I was watching an old George Carlin comedy special on HBO Comedy tonight and I began thinking about someone I used to work with when I worked at Domino’s in high school and college. I worked with this guy for about 5 years and got to know him really well. One thing that we both had in common is that we were both huge George Carlin fans. This always surprised me because he was a bit conservative and typically voted for Republicans. If you have never seen George Carlin do stand up or read one of his books, he is a really liberal guy. He hates government (Republicans and Democrats), he hates the Right Wing, hates religion, and is all about the freedoms that make this country great. Maybe it’s just me, but in order for me to like something, I have to relate to it. Could my friend have related to it even though Mr. Carlin makes fun of the very things that my friend believes in?
I once knew a guy who was the same way with music. He listened to a lot of hip hop and one of his favorite rock bands was Rage Against the Machine. They were a really liberal band, some might even say socialistic, yet this guy loved them. Sure, you can enjoy the sound, but if you don’t enjoy the lyrics, how could you enjoy the music as a whole? I know I don’t listen to music who’s lyrics I’m not particularly fond of. One might, and rightfully so, argue about the lyrics in hip hop and if you listen to it, you’re supporting the content. There’s no argument for me there. Yes, there are songs I’ve enjoyed that have lyrics I might not necessarily agree with. Heck, my favorite rapper is 2pac and I know he’s had songs I don’t agree with on content, but he’s also had songs in which I can fully stand behind the content. Typically, if I don’t relate to the music in any way, or don’t like the message in the music, I’m not going to listen to it.
So I guess my question is, what makes people enjoy things that usually go against their ideologies? Why does my conservative friend like Mr. Carlin when Mr. Carlin stands up (pun intended) against everything that most conservatives value? There’s no simple answer to this. Just a thought I had while watching the very funny Mr. Carlin.