This comes mainly through the actual music industry were artists simply make a tune to certain lyrics, or through soundtrack in films and advertisements. Let’s start with the artists. Art is not misguiding because the term ‘misguidance’ itself depends on notions of facts and objectivity. Art, on the other hand, is the sphere that gives full license to interpretation and subjectivity. Paradoxically, it is in this subjectivity that the most profound truths are found; truths that the sciences cannot adequately capture; truths are mean more to us – truths about love, culture, power, meaning.
However, art is only a method used to convey the message of the artist. The message itself is what we need to judge. Music can make us feel a certain way about different products, events, themes, stories, people etc. The messages themselves may be vulgar, but they can be made palatable and even loved if presented through captivating music. Here is one test I use myself – I take some of my most favourite songs, print out the lyrics, and read them aloud to yourself without the music. So many times I find they lyrics either don’t makes sense, are vulgar, are just plain boring. Nevertheless when I hear these lyrics presented with its music they make me feel calm, happy, renewed, empowered, understood. You can do this with advertisements and movies. The idea is to make a judgement on the content and see through the allure with which the content is presented.
Music means a lot to us, and in the mass media age we cannot escape it. Many times we cannot wait to put our headphones on to relax after work, or to dance to that beat on a good night out. This is all fine. However, being an independent thinker means being aware of what we’re actually relaxing or dancing to. What messages and themes are being presented to our minds through the alluring packaging of music? What images, language, and desires are being normalized without having a debate with our rational side first?