Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rap - Soundtrack for the Apocalypse

And the Breakdown of Law
Myron Magnet in City Journal gives not only an excellent article on the circular thinking of the 77 Duke University profs who condemned the lacrosse team in print before the verdict of "not guilty" was handed down, but also lays out the reasons (mimetically speaking) for rap music to be the soundtrack for the sacrificial apocalyptic meltdown of the West:
Let me start with a disclaimer. I know that rap’s house has many mansions—there is even Christian rap—and I believe that some rap varieties are constructive. I know that nice kids listen to nasty music and remain uncorrupted. And I know that an old (if not yet dead) white male who thinks rock and roll died when Buddy Holly went down in a 1959 plane crash with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper is rushing into terra incognita in discussing this topic. But I also know that most of the rap that the wider world knows is gangsta rap, and to read the lyrics, listen to the songs, and watch the videos of some of the most popular rap songs is instructive, diagnostic, and disturbing.
Magnet explicates the downward spiral of the bending over backward to sooth and coddle victims sans Our Lord's words, "Go, and sin no more." This, as Gil Bailie has pointed out, has been the gigantic cultural experiment of the West since the Enlightenment: trying to excise the 2nd Great Commandment ("Love your neighbor as yourself") from the 1st Great Commandment ("You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength"). The secular humanist path has led through the "workers' paradise" and the gas chambers. UPDATE: From Bailie's very recent document, Upon This Rock: "In our more brazen moments, we may think this history something we can tinker with behind God's back, but the quickest way to make a mess of it is to proceed on the assumption that it's our alone."

Now thug and gangsta culture is leading to the happy, clappy world of misogyny and "hos":
The great accomplishment of civilization has been to replace the reign of force with the rule of law, and to humanize the animal realities in which our lives are embedded by means of manners and rituals that give those realities a human meaning. And if the rule of law fares poorly in rap, civilization’s great effort to transform the animal facts of reproduction into love and marriage doesn’t do so well in gangsta-land, either. This is what so much of our culture is about—our manners and morals, poetry and song and film, from the Song of Solomon and the medieval French romances to “The Way You Look Tonight”: yes, I have these feelings, but not just for anyone; it’s you personally I love, so much that I want you always. And many of the popular songs of the 1940s and 1950s, making the promise of permanence explicit, end with talk of marriage. Human beings undergo an education of the feelings, and popular culture’s love songs were once great instructors in this school.

It’s a long drop to the dogghouse and Doggystyle. And since it’s culture that molds feelings and behavior, when the “Why don’t we do it in the road” spirit of sexual liberation of the 1960s declined in the ghetto into “Do you want it over here? Do you want it over there?,” feelings and behavior were bound to follow. Rap is a school that hardens and coarsens rather than cultivates the feelings and, presenting women as disposable and interchangeable objects for use, dehumanizes rather than humanizes the relations between the sexes.
Magnet's entire article is here.

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