By: Tom Westerholm
Let’s talk Ke$ha, because that seems to be the thing to do these days.
If you haven’t seen Ke$ha’s latest music video for her single “Die Young,” I don’t necessarily suggest you do so, but for reference in this article I’ll link to it here, although it pains me to do so. Enjoy and stuff.
Ordinarily, I’d completely ignore Ke$ha, and here’s why: I think she’s gross and her music sucks. Unfortunately, my musical opinions aren’t very widely held (I don’t like the Beatles, U2 or really any popular rock band, I do like bands with such names as Expire and War Hound). But glancing over a site that I very much respect, I saw a review of her album and, in a moment of weakness, I clicked on the YouTube video accompanying the article.
Let me clarify: For better or worse, I’ve watched enough movies and TV to not be offended by Ke$ha writhing around mostly naked and being groped by several large men. Am I a little grossed out? Of course. If I ever met Ke$ha, would I sanitize my hands immediately after shaking hers? Well, yeah. It’s flu season and I don’t like to think where that hand has been. But if the songs were good (they aren’t, but IF they were), I wouldn’t have any issue with listening to her music based on the overtly sexual nature of the video.
But the video isn’t just sexual, and therein lies my beef with it. Ke$ha, who is notoriously happy to offend, takes things further. At the beginning, in the picture you can see above, she flashes an upside down cross with the driving bassline. Later, she stands in front of a pentagram as several of the groping men bow before her. You can probably see where I’m going with this. At the risk of sounding like one of the crazy Christian websites that sees the anti-Christ in everything popular, her video uses Satanic imagery. And that’s a dangerous thing.
To be clear, I don’t think Ke$ha is trying to lead her impressionable listeners into Satanism. But I do think, in using Satanic imagery, she’s trivializing something Christians take very seriously. And we take it seriously for the same reason we take the image of the cross seriously. The cross is a powerful reminder of our redemption through Christ. The pentagram is a powerful reminder of Satan’s great ability to do evil on Earth.
Of course, artists have been using Satanic imagery for a long time, especially in heavy metal. But here’s the rather important difference between Satanism in heavy metal and the imagery used by Ke$ha: Nobody really listens to heavy metal. Take Norwegian metal band Dimmu Borgir for example. They aren’t “popular” (but they are certainly lookers), and their listeners aren’t usually 14-year-old girls. Average kids who really aren’t that into music aren’t going to catch on to Dimmu Borgir because Dimmu Borgir isn’t on the radio. But Ke$ha is. Ke$ha is ALWAYS ON THE RADIO AND I CAN’T DEAL WITH IT ANYMORE BECAUSE SHE’S JUST THE WORST.
It’s been said that the devil’s greatest trick was convincing the world that he doesn’t exist. Maybe I’m crazy, but Ke$ha’s apparent belief that the imagery in her video means nothing is more disturbing than Dimmu Borgir’s dark Satanic posturing.
Also, I really just don’t like Ke$ha. But you’ve probably gathered that by now.