Some would rather die than be who they are…

This year, two quite interesting things have happened.

Firstly – I occasionally attend the gym, whereby I pretend to exercise to fool myself into believing that I’m actually fit, nothing very interesting usually happens until this one Tuesday evening… Running on the treadmill contemplating the point of my quite unfortunate predicament, the increasingly popular song ‘Same Love’ by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring the beautiful Mary Lambert comes on the televisions above the treadmills. As I reduce my run to a very, very, very slow jog (okay I was walking) to watch the beautifully constructed film clip I notice that the treadmill next to me significantly speeds up. The older gentleman beside me begins to seem very uncomfortable, as the treadmill continues to run he is forced to stay and watch the video clip and hear the line “…some would rather die than be who they are” (Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert, 2012) at that point he slowed back down to a walking pace – and watched the film clip till the final line was sung – and he left.

Secondly – I attended Future Music Festival this year, and it was one of the best days of my existence for one main reason… As Macklemore introduced his song ‘Same Love’ to thousands of young festival-goers, he said the following words:

“Now I don’t know about you, but I believe within the fabric of what makes me a human being that no parliament, no government, no state, no institution, no religion, no school, no other human being on this earth can tell you that who you love in your heart is right or wrong!”

(Macklemore, 2014)

The whole crowd cheered, clapped and erupted for acceptance and equality.

 macklemore_gay(Image Credit: Macklemore)

The fundamental difference between the man at the gym, and the crowd at the festival, is that the public sphere has evolved so dramatically that there is no single range of provoked audience responses – rather an unpredictable array of human tolerance.

The song ‘Same Love’  having “the potential to resonate with people… [and] impact and change peoples perspective” (Macklemore, 2013) widely contributes to the debate in the mediated public sphere as it is centred around the issue of equality and the notion of acceptance within the modern world.

Selling over 280 000 copies in Australia the song reached number one on the ARIA charts and was nominated for ‘Song of the Year’ in the 2014 Grammy Awards. 

This is evidence that the song has impacted the public sphere surrounding the notion of marriage equality, homophobia, gay suicide and acceptance. Including ideologies surrounding religion, spirituality and the law the lyrics provoke a controversial perspective of an often masked and suppressed issue.

Whether in the mediated public sphere of the gym or the music festival the song with the lyrics

“No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love…”

(Same Love ft Mary Lambert, 2012)

Will continue to spark debate – the song follows an emerging trend of gay activism within the public popular culture sphere, including the songs ‘Fuck You’ by Lily Allen, ‘Fuckin’ Perfect’ by P!nk, ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry and Braden Summers photography series ‘All Love is Equal.’

enhanced-buzz-wide-17931-1392314585-11(Image Credit: Braden Summers photography series ‘All Love is Equal’)

No freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it!

(Same Love ft Mary Lambert, 2012)

References

RL, Mary Lambert, Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis, 2012. Same Love ft. Mary Lambert. United States of America: Macklemore LLC.

Song: Interview Live from NYC – Spotify Sessions, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Youtube. (2014). Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Same Love @ Future Music Festival . [Online Video]. 10 March. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp171h2pwvE. [Accessed: 06 April 2014].

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jake, this is a great post. I like how you have positioned your own narration alongside factual information. It is interesting when you discuss the evolution of the public sphere, stating”there is no single range of provoked audience responses – rather an unpredictable array of human tolerance.” It is really articulate and a well executed piece of writing.

    1. jaketroncone says:

      Thanks Annabelle! I really appreciate your feedback – I was unsure whether or not my approach of including my own narration would cloud the factual information but I am glad that it doesn’t! The evolution of the public sphere is a topic that really intrigued me whilst writing this post, I’m glad my interest is thought provoking! Thanks again 🙂

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