity of those lyrics in your attempt to enjoy the musical qualities?
Once upon a time, I ignored lyrics with the greatest of ease. This comes as a shock to some people, but there are indeed music fans who can entirely tune out the content of lyrics ... even while singing along! I have long theorized that people raised largely on non-lyrical music, such as symphonies and big band jazz, are prone to ignore lyrics, while people raised on country music and pop songs are more attentive to such things.
My own awakening to the meaning within lyrics occurred as I began to write them. Now, I have trouble ignoring them ... and that has ruined many a song for me. Believe it or not, stubborn Catholic boy that I am, the bands I enjoyed as a teenager included the likes of Danzig, Judas Priest, and Testament — all of which glorified evil (Glenn Danzig, I'd argue, truly understands it). I have since given up Danzig entirely. I can't listen to "Father Lucifer" by Tori Amos without cringing, despite her Ozzy-like incapacity for lyrical focus.
Still, the vast majority of bands I enjoy make little sense in their lyrics and often belittle everything I stand for. That is because I still appreciate the musical elements more than the lyrical elements. And, frankly, there would be little left to enjoy if I cut out all the works by fools. I try to appreciate beauty where I find it, however flawed it may be.
How easily do you appreciate artistic works with liberal or just-plain-dumb messages? There have been other discussions on Ricochet about avoiding this or that actor, this or that film, etc. I'm more interested in your desire, or lack thereof, to appreciate deeply flawed works.
Hat tip, Mike LaRoche.