Natural Disasters In Popular Music

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When natural disasters are referenced in pop culture, they rarely carry a connotation other than chaos and catastrophe. As soon as someone hears the term “natural disaster”, his mind quickly jumps to an impactful event that somehow represents sorrow, loss, and disorder. These connotative words are especially helpful to musicians who are struggling to find a universal, relatable way to communicate the feelings and emotions in their lives. For this reason, despite the fact that there have been many songs in response to devastating disasters, most musicians use the mayhem associated with mother nature as a metaphor for the disarray in their own lives. In the song “It’s the End of the World as We Know it” by R.E.M., the band references a series …show more content…
criticising the United States government, in R.E.M.’s rant about all things bad in the world, they reference media multiple times. The incorporation of the media into R.E.M.’s rant didn’t necessarily start in a negative way, rather it brought attention to how much people’s lives depend on the media. This was seen in the phrase “six o 'clock TV hour”, referencing how people literally started to dedicate part of their day to media. The 1980s in particular are know for a changing time in media and technology, since it was when the internet was invented and Fox News was created. R.E.M. was displaying how the public almost was too reliant on the media to a point where anything that was said was believed. In the past, the public has actually been criticized for this. Malcolm X, a human rights activist, pointed out this flaw himself, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Later on in the song when the media was referenced it was in a negative manner being called “a tournament of lies”. This is clearly R.E.M.’s way of condemning the media for not being the most reliable in terms of accuracy. So, in addition to increasing amounts of access to media and automatic acceptance of truth, there are also questions regarding how reliable that information is. R.E.M.’s goal in bringing up the calamity that is mainstream media is in hopes that public’s previous unquestioned devotion to it will change, changing the world as we know

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