Habits – Stay High and Go to Sex Clubs: Ten Weeks in the Top Ten

the decadence of rome

As 2014 comes to an end, my hope continues to be that the writings on this blog help people consider ordinary things in a new light and that a previously unconsidered perspective may move someone in a positive direction, no matter how slight.

So as a new year is only hours away, I cannot help but reflect on the ever evolving social consciousness of our society. More specifically, how the music that we allow into our homes, cars, and work spaces impacts that social consciousness. Some may find it hard to believe, but I am not a prude. I’m not some legalistic, religious Pharisee. I drink Alcohol, I’ve been known to say a foul word here and there, despite my best efforts I gossip every now and then, I dance, I play sports, hike, recycle, eat fast food; I am in the world.

However, just because I am participating fully and joyfully in the world does not mean that I need allow negative, hedonistic, immoral, and downright debase mantras into my ears, mind, and soul. I refuse to be too lazy to switch the radio station, or too much of a glutton to turn off a song that preaches hate and immorality. Music is pervasive and its effects have more impact on us than we might ever realize (See: Satan Loves His Music and Yours Too.)

Now to the song that stirred my passion enough to write this last post of 2014. It has a great hook, nice vocals, and an overall good quality. In short, I like the song – a lot. Okay, someday I might question my musical choices, but as today’s latest trendy pop song, this one is entertaining. It has almost 70,000,000 official Vevo video views and has hit number 1 on the US top 40 charts. The song is “Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo.

Tove-lo

I know very little about the artist. I don’t know or care if they are in some cult, part of the Illuminati, or just some random one hit wonder that may never be heard from again. For all I know the writers could be Evangelical Christians, but that still would not change any of my upcoming observations. It’s quite possible that the songwriters had good intentions or were simply tearing a page out of their journal. However, none of that matters because most people listening to the song don’t know any of the background either.  What they hear, along with the simple melody and soft pop beats, are the following lyrics:

“I eat my dinner in my bathtub
Then I go to sex clubs
Watching freaky people getting it on
It doesn’t make me nervous
If anything I’m restless
Yeah I’ve been around and I’ve seen it all
I get home, I got the munchies
Binge on all my Twinkies
Throw up in the tub, then I go to sleep
And I drank up all my money
Dazed and kinda lonely
You’re gone and I gotta stay high
All the time to keep you off my mind
Ohoh ohoh
High all the time to keep you off my mind Spend my days locked in a haze
Trying to forget you babe, I fall back down I gotta stay high all my life to
forget I’m missing you
Pick up daddy’s at the playground
How I spend my day time
Loosen up their frown, make them feel alive Oh make it fast and greasy I’m
numb and way too easy
You’re gone and i gotta stay high
All the time to keep you off my mind
Ohoh Ohoh
High all the time to keep you off my mind Spend my days locked in a haze,
tryin to forget you babe, I fall back down I gotta stay high all my life to
forget I’m missing you
Staying in my play pretend
Where the fun ain’t got no end
Can’t go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain
Staying in my play pretend
Where the fun ain’t got no end
Can’t go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain
You’re gone and I gotta stay high
All the time to keep you off my mind
Ohoh ohoh
High all the time to keep you off my mind Spend my days locked in a haze
Trying to forget you babe, I fall back down I gotta stay high all my life to
forget I’m missing you”
-Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lov

Sweet musings, right? Hardly. As my previous post Music and Apologetics: The Beginning reveals, music is one of the most infiltrating of all art forms in existence. We may like to pretend that the music playing in the background of our lives is nothing more than innocuous noise, but research just does not support that assumption. In The Power of Music, Elena Mannes states “Scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function.”

I do not need to expound on the above lyrics to illustrate the profound and far-reaching implications it has on the individual and society at large. It does not matter what the writer intended the lyrics to mean. The reasons why they wrote it in the first place matter even less. The artist is more than likely just sharing their life story. But so what?  Does that mean we need to be made aware of every disgusting life choice an artist makes? Some things are indeed better left unsaid, or perhaps at the very least left on the sofa of a psychologist’s sofa.

The fact is that as we listen to those lyrics we are gradually inoculated to the perversities being articulated. We might even find them intriguing. When was the last time you went to a sex club to get over a break up? Well, for your ten year old child, niece, or grandson, listening to the song over and over and over,  it now seems like just another addition to the realm of socially acceptable behaviors. Why not, mom and dad jam to it on the radio.

Look, I’m not advocating for censorship here. I’m also not dictating what anybody should or should not listen to. What I am suggesting is that people pay attention and make choices that will make their lives better. I’m also suggesting that people bringing up and mentoring the youth of today help guide them towards positive uplifting material until they are old enough to sift through the garbage on their own.

I suppose what I really would hope is that my Christian brothers and sisters would take a stand by making the day to day choices that bring them in line with the Holy Spirit and further away from the deceiver. But that’s not an easy task. It’s hard sometimes not to eat the second piece of cake. It can be difficult to skip the number one movie of the week because it does nothing but promote an immoral agenda. I think it’s even harder to make moment by moment decisions to turn a song off, to change the radio station, even when your ears absolutely love the music.

Perhaps your constitution is strong enough to filter the immoral mantras of today’s music. But even so, what about those around you? Do you think it’s no big deal that your sixteen year old daughter, niece, or brother sings along to these lyrics: “Pick up daddy’s at the playground. How I spend my day time.”? What about society at large? Because I guarantee you, after 70,000,000 video views, it’s a little more acceptable to hang out at sex clubs when you’re feeling blue. Or to pick up old men on the playground to have sex with. Is it a little more acceptable to you too? Make a stand each and every song you listen to. Each artist you give your money to.

Finally, I leave you with another mantra to contemplate when you are having a hard time in life. You don’t need to get high, go to sex clubs, or numb the pain with what the world has to offer. Read this everyday and hum the melody until it becomes more familiar in your heart and mind than your most favorite song “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

good-things-Philippians

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