Shallow Dance

by Matty Sullivan

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There Aren't That Many Love Songs Out There

“There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something, we’d all love one another.”

--Frank Zappa


He’s telling the truth—mostly. Songs about violence don’t cause violence. People on the edge of violence are attracted to certain songs, that’s all. And it may be that violent music provides the catharsis some people need to keep their demons at bay. I believe this is true.

On the other hand, Frank Zappa was wrong about one thing: there aren’t that many love songs out there. Sure, there are plenty of songs about puppy dog bullshit, co-dependence and neurotic attachment, but not many songs about genuine love. I wish there were.

You know how you can tell the difference? Pick a ‘love song’ and go through the lyrics in your head. Every time you come to the word ‘love’, change it to the word ‘drugs’ and see if the song still makes sense. If it does then it’s not about Love, it’s about addiction.

If you want to be afraid of something, be afraid of the Bible. Or the Koran. Or any of the holy books. They are just as likely a source of violence as anything else, and more so than many of the usual suspects. I’ve heard of mothers cutting of their babies’ arms, believing they were protecting their babies from sin. Matthew 5:30: “If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

Right on. Got it. Ever heard of a metaphor? No way, dude. Hand me that knife.

Why do you think gay people run as far away as they can from the Bible belt? Because otherwise, they tend to get stomped. And the stompers feel completely justified, waving their Bibles in the air, spouting their indictments straight from the scriptures. There’s no doubt that their prejudice and hatred come from something other than the Bible—but the Bible is adeptly used to support these horrible tendencies, much more so than is music. So why don’t people cry for censorship of the Bible?

“Oh, because those people are obviously crazy. Nobody in their right mind would take those things literally.”

But they would if it was a song?

By the way, this was written at the end of the day instead of first thing in the morning. This may account for the difference in tone and content. I hope it’s okay. The reason I’m writing this at night is so I can go down to the coffee shop in the morning and post it. You see, we have no internet connection in our new place. Not yet. So I’ve been going down to the coffee shop every morning to do my thing(s). But each morning, I find myself pressed for time and I don’t like it. So I’m typing this last night. I’m not crazy about the result, so this may remain the exception rather than the new rule.

Good morning.