Friday, January 20, 2006

The worsening of contemporary songs and cartoons

This short essay is about songs and cartoons, and how they reflect the increasing meaninglessness of society...

Songs these days are substandard compared to songs in 'my generation'. In 'my generation', both English and Mandarin songs are so much more melodious and the lyrics are often touching, educational, and/or much more meaningful. Personally, I do not like to listen to songs which are meaningless, even if they have catchy tunes.

The lyrics of a currently very popular song goes like this, "Mayee-yahee...Mayee-yahoo.....Mayee-yahoo....Mayee-ya-heh-heh...." My wife says it's quite cute, but I simply cannot stand it! Especially if she hums that song!

I told her that this song is really written for frogs to listen to, not human beings. And she challenged me to post this statement on my blog, saying that I will definitely become the number one public enemy in Singapore if I do so. Well, perhaps just let me say first of all that I do think the singer sings well and has a lovely voice. But still, with due apologies, I have to say that I really can't stand that song because it's just meaningless! So it's the song that I don't like, not the singer. Anyway, this is a free society and I can certainly express my personal views. So any attempt to make me follow the crowd and say that this 'frog-song' is good will simply show that this society is intolerant of dissenting views, that the nail which sticks out gets hammered down. This will then be an interesting discovery for me personally. So either way, I will gain something. In any case, does Heavenly Sword ever come across as one who is afraid of anything?

Well, I've digressed. Back to the songs. It is very unfortunate that in today's world, it is often songs without very deep meaning(s) that can strike a chord in people's heart, for society and life today are in general becoming more and more lacking in meaning and substance. So in a way, the kinds of songs that you get merely reflects the state of society. Another trend is that people do not like to think so much. So songs that make people think are simply not welcomed! This is a reflection of Gresham's law - it will always be the lousy things that dominate the world. Because the taste of the majority tends not to be the 'best' if you judge 'taste' in terms of strict professional standards! Interestingly, this is also why people who write garbage blogs have lots of readers - precisely because they write garbage!

Cartoons these days are horrible too. Just look at all those repulsive cartoons these days. In particular, look at the atrocious cartoons that you are 'forced' to watch on the buses thanks to the Mobile TV. I feel a strong urge to lodge an official complaint about those cartoons. The military themes are highly inappropriate for children, who are growing up and would surely benefit more from more 'innocent' and more easily understandable themes rather than such 'dark' and complex issues concerned with warfare and military technologies. Who cares about these technologies of death and violence anyway! Why bombard children with such garbage images when they are so young? Just look at the faces of the characters in these cartoons - totally unlovable, totally sinister, and totally stuck up. Are these the kinds of 'personalities' that we wish to expose our younger generation to? Just look at the things they say: they are full of hatred and desire to kill ("sha qi" in Mandarin). To me, cartoons should be cute, have lovable characters, and focus on more light-hearted settings.

To conclude, songs are getting meaningless and cartoons are becoming more 'adult-like'. Will there be a day when I can listen to more classical music or contemporary instrumental music rather than 'mayee-yahee, mayee-yahoo' FROGs' song everywhere I go? Will MDA please show some good cartoons such as the cute little Smurfs? I don't think my wishes will come true, for the world is undergoing a process that could be known as 'meaningless-ization'!


Blogger Xin said...

and i thought u wanna blog abt conservativism... :P

Sat Jan 21, 01:20:00 AM 2006  
Blogger trisha said...

I totally agree with you!

Re meaningingless songs. The trend now is for songs that offers "bite-size" lyrics that you can hum to. Nobody wants songs that make you think, or appreciate the beauty of nature/love/life etc.

A similar trend is observed in church music where hymns of the old (many of which are poems/verses put to music) are now shunned in preference for contemporary choruses that are low in content but high in repetitive phrases.

Cartoons : I personally believe we are entering into the Dark Ages where our kids are exposed to cartoons with sinister themes. Discerning parents should actively seek out cartoons with more wholesome values (which are getting harder to come by), failing which they should place more restrictions on TV viewing altogether. There is just too much trash on TV, even in the children's channel.

Sat Jan 21, 10:18:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Lam Chun See said...

Hi, I am 53. But my generation has its fair share of songs with meaningless lyrics. The first one that comes to my mind is the Beatles' Hello Goodbye.

