Friday, February 20, 2004

Uh, Clay, I think that's illegal...

I fancy myself a media savvy individual. I like to think that I have my finger firmly on the pulse of popular media, unless it appears on HBO. But music is an exception. For the most part, music for me stopped with the Alan Parson Project in the mid 1980's ("I call it a 'LASER'").

So a few weeks back, I was watching Saturday Night Live while getting ready for bed. The musical guest was Clay Aiken. I recognized the face as the runner-up on American Idol. I had to admit, Aiken knew how to play to the camera and to the audience. It was an understated and watchable performance. He performed his hit single, "Invisible." Again, fluffy but catchy. Like a Twix Bar for your ears. After that, I ran across the song a couple of other times and decided to buy the CD to see if this guy had chops or not. And that led to the disturbing part.

I listened closely to the refrain of the song. As the liner notes don't include lyrics, I think this is what it said:
"If I was invisible, then I could just watch you in your room.
If I was invincible, I could make you mine tonight.
If hearts were unbreakable, then I could just tell you where I stand.
I could be the strongest man, if I was invisible.
Oh, wait, I already am."

First problem is grammar. Unless I am much mistaken, when using the subjunctive mood, the sentence should be "If I WERE invisible...." Using correct grammar would not affect the rhythm of the song, so use it. Second problem is the content itself. Consider the first line of the refrain. The last time I checked that is called stalking or breaking and entering or both. That is some serious prison time. Then read the next verse. What does that mean? He needs to be invincible because if the person realizes that an invisible man is watching might pull a weapon. But it's the tag that seals it. He is invisible. So is he already in the midst of the stalking campaign?

Why this bothers me comes from his core audience, 12 to 15 year old girls. (No sassy comments upon my purchasing the CD. It was strictly research.) Am I the only one who finds this kind of mixed message a bad way to describe a romantic relationship? Like it or not, what we hear gets funnelled into our memory and stays there. I still can sing parts of the Vivaldi Mass in G Minor and last sang that in high school, people. These swooning girls are getting the message that somehow "making you mine" is the way a relationship is supposed to go.

Just another sign that we have to watch every little bit that goes in.

1 comment:

portal said...

yes yes and yes! we just recently had a discussion amongst some of the online parishioners at my church as to where one draws the line with some of the media content. One has to be very careful becuase once it is IN your head....there is STAYS!

PS - I can't believe you're listening to CLAY! aaaah hahahaha! ;^J