It’s OK to be ‘different’

Upon listening to and reading Ginsberg’s the Howl my initial thoughts led me to believe that this work would have been criticized by the public for being too graphic and rebellious. However, upon research I was shocked to learn that the public actually praised the Howl. They respected it for revealing the nastiness of America at that time and used it to fuel a revolution to change America and make it better. I then learned that in a way my initial prediction was correct. This came to light when I learned of the 520 copies of the poem that were seized by customs for containing references to illicit drugs and both hetero and homosexual practices. And then later a bookstore manager was arrested in San Francisco for selling the book containing the poem. It seemed to be only the government that was opposing the poem, and I think that this is because of the references to current problems in the united states and references to his graphic real life experiences that he experienced with his mother Naomi and friend Carl Solomon being in mental hospitals and his own journey through one and his experiences with therapy. I think that pretty much everyone heard this piece in 1955-56 not only because of its rebellious nature but also because of its heavy media presence. I think this poem allowed its readers to see the ugly side of America in a time where everyone was doing their best to achieve the American dream.

Man on the moon by Kid Cudi was released in 2009 struck me as the type of song that is written by the good guy who always loses. Cudi seemed like he was frustrated by always not being associated with the norms in society, so by doing that he associated himself with a man on the moon because hardly anyone else gets to do that, making him unique like he is in his everyday life.  He told us how frustrating it is to be told that you are different and expressed how frustrated he is that different is not ok, and wonders what classifies something as different. Throughout the song he basically says I don’t care what you think, but I care what you think. I had a hard time finding information about how this individual song was received when it was released, but looking at reviews and reading a lot of them for the album, Man on the Moon, it seems like people either loved it or hated it, similar to Ginsberg’s Howl. They either thought he hit his target, or flew past it with flying colors. However looking at this everyone identifies his concept, just some thought he did a poor job of reaching it. In a way I think that the fact that they were able to identify a concept makes him successful. I think this is because everyone sees music differently, and it can be hard to make people understand what you are going for, but when reviewers use words like different, and a voyage, and heroic, I think you hit your mark even when some fail to believe it. The face that they acknowledge your end goal means that they got the point, just because you didn’t reach it the way they wanted you too doesn’t mean you failed, Cudi would say that it just makes you different.

Through listening to both of these works I found that they were both working towards the same goals, that there should be no such thing as normal and that people should just be people. Doing this would avoid so many problems in society allowing people to just be themselves without having to worry about fitting into a certain social box or be someone they are not. Both Cudi and Ginsberg took a big shot and tried telling our society that different should be the normal, we just haven’t started listening close enough to realize it. 


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