Christian Rock Thursday are back! (Although they’ll probably continue to be intermittent for the rest of 2014)
This week’s installment is from B.O.B. (Bunch of Believers). There’s now a much more famous rapper called B.o.B., and every time I hear his name in a conversation about music, I momentarily wonder why there’s been a resurgence of interest in mediocre late-90s Christian ska.
Ska punk hit the mainstream in the 1990s with the arrival of the Mighty Might Bosstones (1993) and No Doubt (1995), so naturally Christian ska became a cultural phenomenon around the end of the decade. As the unusually well-sourced Wikipedia entry on Christian ska observes, “Whereas in mainstream markets the popularity of ska had peaked about 1996, the Christian music marketplace is known for being significantly behind trends in the Christian market”. No shit. It offers no less than three citations for this not-particularly-controversial claim.
Not all Christian ska-core was terrible, I’m reliably informed by people who (unlike me) don’t hate ska. Apparently Five Iron Frenzy were actually quite good. However, there is nothing funny about being quite good, so we are going to look at B.O.B., who were complete shite.
Once again, we see that Christian Rock is acting as the propaganda mouthpiece of the Christian Right. Let’s play SPOT THE TROPE!
All day long in the crowded halls
I’m bumpin’ into junkies
CHRISTIAN RIGHT TROPE 1: Public schools are full of drug addicts.
And then I sit in a boring class
Where they tell me I came from monkeys
CHRISTIAN RIGHT TROPE 2: Evolution is the belief that monkeys gave birth to humans. Also science lessons are boring because they are just atheistic indoctrination, which the Christian child can see through.
CHRISTIAN RIGHT TROPE 3: History lessons in public schools are inadequate (and usually full of leftist propaganda).
But I know a girl who goes to a school
And it’s like no other
Her classroom is her house
And the teacher is her mother
Some say she is a mystery
But she sure knows her history
Some girls I know, they dress real wild
For popularity and fame
CHRISTIAN RIGHT TROPE 4: Public schools are dens of sinful peer pressure, and the girls are consequently slutty.
But homeschool girl sees through all that
And she doesn’t have to play that game
CHRISTIAN RIGHT TROPE 5: Homeschoolers have better morals due to lack of peer pressure.
All that time at the kitchen table
But she still knows what’s up
I like coffee and I like tea
And man she can make a mean cup
CHRISTIAN RIGHT TROPE 6: Homeschooling gives girls an opportunity to learn homemaking skills that they will need in their God-given vocation as housewives. Yay!
We’re about the same age, but don’t be mislead
‘Cause she’s already three grades ahead
CHRISTIAN RIGHT TROPE 7: Homeschoolers typically perform one or more grades above their public school counterparts.
I’m just praying that my grades don’t slip
But homeschool girl, she’s talkin’ full scholarship
CHRISTIAN RIGHT TROPE 8: Public school education has unacceptably low standards.
Now, I’m not saying homeschooling is always bad any more than I am saying public schools are always good. But I would suggest you take a trip over to Homeschoolers Anonymous and ask them how well these stereotypes hold up.
Rock music was invented to kick against the establishment, but the establishment has generally found ways to use rock music for its own ends (largely by making massive profits out of musicians while paying the artists only a fraction of this). It took Christian Rock, however, to invent a form of rock music that was actively engaged in propping up the establishment.