Monday, January 30, 2012

New Insights

Although the attack made on the California Dream in "Been to Hell" seems to be typical of music criticizing the fantasy, the lyrics and video introduced concepts concerning the dream which were both insightful and novel. Specifically, the song presented the idea that the disillusionment of the California Dream was universal: that anyone who pursued the dream would ultimately meet with failure. What makes this different from most other songs is that, typically, attacks on the California Dream describe some sort of personal failure. By stating that the falsehood of the fantasy applies to everyone, Hollywood Undead makes a unique critique that questions the validity of the California Dream.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Been to Hell" by Hollywood Undead

The song I chose for my essay is "Been to Hell" by Hollywood Undead. Apart from simply enjoying the band and the music, the reason I chose this song in particular is due to its effective attack on the California Dream. Rather than pretend that the dream can be attained by all who come to Hollywood, the band acknowledges that such a pursuit is more similar to being a "nightmare". Considering all of the music in support of the California Dream (even some from Hollywood Undead itself), it was refreshing to see a song that did not buy in to the advertised ideal.

Been to Hell by Hollywood Undead
Welcome to a city that'll bring you to your knees
It'll make you beg for more, until you can't even breathe
Your blindfold is on tight, but you like what you see
So follow me into the night, cuz I got just what you need
We're all rollin' down the boulevard, full of pimps and sharks
It's a motherfuckin' riot, we've been dying to start
You better grab a hold cuz now you know you're falling apart
You thought these streets were paved in gold
but they're dirty and dark

[Chorus (2x):]
Been to hell!
I can show you the devil!
Down you fell
Can't hold yourself together
Soul to sell
Down here you live forever
Welcome to a world where dreams become nightmares!

Welcome [2x]

In the belly of the beast, I'm a wolf amongst sheep
At the bottom of the hill, but at the top of the street
Above the boulevard, schoolyard, victim of deceit
And you're running hard, but this wolf it's always at your feet
Yeah you've seen it all before, but the wolf's outside your door
And you're old enough to run, you ain't hiding anymore
Another victim of the star spangled banner of the street
Now you're in the world of the wolves
And we welcome all you sheep


Welcome [2x]

You need to wake up and face it
So you can taste my reality
Now you're stuck in this place you hate
And you came here so happily
Then it made you lose your faith
And that's what fucked with your sanity
Say goodbye to your soul and say hello to your vanity
Hollywood is your friend, and the undead are your family
We'll take you to the edge, and turn your regret into agony
And I'll never let you go, cuz I know you'll come back to me
I'm the reason you came here, I'm the American Tragedy


Welcome [3x]
Welcome to a world where dreams become nightmares!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The California Dream vs. The American Dream

Unlike the American Dream, which appears to glorify a lifestyle of contentment and strong family values, the California Dream emphasizes a world of fame and fortune. It promises that anyone can rise to super-stardom and live a life where all material desires are satisfied (which is markedly different from simply being content). Although there are many versions of the California Dream, there appears to be some common elements to each interpretation:

- Amazing weather
- Attractive men / women
- High income jobs
- Fame
- Security
- A sense of fulfillment

The most noticeable difference between the American Dream and the California Dream, as evidenced by the list above, is that the former highlights a sense of community and family whereas the latter is more concerned with personal gains. Additionally, it seems that the California Dream panders to young adults - the Dream offers the potential of great success and accomplishment. The American Dream, on the other hand, appeals to those who are looking to "settle down" so to speak - those who are seeking a comfortable, content life rather than one of fame and fortune.

Considering this difference, another major distinction between the American and Californian Dream arises: the success of one's chasing of the dream can be measured in the latter, but not in the former. It would be nearly impossible for one to say whether or not another had truly "accomplished" the American Dream since the ideas it glamorizes, particularly family values and contentment, are subjective in nature. However, since the Californian Dream is concerned with material wealth and gain, success in attaining the dream can be measured by how much wealth and fame one has.

The consequence of this difference is that more people become disillusioned about the California Dream. They realize that the fame and fortune promised only happens to a select few, and even those who do attain those are not necessarily happy. In the next post, I will be presenting a song which I feel embodies this sudden disillusionment.

Until next time, keep living that college dream!