Thursday, August 23, 2012

Romantic Poverty

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I heard a song on the radio the other day that absolutely infuriated and disgusted me.  It made me very, very angry.  But I
didn’t think much of it after the song passed, until I heard it on the radio again, and I just had to look up the singer, because I couldn’t recognize the voice.

Turns out it’s by Justin Bieber.  But that fact alone wasn’t what pissed me off.  He’s an immature infant with a very poor attitude, who is ignorant, uneducated, and poorly-informed, yes, but many young celebrities are like that.  That in itself doesn’t bother me.

What bothered me were his lyrics:

As long as you love me
We can be starving
We can be homeless
We can be broke

Um, WHAT?  There is absolutely nothing romantic about poverty/destitution.  That is not a state anyone should ever aspire or want to be in.  Love is wonderful, yes, but love alone does not sustain relationships, contrary to popular belief, and it is not enough.  That should not be all people strive for. 

I’m actually really grossed out that Bieber, who (like me) grew up in a single parent household plagued by financial struggles, would sing this garbage.  I get that he only co-wrote this song – which is why, by the way, I’m also really disappointed in Darkchild because I’ve always loved his work – but (if he didn’t in fact write the chorus) when someone handed him these lyrics, should he not have turned his brain on for a second so that he could have realized that maybe they’re not a good idea?  That they make a mockery of the life his mother provided for him before he got so lucky?  Also, it’s ridiculous for someone like him, in his position, to sing a song about how romantic poverty is.  I think Andrew Unterberger of Pop Dust hit the nail right on the head when he wrote that such “preposterous” lyrics “probably should never be uttered by an 18-year-old with his own Batmobile.”

Oh, stop being such a crusty bitch, Tina, why do you have to take everything so seriously?  Lots of artists have sung, written, and spoken about how romantic it is to be young and poor.  It might not be right, but it’s hardly an original thought.  Why are you freaking out over this?

Because I’m getting to the age and frame of mind where I start worrying about the impression the media leaves on kids.  It’s bad enough that the Biebs is not a critical thinker, doesn’t see what’s wrong with these lyrics and performs them anyway.  But it’s even worse that some 11-16 year old somewhere (although we know, of course, his reach is even further than this), will listen to it, and swoon/melt, and believe that, hey, love IS all anyone needs, that it’s ok to be homeless, starving, and broke as long as a boy/girl loves him/her.  That maybe running away (like Bieber does in the music video) is a good idea when they have no income and no means of living.  That love really is all a relationship needs to survive and nothing else matters. 

That’s not okay.

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