Friday, April 4, 2014

Not everything is awesome

This'll come much later than the what-was-big-and-now-is-past release of The Lego Movie. I haven't yet seen said movie, because when my boys went on opening day, it was a Daddy/Son event and I was not invited. Wahh. (It's all right, really—I'll see it on vid.) After they returned, though, our home was filled for the next few days with a catchy yet increasingly annoying little ditty called "Everything Is Awesome."

I don't know if Tegan and Sara wrote the lyrics; I was never a huge fan of theirs to begin with. I guess it really doesn't matter; some adult wrote them, likely. The words are sung very quickly, especially the "rapping" (talking) sections of the song, where men's voices are heard speaking the lyrics at lightning speed. Even sung quickly, however, most of the words are easily understood.

After a few [tens of] times hearing the song, I couldn't help feeling disgruntled by the lyrics. They're brainless. I clearly grok that this song is not intended to be a lasting contribution to the world's collection of meaningful compositions. Yet. A lot of the words are inane, and some of them? Downright lies.

Have you heard the news? Everyone's talking
Life is good 'cause everything's awesome
Lost my job, there's a new opportunity
More free time for my awesome community
I feel more awesome than an awesome possum
Dip my body in chocolate frosting
Three years later wash off the frosting
Smelling like a blossom, everything is awesome
Stepped in mud, got new brown shoes
It's awesome to win and it's awesome to lose


Blue skies, bouncy springs
We just named two awesome things
A Nobel prize, a piece of string
You know what's awesome? Everything!
Trees, frogs, clogs they're awesome
Rocks, clocks and socks they're awesome
Figs and jigs and twigs that's awesome
Everything you see or think or say is awesome

Okay, I took out all the touchy-feely parts of the song, where the girls shriek about how it's awesome to be part of a team, and we should all party forever... It's basically harmless, I suppose. This song is not a terrible song, and it's certainly not the first popular song to feature pointless, random lyrics (although it might be the only song I've ever heard that talks about frosting—no, wait, there's that awful MacArthur Park song from the 70s...)

But the line that broke my straw was that last line. The one I marked in bold. It's crap. It flies absolutely in the face of every Biblical tenant about mankind. So, I had to go and get all serious and address this with my kid. We've seen poverty, and illness, and people abusing other people, I said to him. We've seen car accidents, and arguments. Are those awesome? No, answered my son. And God tells us that thinking a sin is as bad as doing it, right (Matthew 5:27-28)? That's right. And the tongue? God calls is a fire, full of deadly poison (James 3:5-8). Not such a ringing endorsement for what we say, eh? And my boy agreed.

Obviously, this Lego song is not meant to deliver serious, meaningful messages to kids. Still, they're all walking around singing it. Not as much, now that it's not so new... but the lyrics are being written on kids' hearts. Those lyrics are being learned, internalized. Do the kids who hear and sing them also believe them? I have to think that some of them do. And that disturbs me.

Here is something that I'd rather hide in my heart, and my kiddo's heart. This is what I'd rather remember and refer to in times of confusion:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9

No comments: