Have you ever heard something and suddenly realized how out of touch you really are? Whether it is someone talking about technology, a new movie, a new song, or you are just now hearing for the the first time that Lindsay Lohan seems to likes tight metal bracelets attached by chains.
As Christians there are some things that should be a mystery to us, and I encountered one of these social norms at the coffee shop the other day while I was writing my sermon. There is a super-catchy song that they play there often and I have never really heard the words until recently, and I was shocked and amazed by the message of this song. It is “Last Friday Night” by Katy Perry.
The liveliness of the song makes it clear that it is a celebration of Fridays! It is a fun song . . . Until you listen to ANY of the lyrics. It starts off with, “There’s a stranger in my bed, There’s a pounding in my head . . .”. And then it spirals into an attempt to piece together the amazing party last Friday Night that is difficult to remember in the state of hangover having passed out the night before! “Is this a hickie or a bruise?” Katy asks as she works to remember all that “Fun”.
“It’s a blacked out blur, but I’m pretty sure it ruled . . .” she sings as the entire song strikes the ironic balance between trying to sell this lifestyle as cool all the while acknowledging that she can’t even remember most of the events. I should say at this point that there are a couple of lines in the song that should be rated M for mature (which is an ironic designation since the more Mature you are the less of that you will ingest).
But there are two lines that I find very informative in the sense of world-view. She sings, “Yeah I think we broke the law, always say we’re gonna stop” but then just a few stanzas later she is enthusiastically singing, “This Friday night, do it all again, do it all again, This Friday night . . . “
Something about this lifestyle sounds like a trap! Something sound to me like a person who would like to be free of guessing whether that mark is a bruise or a hickie! Somewhere between the “warrant out for my arrest”, the “ripped party dress” and “the pictures that ended up online” this song becomes very dark and miserable. The music never gives up its upbeat dance tune despite the pure misery that is conveyed.
We are a culture that has come to please ourselves . . . And we have found ourselves woefully lacking in the attempt to produce joy. The song highlights our inability to distinguish between slavery to self indulgence and a good time. Nothing in the song appeals to me. I do not for a second judge those who live this lifestyle, but neither do I envy them. I pity those who would say at the same time, I always say I am going to quit, but let’s do it all again next Friday night. Bravo to Katy for identifying clearly the human condition.
But I will give thanks to my God, who has provided hope through Jesus Christ, that life need not be one huge cycle of trying to produce our own joy! Have you heard that song? What are your thoughts about a lifestyle of trying to please ourselves?