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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thoughts: Dangerous and Insane Lyrics

I can't help myself.  I love a catchy pop dance tune, even if it's the same tunes the teenagers are listening to.  A good dance tune helps me achieve a state of bliss, even under the worst case of duress.  As I once said to fellow Toastmaster at a district conference, "You just can't feel bad when Mr. Saxobeat is playing."  Try it, I dare you.

I guess I chose to never grow up, or maybe since I don't have children, I haven't used music as a generational divide between myself and my nonexistent kids.  I seem to have evolved my tastes as the music industry has evolved. OK, maybe "evolve" isn't quite the right term.  In any case, there's several current songs that have caught my attention and get me moving, even if nobody else ever gets to witness the flailing that passes for dance in front of my stereo.  In particular Without You, by David Guetta, sticks in my head for more than one reason.  Here's an example of the lyrics:

I can't win,
I can't reign,
I will never win this game,
Without you, without you
I am lost
I am vain,
I will never be the same
Without you, without you

I love this song; the great beat, the European influences.  There's one problem.  The lyrics are dangerous and insane.

If you asked somebody to describe what the song is about, you might get a response along this line: 
"This guy got dumped by his girlfriend.  He was obviously in love with her and now he's absolutely crushed.  It's kinda romantic."  
How is this either dangerous or insane?  This is exactly how many of us have come to interpret romance.  It's romantic when you love somebody so much that you're distraught if they leave you.  I'll bet that if you asked a bunch of young men, a large percentage of them would agree.  (If they listened to David Guetta, that is.)  For many years, far too many years, I would have agreed.  There's a much better way to interpret what the song is about:
"This guy got dumped by his girlfriend.  He was obviously in a dysfunctional relationship with her.  He had no identity of his own and used her to provide meaning to his life instead of having a sense of self.  Now he's showing signs of emotional immaturity, the exact kind of immaturity that probably doomed his relationship from the start."
It doesn't sound so romantic now does it?  When you realize what's going on, it sounds like borderline insanity.  I should know, I was there once or twice.  The first time was in college, and the second about 7 years ago.  I'm surprised any of my friends put up with me.  I was in a sad state.

I'm reminded of the movie "Hitch", when Alex "Hitch" Hitchens, played by Will Smith, tells us about his first love in college, how his heart was broken and he basically went out of his mind like the lyrics describe.  There's a scene where young Hitch pounds on the window of the car his ex is riding in with her new boyfriend.  "Tell me what I did wrong, I can fix it!" Hitch cries.  The new boyfriend leans over and tells him, "Dude, you're doing it right now."

Being emotionally crushed by a girl (or a guy) reflects an immature mental state, yet this is what we're presenting in the media.  Yep, dangerous and insane.

Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if teenagers were raised with good mentors who could teach them how to deal with their emotions and establish self-respect.  Good mentors are hard to find, especially when the parents probably didn't learn these skills themselves and were left on their own to learn the hard way.

Unfortunately, my parents didn't have the knowledge or skills to help me along.  As it was, I didn't even enter the dating scene until I was in college, where my emotional immaturity didn't help matters one bit.  Throw in one particularly messed up girlfriend, and the stage was set for the remainder of my fiasco filled dating life up until now.

Damn you David Guetta and the rest of the musical bards of dysfunctional dating.

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