Saturday, 3 April 2010

Invade the Airwaves: A WhyNotSmile Review

Some people have all the luck. My friend Sean for instance. Wakes up in the middle of the night. Looks outside. Sees two people walking past carrying a toilet. That kind of luck doesn't happen to me. I wake up in the middle of the night; I look out and it's raining.

But that's not why we're here. Today's discussion is about the current campaign to 'Invade The Airwaves' and get a Christian song to the number one spot for Easter. I keep getting invited to join this campaign; lots of my friends have signed up and seem to expect that I will want to do the same.

Now let me say, I'm not against 'Christian' music being number one, and nor do I have any objections to anyone who likes a song buying it. But nor can I get myself excited about this, and I hereby declare my reasons:

1. What is the point?
Essentially, it seems to be about 'putting Jesus back into Easter'. Leaving aside the irony of putting a Christian festival into a pagan one and then getting a bit huffy when everyone realises that they prefered it when it was about chocolate, is this the best way to put Jesus back into anything other than the charts?

Let's face it, the message of Easter is a glorious one, of resurrection, newness of life, freedom from bondage and renewed relationship with the creator of the universe. If people don't get that, I've a feeling we have a more fundamental problem than that they got distracted by the nice shiny Easter eggs when the preacher paused for breath. I've a feeling that maybe the message of Easter (which is, after all, a not insignificant part of the message of Christianity) is not what people hear when they talk to Christians, because if it was, then I think they'd be keen to know more.

Maybe if we want to put Jesus back in to Easter, we need to live out the Easter message ourselves. I'm not saying don't buy the song. I'm just saying.

Secretly, I suspect that a large part of the campaign (not among the organisers necessarily, but among some of those who've signed up) is about saying 'Hey! Look at us! There are lots of us and we can make our song number 1!'. It's marking our territory. If only the charts were a physical object, rather than an ephemeral concept (that might be wrong, I don't really know what ephemeral means), we could achieve the same thing by just peeing a circle round them. But they aren't and we can't, so instead we have to start a Facebook group, which amounts to a virtual circle of pee, but not as smelly.

2. Can we justifiably describe any music as Christian?
And now my second point: can a piece of music actually be redeemed by the atoning blood of Christ? Can it be said to have made the choice to take up its cross and follow Jesus? Because, if not, then I think we'd have to agree with Richard Dawkins that the music is being unfairly labelled and should be allowed to make its own decision when it grows up.

There is another point to be made here, about how all music comes from God and is a celebration of His creation and so on and so forth, but I can't think of it right now, and anyway, I'm sure Zoomtard has already said it better. Because he does, you know. Say things better.

And so, in conclusion, I do not object to anyone buying the single if they want to, or to it being number one, but I do not think I will buy it myself, and I do not wish to join the Facegroup book is all.


Lorraine said...


QMonkey said...

yeah.... I was asked to join this group a few times.

Obviously I judged it 'not for me'. There's definitely an element of want for acceptance of Christian culture in the mainstream, which is ironic in many ways.

I looked at the group on sunday, and they had then weirdly claimed that god had chosen No4 for them to reach, because of some weird coding of 4th of the 4th month and other '4s' in christian symbolism (4 gospels etc). Strange they didn't mention that before hand though, when they expressed a wish to get to No 1. I assumed it was a tongue in cheek joke, then i remembered who it was saying it.

The group has been deleted now, so i can't find that quote anymore. shame.

whynotsmile said...

QMonkey, that is truely beyond satire. Shame the group has also been deleted... 'We didn't make it, so let's pretend it never happened'...

Alan in Belfast said...

exactly (seconded)

I ignored the invitations. Tokenism is usually difficult to justify - unless I'm suggesting it!