Everything that’s wrong with Idolizing blindly.

I always found myself too critical of things, even the banal ones. Reading too much into sociology made a cynic out of me. I found myself enjoying the prevalent popular culture around me, lesser and lesser with every day. No structure was left out of it- politics, music, dress patterns, cinema. I won’t say I don’t have favourites but I idolize nothing completely, or let’s just say blindly. It’s difficult to enjoy things when you are so critical. Having said that, I wonder if it is a bad thing at all. The way things are going on around me(politics mainly), people seem to have taken a liking to one person(PM Modi) so much so that they defend him and his political party at any cost. The idea of revering someone unquestionably is perhaps the most dangerous thing to me. It clouds your judgement and gives you a zombie like stature where you stop thinking rationally.

This piece however is not about politics.

We all know the current music scenario around us. In this globalized world, there isn’t much different in the east or west. The youth everywhere seem to have taken a liking to the counter-cultural music scenes. It’s a ‘way of life’ they say, while ‘keeping it real’.  I am an avid consumer of some of these bands too, but I prefer to single out songs as favourites rather than worshipping the band as a whole. Some of the songs i like, others not so much. I can think of two British bands right now which are reverenced like Godly figures by the youth and older generations alike- the Beatles and the Rolling stones. Both Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney have been knighted for services to Britain. Two of their songs titled ‘Run For Your Life’ and ‘Under My Thumb’ recently caught my attention. Sample the lyrics for yourself-

“Run For Your Life”- The Beatles

Well I’d rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or I won’t know where I am

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That’s the end ah little girl

Well I know that I’m a wicked guy
And I was born with a jealous mind
And I can’t spend my whole life
Trying just to make you toe the line

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That’s the end ah little girl

Let this be a sermon
I mean everything I’ve said
Baby, I’m determined
And I’d rather see you dead

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That’s the end ah little girl

I’d rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or you won’t know where I am

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That’s the end ah little girl

“Under My Thumb”- The Rolling Stones

Under my thumb
The girl who once had me down
Under my thumb
The girl who once pushed me around
It’s down to me
The difference in the clothes she wears
Down to me, the change has come,
She’s under my thumb
Ain’t it the truth babe?
Under my thumb
The squirmin’ dog who’s just had her day
Under my thumb
A girl who has just changed her ways
It’s down to me, yes it is
The way she does just what she’s told
Down to me, the change has come
She’s under my thumb
Ah, ah, say it’s alright
Under my thumb
A siamese cat of a girl
Under my thumb
She’s the sweetest, hmmm, pet in the world
It’s down to me
The way she talks when she’s spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She’s under my thumb
Ah, take it easy babe
Yeah
It’s down to me, oh yeah
The way she talks when she’s spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She’s under my thumb
Yeah, it feels alright
Under my thumb
Her eyes are just kept to herself
Under my thumb, well I
I can still look at someone else
It’s down to me, oh that’s what I said
The way she talks when she’s spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She’s under my thumb
Say, it’s alright.
Take it easy babe
Feels alright
Take it, take it easy babe.

Clearly both the tracks have some very dubious lyrics. Now misogyny in rock lyrics has been longstanding. One could probably counter me citing thousand other songs which are misogynistic in nature. But this is isn’t about the Beatles or Snoop Dogg or Danny Brown singing “Love a feminist b*tch, oh, it get my dick hard / So no apologies for all the misogyny.” This is about idolizing public figures too much. I am not suggesting that you go from awe to blah, but do not let that flicker of contradiction extinguish. You don’t have to put everyone on a pedestal. Appreciate but do not glorify. Sanghis, are you listening?

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