Modern Music

Modern Music Be Making Us Dumb-Dumb

Forgive this preamble, but I believe it’s important to know.

In all forms of entertainment, there are tricks we can use to persuade an audience into thinking they are enjoying it. It’s more of a commentary on the limits of our species than anything conspiratorial. In literature, many popular titles follow the exact same format, known as the Hero’s Journey. Movies like Indiana Jones or Star Wars famously used this formula in their construction. Another formulaic approach to writing, particularly screenplays, would be the 1-3-5 story structure. This even goes so far as to tell you which part of the tale you should be on, based on the percentage of progress through the story-line.

When done poorly, the film is still somewhat entertaining, but when done properly, anyone oblivious to these structures won’t realize they’re seeing the same story told over and over. One article written here discusses a basic formula for constructing jokes. Personally, I believe horror works in a very similar way to humor, but that’s a subject for another time. Like humor, horror is also predictably formulaic: see The Uncanny Valley for one such example. If we write in a certain structure, like common meter, the writing becomes more palatable. Essays, be they persuasive or informative, also have a particular structure. This goes for food, style of clothing, or even speech; our preferences fall into patterns. If something is unfamiliar, we are predisposed not to like it, which likely had an evolutionary advantage. So stick with what’s predictable.

Today’s subject goes beyond these heuristics.

Almost all popular songs you hear in clubs and on the radio are made by the same four people, written at a 3rd grade reading level, typically using the same four chords, using the same rhyming pattern, computer algorithms and how well songs compress determine what will be a hit and what won’t. This is what you listen to and what you get excited for. It’s all the same damn song! Tell me this isn’t one of the craziest things you’ve ever seen.

Pop songs are at a grade 3 reading level, and this has dropped from grade 5 since the 00s

Dazed Digital, BBC

A ten-year analysis on the degradation of popular music:

Seatsmart

Popular music all sounds the same:

Vice

Computers determine what will be a hit. It can be as simple as file compression. If it compresses too much, the song is too simple; if it doesn’t compress well, the song is too complex. If it compresses within a certain range, the song will be a hit:

Vice

Computer algorithms determine if a song will be a hit:

Independent, LA Times

Most popular music is made by the same FOUR people.

The Atlantic

Axis of Awesome’s “Four Chord Song” Will show you how most modern music uses the exact same four chords.

Axis of Awesome: Four Chord Song

Modern music also tends to use the same rhyming scheme and use iambic pentameter, so you can sing the lyrics of one song to the tune of another. The following link will demonstrate this:

Stairway to Gilligan’s Island

That’s about all for today.

Homosexuality

First, I flippantly refer to the LGBT community as the Alphabet People, or the Rainbow People. I choose to mock that which I believe is ridiculous.

Second, it’s important to understand that the LGBT community, like Black Lives Matter, is an interest group. It’s an organization, receiving funding and donations to further changes to public policy. Just about everyone equates the interest group with all gay, lesbian, bi and trans people, which is wrong in more than one way. We shouldn’t assume that people with similar characteristics have similar beliefs, as this erases their individuality.

Third, there’s a whole lot of things to discuss, that people aren’t aware of. I’m going to speak of both the interest group and Gay, Lesbian Trans, Etc.

Finally, though it’s irrelevant, I’d like you to know that I cherish freedom, and generally speaking, the more freedom the better (the paradox of choice notwithstanding).
Now let’s get cracking. There’s a lot of bullshit to address.

Homosexuality used to be viewed as a mental illness. Though we claim that we don’t like to stigmatize mental illness, it’s still considered offensive to assert that homosexuals are mentally ill.

It was depathologized (no longer considered an illness) in 1973-1974.

This was largely due to an emotional appeal by Dr. Henry Anonymous (Dr. John E Fryer) at an APA conference. The central argument was that having homosexuality considered as a mental illness, this allowed society to ostracize them, and allowed for open abuse and discrimination against gays.

It should be noted that oppression due to illness should never justify changing the scientific view that it is an illness. Lepers were cast out of cities to live in camps and ostracized by society, but it would be ridiculous to use this as a justification to suggest leprosy was not an illness.

Dr. Anonymous is pictured below.
H A

Theories of homosexuality fall into one of three categories:

Psychopathology
(that it is a mental illness)
It is generally accepted that people are not in fact born gay. There appears to be a strong genetic predisposition, but there is also a strong environmental influence.

To find how much genetic vs environmental influence there is on a mental illness, researchers use genetic twin studies. If a condition were entirely biological and genetic twins have the same DNA, it would be expected that both twins would either have it, or not. For homosexuality, the genetic influence is about half, the other half is therefore environmental. Mental illnesses come with other, predictable mental illnesses (comorbidities) and must have an etiology, and this is true for homosexuality, lending to the theory that it is psychopathology.

Immaturity
(that it is a phase one may grow into and out of)

This is best exemplified by the relatively common experience for young, teenage boys to have one or two homoerotic wet dreams. During adolescence, it is relatively common to have peculiar fantasies, which come and go. Should one be fixated upon for longer than six months, it becomes a sexual fetish (paraphilia). This may also be true for homosexuality. The first three Diagnostic Statistical Manuals counted homosexuality as a paraphilia. My own theory regarding immaturity involves teenage boys who have a homoerotic wet dream, and are distressed by it. As a result, they question their sexuality and overcompensate, lashing out at anything that reminds them of this uncomfortable self-doubt, regularly condemning benign interactions as “that’s gay”. They also lash out at homosexuals and verbally or physically attack them, as a way of reassuring themselves that they are heterosexual, attacking these people as an effigy of themselves and reasserting their masculinity. This is my own personal theory of homophobia.

 

Normal Variance
(that it is natural, similar to left-handedness)This category regards homosexuality as something you’re born into. There’s been a big push in our culture to “normalize” homosexuality, with the expectation that once destigmatized, more people would admit they are gay, and it was expected that they would make up 10-15% of the general population, falling within 2 standard deviations of the mean, within the normal curve. This means it would literally be normal. That has yet to happen. All over the world, studies show only 1-4% of the general population is gay, which means it does not fall within the normal curve and thus is abnormal by definition. Since normal variance also presupposes one is gay from birth, the two biggest justifications for this theory don’t appear to be true.