The top of the pop charts has become a low, low place indeed. Just last summer, the singer Cee Lo Green took popular culture one rung lower into the sewer with the release of his song titled "F--- You." After a few weeks, it was mainstreamed into "Forget You," but why bother? While both versions sold well, the vulgar one clearly had its intended effect.
The pop star Pink now has her own version with her new single titled "F---in' Perfect." How creative. That's reaching for the stars.
Once again, there are two versions, with the words "less than" replacing the profanity. Again, why bother pretending to be concerned about standards? The original song contains seven F-bombs. She asks, "Don't you ever ever feel / Like you're less than f---in' perfect?" And then she insists, "You're f---in' perfect to me!"
It's topped the charts at iTunes -- deliberately putting profanity smack dab into children's iPods from coast to coast. (You can thank LaFace Records and its Japanese parent company, Sony Music, the second-largest global provider of recorded music.) Like Green's "F--- You," the F-bomb is utterly unnecessary. It's only there for naughty "buzz."
The video for "Perfect" is disturbing as well, with the depressed female protagonist sinking to a low where she descends into a bathtub and carves the word "perfect" into her forearm. In the blood-spattered tub, she appears to be waiting to bleed to death ... but then she apparently resolves to live and regains self-confidence after staring across the room at her childhood teddy bear. The story ends happily. As in the beginning of the video, she's in bed with a man, whom it's implied she just met.
Then she takes her teddy bear to her daughter (with some other man, obviously). The viewer is supposed to be happy for Mommy -- but it's hard not to wonder whether the little girl in this story would ever have a stable home.
Pink is clearly succeeding on the radio and in the marketplace with her image as a rough girl with a dirty mouth. She's also still on the pop charts with the song "Raise Your Glass." The shock-jock passage of this video depicts a string of lovers in her bed. It starts with a Jewish rabbi. Then, taking their turns next to the star in bed appear to be a Catholic cardinal, an Orthodox priest and lastly, a nun, as Pink raises her eyes to God in the heavens with a prayer of "Thank you."
The video also features Pink fiercely stabbing a bullfighter with two swords, who then falls to his knees. This is apparently an animal rights thing, since Pink has been an activist with the radical group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. A few seconds later, Pink is feeding a calf with a bottle, but the bottle is attached to a hose that appears to come from milking the (covered) breasts of four seated and blindfolded human females. Despite looking calm (or perhaps drugged), the women appear to be hostages, since Pink and her male cohorts are wearing masks. The words "dairy farm" are spray painted on the wall behind.
In between the two animal-rights scenes, Pink also throws in a full-on gay male kiss. That's also a political message for the masses. In a 2008 interview, she complained about defenders of traditional marriage: "Why are we concentrating on taking away love from people? Who are we to say we need less love in the world? It's so beyond what we should be focusing on right now."
Now it's about to get ridiculous. MTV reports that Cee Lo Green will perform an "unforgettable" version of his "F--- You" song at the Grammy Awards with ... are you ready? ... The Muppets. Brian Henson, the son of Muppets founder Jim Henson, has signed on to provide this star's "weird and cool" band.
The world of pop music today is selling a far different message than what most parents realize. Traditional values, even the most simple expressions and symbols of common decency -- the Muppets! -- are deliberately being torn to shreds. When you can't even count on the Muppets to behave in front of children, the world has become sick enough to make your head spin.