Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Cranberries' Mentality (And Why We Can Do Without It)

I'll admit it: I'm a big-time lover of most kinds of music. On my iPod, I have everything from Josh Groban to Glee to the Beatles to dc Talk to multiple American Idol finalists to ABBA to Elton John to Matchbox Twenty to Victoria Justice and then some. However, there is one genre that, to me, continues to be in a league of its own: classic rock. I've always been a fan of older media, so it should come as no surprise that my playlist is littered with songs that are well over a decade old. One enduring band is the Cranberries, whose music still gets played on the radio to this day. They had an album with a very unique title that I like because it's easily parodied, but dislike because of its implications: Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can't We?
Most of you reading this have already seen my spoof of that album's title, so I don't need to ramble about it. Instead, here's why I dislike it: The title implies giving in to peer pressure and/or jumping on the bandwagon. I've seen that "everybody else is doing it" mentality rear its ugly head throughout my life, and I don't care for it all that much. That's why I refuse to conform to what society says. If some people had their way, I wouldn't do anything that I personally consider fun.
In fact, I have the perfect response to the Cranberries' titular statement, and it comes from my childhood. It happened all the time when I was younger: Some kid (sometimes me, sometimes not) would see other kid(s) doing something, and he/she would proceed to join in. An adult--usually a parent or teacher--would come by and see him/her doing that, and then ask why he/she was doing it. He/she would respond, "Because ________ was doing it," and the adult would immediately quip, "So, if ________ jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?" I expect parents are still saying that now; if they aren't, they should be.
So, what's my point? Simply this: Just because everyone else is doing something does not mean that you have to do it, too. Being different is not a bad thing, despite what some of the denizens of this planet would have you believe. I've lived my life by that rule, and I hope people who are reading this will start doing so if they haven't already. As the song says, "I am but a small voice," but maybe this post will encourage one person. If it has, I've done my job.
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