“I need a lover that won’t drive me crazy; someone to thrill me and then go away.
I need a lover that won’t drive me crazy; someone who knows the meaning of…hey hit the highway!”
–lyrics by John Cougar Mellencamp
Regardless of what others might say to the contrary, popular media has a profound affect on who we become. We are all impressionable, no matter our age. What I read, watch, listen to and play today, walks and talks with me tomorrow!
I grew up in the 80’s buying vinyl records. Now, my eldest son Jude listens on Spotify to some of the same music I listened to when I was a teenager. Funny how different the music sounds to me now.
I am certain that as a high-schooler, I had little appreciation for the ways that music and movies were impacting aspects of my character or the things I ended up settling for. Subtly, the messages played a part in shaping me, programming my morality and sense of virtue.
Slowly I migrated from “never in a million years would I…” to “millions of people are already doing it…” to “since everybody is doing it, it can’t be so bad…” to “in fact, it is probably good.” Like most things we compromise on, it is a slow fade. We lose touch with who we wish to be…one day at a time.
Look at the lyrics above from John Cougar Mellencamp’s song, I Need a Lover. Is there a better anthem that depicts the self-centeredness of men? Someone to thrill me and then go away? I mean, can you imagine a man describing his using your daughter in that way? Or learning that someone treated your wife like that prior to your marrying her?
Can you just imagine how you would feel if your 19-year-old daughter came to you crying, completely despondent, relating how she had fallen for her boyfriend’s bag of lies only to hear him say …hey, hit the highway!
Would you want to explode? Would you be out of your mind upset? I would be! In a flash, I could imagine applying my war paint, getting a kilt out of moth balls and pulling a claymore off the wall…getting in touch with my inner William Wallace.
Unfortunately, John Cougar Mellencamp songs now sound like something from the Sound of Music when compared to the “music” that is popular these days. Yet, we can zone out and happily sing along to these songs every day.
I am neither a prude nor out of touch with the idea of having fun. I value the physical attraction I have for my wife and I love expressing that in a multitude of healthy and respectful ways. However, I am very much opposed to the things that seek to undermine my role as husband and father. I carefully guard what I let my mind and heart focus on. I know that what I read and listen to becomes.
Many will discount what I say as being too conservative or out of touch. I’m OK with that. Fortunately, there are others who will consider the importance of more carefully guarding against the intake of junk to their minds and being.
Look around our world today. In case you haven’t noticed, what we are doing now is not working. We could benefit from more time spent being out of touch with the sirens of today that are driving us toward destruction.
Kids are up all night playing video games with other kids from around the world; games in which they are shooting to kill. Everyone is being desensitized to the true value of life. We don’t have a gun problem per se, we have a people problem. The culture has worn everyone’s sense of right and wrong to paper thin tolerances.
Start guarding your mind and heart more closely. Recognize how quickly you can turn to join a mob. When you admit to how impressionable you are, you will immediately become more attuned to the multitude of ways that the culture attempts to run you up against the rocks and shipwreck your soul.
Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying…. because you are!