I’ve got to talk about something that’s been really eating at me lately. I know I promised in the last Muse that we’d get silly again, but sometimes life requires deep, meaningful discussion to suss out the lessons we can glean from a troubling issue.
Or a controversial one.
I’m not going to lie; I may lose friends here.
It began with a set of lyrics I heard. You all know how important music is to me. Music is a siren to my emotions and sometimes the words grab hold and twine in my head and heart. So it really shouldn’t be a surprise that a set of lyrics kick-started a deeply emotional journey.
What lyrics were those which moved me to obsession for days?
These four walls have a got a story to tell
The door is off the hinges, there’s no wish in the well
Outside the sky is coal black and the streets are on fire
The picture windows cracked and there’s no where to run
I know, I know
This house is not for sale.
“Uh, Bethie? Is that…is that a real estate song? What the HELL kind of music are you into these days?”
Yes, it is, and the answer is rock ‘n roll.
“That is not a rock song.”
Agreed. But sadly, it is. It’s from the recent Bon Jovi song “This House Is Not For Sale.”
Now, here’s the controversy:
Bon Jovi should have hung up his guitar ten years ago.
READ THAT SHIT AGAIN. It’s PAIN-FUL. It doesn’t even rhyme. YouTube it if you must and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s set to the world’s most basic public domain rock beat. He sings in it that burnt-out-jaded-bartender voice that’s WAY too high on sincerity and way too low on self-realization.
“But it’s BON JOVI.”
No. I disagree. I think the person we once knew as Jon Bon Jovi is gone and he’s been replaced with an intergalactic pod person. A husk. A shell of himself filled with the soul of an interloper who’s desperately trying to work its way into the upper echelon of society by possessing a once-loved superstar. The Bon Jovi I know, the one I grew up with, would never stoop to such drivel.
Here are more lyrics:
Drove a spike into the ground and I staked my claim
Standing on the dirt where they’ll dig my grave
Now what built these walls is in my veins
No time for looking back, the wolf is at the door
This heart, this soul
This house is not for sale.
You know the infinite monkey theorem? The one that states if you put a enough monkeys in a room with typewriters, they’ll eventually produce an entire copy of a Shakespeare play?
If you put enough monkeys in a room with typewriters and leave them in there long enough, they may end up with a Shakespeare manuscript, but I guarantee they will never, ever produce this song, because even monkeys that can’t read know it’s a steaming pile of shit that should never have existed.
I set each stone and I hammered each nail
This house is not for sale
Where memories live and the dream don’t fail
This house is not for sale
I’m coming home.
That’s the chorus. Over and over. Whiskey-voiced, takes-himself-WAY-too-seriously-for-someone-pumping-out-musical-diarrhea Jon Bon Jovi beating this dead horse over and over and over…
Do you remember when Madonna came out with the album “Hard Candy?” No, of course you don’t, because it was 2008 and Madonna had become so thirsty and desperate that the handful of people who pretended to like anything off that album only did so out of pity. No one wanted to see her wrinkly pancake ass flapping out of her Spanx on the stage. It reached a point where it just got sad. “Hard Candy” was the start of the sad.
“This House is Not For Sale” is Bon Jovi’s “Hard Candy.”
It’s okay for rock stars to age. It’s actually often more than we can hope for. It’s good to see a wrinkled former rocker, because that means that they somehow navigated through the “sex and drugs” part of the lifestyle that claims so many. We WANT them to age. I WANT Bon Jovi to get older.
You hear that, Mr. Jovi? I WANT YOU TO GET AS OLD AS THE HILLS.
But Jon. Can I call you Jon? Heart to heart time here, Jon. You just released a single about goddamn real estate. Maybe it’s time to just rest on the previous successes you’ve had. I don’t want to see you go full on Madonna. Nobody does.
“Bethie, it’s metaphorical. He’s not ACTUALLY talking about real estate.”
He was going for metaphorical. He was going for, “I built this house and you can’t tear it down.” But that’s not what he says, is it? He’s been in the rock game so long, he KNOWS that’s an old trope, a staple that’s been way overused. So in order to attempt to put a new spin on a tired sentiment, he tried to cram as many metaphors together as possible.
What he gets in the end is not a metaphor. It’s just a jumbled pile of shit that winds up meaning nothing.
Look at it from a critical standpoint.
“You haven’t been doing that?”
No. I’ve been looking at it from a place of disappointment. There’s a difference.
Take all the emotion of a long forgotten teen who had Mr. Jovi’s “Tiger Beat” photo on her wall out of it, and just look at the words from a basic writing standpoint.
He starts out talking about the four walls and stories they could tell, but never actually tells those stories. Instead, he jumps right into the muthafuckin’ apocalypse happening outside, then says his house isn’t for sale. The story…progresses? We’ll humor him and call it progress. The story progresses by going back to points about the construction of the house he’s currently in according to the massive context cue of the overuse of “this house”, only to throw us for a loop when he promises to “come home.”
Which house were you singing about, Jon? If you’re singing about “this” house, but you have to “come home” to it, then you’re not really singing about “this” house, are you? You’re singing about THAT house.
“It’s METAPHORICAL. He’s talking about himself.”
He drove nails into himself? He has four walls and a broken-hinged door? Okay, weird, but let’s roll with it. How do you explain this next steaming pile?
This house was built on trust
That’s what it is and always was
No wrecking ball could knock it down
This house was built on higher ground
GODDAMNIT JON. That doesn’t even make sense!!! What the hell does higher ground have to do with trust? You’re not talking about living through a tsunami or hurricane. You’ve mentioned nothing about erosion or the foundation being weak. A wrecking ball most certainly CAN take down a house on top of a hill.
Have you ever stopped to think about what words mean!?!
If a new music group released this song on YouTube hoping for it to be their big break, they’d get 82 views, most of those from Grandma trying to be supportive…and even SHE would give it a thumbs down under the blanket of anonymity that is the internet. People would laugh at them because this is a terrible song. The ONLY reason this is playing across the radio waves is because it’s Bon Jovi.
Jon. Remember when you were “Livin’ on a Prayer?” When you made us all imagine we were in an old westerny shoot out with “Dead or Alive?” What happened, Jon? This…this is shit, man. This is worse than shit. It’s lazy. You didn’t just get old. You got LAZY. Lazy lyrics, lazy music, lazy tempo. You made a plug and play pop song, Jon.
Get it together, man. I’m saying this because I care. Get it together, and fast. Otherwise you’re going to find yourself in Spanx jiggling next to Madonna and wondering where it all went so wrong.
Thus concludes a Muse for Friday, January 6, 2017. I’m off to keep changing the station on my way into work in the desperate attempt to avoid hearing this piece of trash.