How Popular Music’s Lyrics Perpetuate American Idiocy

A current study served to validate the patently obvious: song lyrics for the most popular categories of music are ridiculously obtuse-- and becoming worse over time. Though this might not be a revelation, the figures are traumatic signs of both an intellectually vapid societal and cultural future as well as its noticeable inevitability.

If you have already moved away from Signboard music, congratulations, you refuse to be insulted. However if you haven't, or if you're concerned about popular culture trends functioning as portents of systemic dysfunction, you need to most likely pay attention. Andrew Powell-Morse of SeatSmart studied the "Lyric Intelligence" of 225 Billboard songs in the Pop, Country, Hip-hop, and Rock categories that spent three or more weeks parked at the top of the charts to analyze any changes throughout ten years. And changes there was.

10 years earlier, the majority of pop music check out between a third and fourth grade level, however the inanity just enhanced with time, and after a five-year down tumble ending in 2014 (2014 of the study), chart-topping hits had a reading level equivalent to 2nd or 3rd grade. Broken into genres, the levels determined just 2.6 for Hip-hop/R & B, a tie of 2.9 for Rock and Pop, and faring finest was Country at 3.3-- though declaring a winner in this insipid race to the bottom appears rather defeatist. Even further to that point, the most intellectually promoting song, Blake Shelton's Nation struck "All About Tonight", determined just 5.8, while wading deeply into the ludicrous was Three Days Grace's "The Good Life", at a level equivalent to 0.8-- asking the question, did they have to attempt to craft lyrics a kindergartener could quickly check out?

So how did this happen and why is it getting even worse? For the sake of brevity, this is a systemic concern being reinforced throughout the board by pandemic anti-intellectualism. Some have argued there is no damage in a little meaningless distraction, however this is incontrovertibly incorrect. When just six corporations control 90% of the media, and 80% of radio stations have similar playlists, mindless content isn't an option-- it's a virtual required. In this self-propelled cycle of banality, the conglomerates determine material to be promoted by radio, which in turn presses it endlessly, creating a false understanding that what is being played is due to listener need. However this insidious marketing tactic is more akin to kidnapping and is every bit as hazardous.

There is a dearth in music options over the airwaves, so when vacuous lyrics are passed off on listeners, they become slaves under pressure. It is clinically proven that bending the intellect can slow cognitive decline, but there has been a cultural shift far from promoting thought in favor of homogenization and living for the minute, and empty radio material is both symptom and support of that trend. Society is concentrated on home entertainment, materialism, and self-promotion, and when paired with a need for pleasure, it's truly no surprise we're in such a sorry state. Occasional forays into mindless interruption would be easy to understand and safe if they were just forays, however the foundation is defective due to a sharp decrease in quality education at every level.

Education has actually ended up being the highest type of indoctrination with instructors required into spitting up info so their students can pass tests rather than end up being innovators and original thinkers. And who could blame them? Presently, they're held to the ridiculous system where their performance is ranked, and income figured out by how those students perform on standardized tests that are, themselves, flawed. As Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Educators, put it, “This country has spent billions on accountability, not on the improvement of teaching and learning at the classroom level.”

An education system based nearly exclusively on taking tests is not just intellectually dimming, it's difficult-- trainers doling out the tests are offered a set of directions for what to do when students throw up on their test booklets. All this is designed to send students to college where the scenario is perpetuated. According to Catherine Liu, a movie and media researches teacher at the University of California, “We don’t educate people anymore. We train them to get jobs.”

From a political viewpoint, all this 'dumbing down' makes sense: indoctrination produces obedience. If music and culture concentrate on mindless diversion, and education lacks, well, education, then people do not have the skill necessary to question the absurdity of the system. Those who handle to liberate themselves from this mold and have the gumption to question main authority will find a comfortable area on the government's watch list. So while we complain our nation's lack of intellectual prowess, it isn't by a failure of design.

The author of aptly titled Pinhead America, journalist Charles Pierce, thoroughly summarized the concern by doing this: “The rise of idiot America today represents–for profit mainly, but also and more cynically, for political advantage in the pursuit of power–the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good.”

Unfortunately, if the lyrics study is a prognostic omen, the epidemic of idiocy will only worsen.

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