Like anything nowadays, it seems that news outlets, which social media then echoes is the measure that tells us, collectively who to hate. This again proves true with one of the more recent outraged opinions about a song. Like many headlines do, this one got me thinking about the fact that bad rhetoric is bad rhetoric. Yet, we seem to oppose selective messages in this. In reality, why doesn’t culture oppose bad cultural rhetoric no matter who it’s coming from? Shouldn’t that be something we all are in favor of?
Culture and by extension of this, social media, is in a sad state. Obviously, this isn’t a statement about every single person. Nor do I think everyone wants to be “loud” on these apps. But these platforms have given everyone a megaphone to share what they’re mad about; why they’re jealous; their activism cause; which person or organization to despise; or even air the details of a private relationship. This and more is free on these apps.
DISCUSSION | THE DISNEY PRINCESS MODERN CULTURE REFUSES TO SEEWHY DON’T WE TALK ABOUT ALL BAD SOCIAL and CULTURAL RHETORIC? Talking about selective and collective anger. #Culture #Discussion #Opinion #JasonAldean #Music Click To Tweet
In recent days, I’ve written several opinion pieces about recent headline makers. One of them being the Aldean vs. social media controversy. If you didn’t see, Jason Aldean, a popular politically outspoken country star, is being accused of calling for violence because of a song. To be fair, it’s not really the song itself (out since May) so much as it is the recent music video. In the video, Aldean sings in front of a large white building and based on what I’ve seen, news outlet clips of multiple protests overlay Aldean’s vocals. The song, ‘Try That in a Small Town’ is, according to Aldean, a message about small towns rejecting destruction of property or punching people out without standing up to help.
The people who appoint themselves social justice warriors see something else. They instead claim Aldean is racist and encouraging violence.
I’m not writing this to condemn or defend the song, mainly because I didn’t listen to it. Plus outside of seconds long Reel clips, which I don’t consider a fair judgement, I didn’t watch the video. The point of this is to ask, if we’re upset about this song, why then aren’t we upset by any other popular peer cultural song? Many talk, in some form, about violence, abuse, or lewd acts. If you’re going to publicly create a scene and complain about bad cultural rhetoric or push back against a “dangerous” message, then it has to go for every artist, regardless of musical genre or political activism.
There are countless songs that use violence in the name of “art.” Shouldn’t they too be called out collectively? Same goes for books or films that turn mishandling a weapon into a slapstick joke.
No one, at least no one who is logical, wants violence. No one wants something bad to happen. Society wants to live peacefully; to be able to enjoy going into the city for a night out, attend a concert or school without fear. Anyone with sense believes this, and wants this.
We all “forgive” things in art but dislike that same thing in another piece of art. This is true. But if we continue to self-appoint keyboard warriors, I think we need to be more conscientious of what we use social media to object.
What are your thoughts? Have you heard this controversial song? Do you like Aldean’s music? What do you think about people who collectively use social media to object to something? Share all of your thoughts below.
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