In fact, I once saw a comedy show that poked fun of this song. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the actor. Try to picture this. It is a poetry reading meeting. A guy, formally dressed comes forward and reads from a very elaborate bound book. He reads in a solumn voice, pausing at the right places for emphasis, the following lines:

"You say yes, I say no.
You say stop and I say go, go, go.
Oh, no.
You say goodbye and I say hello.
Hello, hello.
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello.

I love songs with beautiful lyrics. My 2 favourites are:
1) The Last Farewell (Roger Whittaker)
2) Times of Your Life (Paul Anka)

In fact my blog is named after the opening lines of the 2nd song.

Sat Jan 21, 10:50:00 AM 2006  
Blogger leanordgibson1362 said...

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Mon Jan 23, 01:25:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Heavenly Sword said...

Hi Xin: post - on Singapore as the world's most conservative society! :)

Trisha: I think Barney (the kids' show) is still not bad... By the way there's this other song which is also v popular now, with lyrics about 'cockroach'..."I see the cockroach...Not scared not scared lah...(repeat x 50 times!)...

Mr Lam: I think comparatively, even though your generation also has meaningless songs, they are much less compared to now. I guess we just gotta live with it... :]

Spam-Poster: No thanks, I don't find your blog interesting. I hate investing, by the way.

Mon Jan 23, 11:14:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, that song does have meaning. It's written in Romanian or some other east European language.

Tue Jan 24, 01:16:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Xin said...

i think its spanish..and yes, that has meaning. but the chinese "cockroach" version is trashy...even KTVs dont have it.. ><

Tue Jan 24, 02:06:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Heavenly Sword said...

Hello Anonymous: Are you referring to the Frog-song or the Cockroach-song? :]

Xin: I think that the Cockroach song is actually the lesser of the two evils...At least you can play it for little kids who are scared of cockroaches.... :]

Hi folks, have a Happy Chinese New Year!!

Wed Jan 25, 11:27:00 PM 2006  
Blogger jllt said...

I find some of the cartoons on Cartoon Network rather interesting. Like "Two Stupid Dogs" and "Dexter's Lab.".

Songs, however, are quite the opposite. There are meaningful songs by Jay Chou but sadly, you learn of it only if you strain your ears hard and long enough or will actually bother to find the lyrics. Those 好可爱 singers are beyond comments.

Thu Jan 26, 11:57:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Jialin said...

Hey ppl this is not a forum !

Thu Jan 26, 04:49:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Heavenly Sword said...

Hi Jllt: Re Jay Chou, I still haven't been able to appreciate his songs, if they are really 'songs' at all!

Hi Jialin: It's a forum! The Heavenly Sword's Manor forum!

Thu Jan 26, 09:52:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Xin said...

oh ya uh... if u dont listen to jay chou sing..but look at the lyrics alone...they can be meaningful...

Fri Jan 27, 05:18:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Heavenly Sword said...

After watching Guo Mei Mei dance as she sings the Cockroach song, I have decided to buy the CD(with DVD)! She dances v well, making the song come alive...Oh dear, what is happening to me! How could I have grown to like the Cockroach song??? The power of repetition?!

Mon Jan 30, 09:37:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Xin said...

the power of the media..of advertising...of being..not afraid of cockroaches?

Mon Jan 30, 11:14:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous failed goat said...

i think its ok for songs to be meaningless. as long as it SOUNDS good. because songs = music, rhythm. if you want "meaning" , go read a book?

as for cartoons, why is it bad to expose children to dark themes? when they grow into adults, some will join the dark side anyway. regardless of whether exposed to dark cartoons or not.

Sun Feb 19, 06:03:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Cat said...

One man's perception of a song is irrelevant to the perception of masses, and is as desolate and inconsolable as the meaning of the song, to the man who perceived it.

Try looking a bit deeper.

Tue Apr 04, 07:44:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Heavenly Sword said...

"Try looking a bit deeper."

Unfortunately I'm a busy man, with little time to delve deeply into things which don't signal to me immediately that they are of value.

But nonetheless thanks for the link...

Sat Apr 15, 11:03:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Alicia said...

We need the Carebears to come back too.. and The Muppet Babies, and Transformers..

Mon May 15, 08:04:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Heavenly Sword said...

Hi Alicia: Ahaha, Carebears and Transformers! Cool!

The Transformers...'more than meets the eye...' ;)

Sat Jun 03, 12:04:00 AM 2006  

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