Those of you who have read my earlier commentaries no doubt united with me in despair over my ever becoming modern. It is a statistical improbability that a curmudgeon of my age would ever become au courant. But I did it! I have now become politically correct. I now report my reaction, or rather lack thereof, to the Billboard Music Awards show on television the other night.
I am no longer troubled by the self-congratulatory ethos and institutional narcissism of such programs (including Emmys, Academy Awards, Golden Globe). I even felt a paternal glow of affection at the assembled characters: the men with hairdos that look like they were assaulted by a deranged taxidermist; the women with gowns that look like Janice Jackson after her Superbowl wardrobe ‘malfunction.’ Ah, you crazy, fun-loving gals and guys (notice I put the females before the males, further proof that I am PC)!
I was proud of myself when I listened to a truly inspired performer named Hozier sing his song, ‘Take Me to Church.’ I felt liberated that my faith was not insulted by the way that a portion of an old praise chorus (‘Amen, Amen, Amen Amen’) was inserted into the lyrics. For those of you interested in a more nirvanic experience, you may find the entire lyric, even the accompanying music video, online.
I knew that I had attained a high level of PC consciousness when I found myself gleefully humming along with yet another ecumenical ditty, ‘Conqueror.’ In this little musical pastiche, the performer prefers to stand tall rather than live on his knees.
While that sounded pleasantly secular, the final phrase in the chorus contains echoes of Romans 8:37 (‘for we are more than conquerors…’) and might have represented an annoying bit of biblical intrusion. But for those of us with Cosmic Correctness (one level above PC), these lyrics were harmless. They were- dare I say it? – INCLUSIVE!
Now it is possible that some evil genius is behind such lyrics, some PC visionary who puts such performances out simply as bait to capture unwary Christians who have the temerity, and misanthropy, to object to these harmless presumptions upon traditional songs and scripture verses.
Nah. It’s just talented visionaries who have the courage to challenge conservative thoughts and values. Ignore the fact that it takes no courage to do exactly what everyone else is doing. Let’s just give these folks credit for being what they are. Because I am PC, I will not actually state what I think they are.
My faith is not offended, and not merely because outrage is not permitted. I am sure it is all just fun. I notice, however, that the ‘just fun’ never seems to include anything from the Koran or even from the song ‘I am woman, hear me roar.’ Salman Rushdie, under a death warrant after publishing the anti-Islamic ‘Satanic Verses’ had written his book for ‘just fun.’ Ditto, the Danish editors of the political cartoon showing the prophet Mohammed with a bomb on his head cover. The producers of Charley Hebdo in France also erred in having fun with the wrong target. What a shame and inconvenience that they died.
For those of us who need to be told how to think, let us draw wisdom from those media pundits who celebrated a picture of Jesus’ mother created with elephant dung and surrounded by pornography. These same guardians of free artistic expression seemed to manifest keyboard diarrhea in their condemnation of anyone, including their erstwhile journalistic contemporaries, who would presume to trivialize the prophet of Allah.
Thus it would appear that the knife of courageous journalism ends exactly where the journalist’s own throat begins. It is far more prudent to restrict your courageous attacks to targets that are prevented by political correctness from fighting back.
Modern American performers will continue to thrive as long as they only get ‘edgy’ with Judeo-Christian values and traditions. You will have no problem with Islam (until our PC government begins to permit them to practice Sharia law in their own neighborhoods) as long as you don’t draw their attention to how you live and what you stand for.
For me, I have moved on. I seek to reach that psychic plane sketched by John Lennon in his song, ‘Imagine’. He exhorted the listener to seek a world in which there was nothing ‘to kill or die for.’ Yeah, John. That is what we need: a world where not even our country or our families are worth risking our lives to save.
Have I reached that level? Nope, the only thing I have decided to not be worth killing or dying for (or giving a damn about) is the Billboard Music Awards.