28 November 2011

Religion Vs Rock N' Roll

I know, the title couldn't be more kitschy and lame. But here is what the world has come to! I have been avoiding to get into this debate (i.e. the religion, not the Rock N' Roll one) for obvious reasons:

1. I am not religious, at all, so my thoughts and ideas are probably biased (or maybe scientifically researched, educated, and rational);
2. I will defend Rock N' Roll (not intentional Christian Rock, Satanic Rock or whatever useless piece of propaganda out there, just pure Rock N' Roll);
3. I despise ignorance and people who are comfortable with it.

I will probably make more enemies than attract followers with this piece of writing but a person has to do what's honest to them. So here it is then!

I've recently read another piece of "creative writing" (and I am being very kind here) by a certain person, of certain religious beliefs, through a certain propagandic website. I will not disclose any more details as I do not want to advertise them more than I need to.

This piece starts off by describing how the Rock N' Roll scene has shocked parents around the world; from Elvis' hip moves, to The Beatles' haircut (!), The Rolling Stones' vulgar rock, Jefferson Airplane's hippie ways, and last but not least, Heavy Metal's advocation of sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, drug abuse, and Satanism (notice the capital S!).

Then it goes on to defend the Rock music that suits them best, i.e. the one infused with relevant religious elements and in their opinion human sensitivity, poetry, and constructive social criticism and ditch the Rock music that is EVIL.

Evil Wrong Rock music (could be a new sub-genre, don't you think?) according to these people is the music of Sex & Lust (i.e. Mötley Crüe). It goes into a detailed discussion about scenes of sex & lust in specific songs and the androgynous look of Mick Jagger. Then we have Rebellion, a condition promoted by Rock music along with attacks towards society, parents, school, and god....!

Then follows Aggression & Violence, apparently evident on MTV. Here is the argument that mostly got on my nerves (politely put): Heavy Metal music is not intellectual, it's meant to connect to the "most base and low levels of the unconscious mind". There are so many wrongs in that sentence, that as a Psychologist, I'm offended by the lack of interest, understanding, and pretentious use of what they think is deep and science-y enough to impress the readers.

The fourth danger of Rock is Immediate Gratification, enjoying life in the present and avoiding thoughts about the future. Finally, we have Satanism, which as always cannot be excluded from any discussion on Rock music. Here we are presented with examples like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and MTV. The blame for satanism is settled then!

Reading this article evoked many feelings in me: mainly the EVIL ones! I was surprised how people can be so narrow-minded, ignorant, and dishonest all at the same time. I don't wish to attack people personally, that is not my purpose in life. I worry how religious propagandas undermine the intellectual ability of people. Especially when these propagandas come from people who change their religious affiliations like dirty underwear.

Surely a well-educated, wise, and rational person can understand that Rock music cannot be blamed for all social problems. And by well-educated I don't necessarily mean people with University level degrees etc. On the contrary, I mean people with life experiences that teach more than a University doctorate.

People are way smarter than the person who wrote the article thinks (or is). Surely, from a psychological perspective, the teenage years are a very challenging and sensitive period in our lives. But most problems derive from inadequate familial, educational, and societal support and guidance. Music, in the same way as books, movies, and TV, does carry some challenges and thought-provoking views, ideas, even fantastical elements. 

It's the way children are equipped that will determine whether they succumb to stupid ideas such as satanism, gods, and mythological creatures. I wish that people would simply stop blaming general vague umbrella-type terms such as Heavy Metal for all the problems society (another vague umbrella-type term!) faces.

Just to be clear: As I do not believe in a white-bearded, long-haired, sandal and cape-wearing man, sitting on a white cloud and picking his next "miracle" victim, the same way I do not believe in a red-faced, goatee-bearer, goat-like man, with horns, sitting in the deepest parts of earth, stirring an imaginary soup made with humans in a giant cauldron.     

Imagination can help with creativity but sometimes it can get in the way of reality as well.
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