Monday, December 06, 2010

Bullshit or Not: Zappa Edition

There's an old sketch film called Amazon Women on the Moon and one of the bits is a parody of the old Leonard Nimoy show, "In Search Of..." called, "Bullshit or Not?" with the tagline "Bullshit or not? You decide." It's a line I like so much that I've stolen it for an irregular series of posts.

Since, we're already talking about Frank Zappa, here's a quotation from an interview with him to play with today:

"I think love lyrics have contributed to the general aura of bad mental health in America. Love lyrics create expectations which can never be met in real life, and so the kid who hears these tunes doesn't realize that that kind of love doesn't exist. If he goes out looking for it, he's going to be a kind of love loser all his life. Where do you get your instructions about love? Your mother and father don't say, 'Now, son, now daughter, here's how love works.' They don't know, so how can they tell their kids? So all you love data comes to you through the lyrics on Top Forty radio, or, in some instances, in movies or novels. The singer-songwriters who write these lyrics earn their living by pretending to reveal their innermost personal turmoil over the way love has hurt them, which creates a false standard that people use as a guideline on how to behave in interpersonal relationships. 'Does my heart feel as broken as that guy's heart?', 'Am I loving well?', 'Is my dick long enough?'"
So, are love songs responsible for unattainable images of love whose lack causes psychological distress? Are we psychologically poisoned by our popular music, striving for an unreachable ideal and feeling wrongly inferior because of it?

So, bullshit or not? You decide. As usual, feel free to leave anything from a single word to a dissertation.