I’d like to preface this post by stating one relatively unknown fact about myself. I am not a prude. Now that is out of the way, I’d like to take some time to share something that has been on my mind a great deal as of late.
On today’s date in history, in 1498 A.D., the greatest advocate for prudish behavior ever known, the infamous Dominican friar, Girolamo Savonarola was condemned and burnt at the stake in the city of Florence, Italy.
Don’t know of whom I speak? Watch the Showtime series “The Borgias”? Read books about Renaissance Italy, the de Medici or Florence, Italy? No? That’s okay. Savonarola is not really anyone you study in grade school history.
So a brief history of Savonarola: He was born, in his mid 20s became a Friar because he had some issues with “desires of the flesh” became a preacher against anything fun. He preached against art and sex and anything considered a “vanity”. He ticked off some important people, one of which was Pope Alexander VI, aka “Big Daddy” Rodrigo Borgia. Ultimately, Savonarola was arrested, tortured into confessing that his spiritual visions were made-up and burnt at the stake with two of his followers. Their ashes were scattered to the winds.
You may be wondering why I was thinking about this, other than this being the anniversary of his macabre demise. Well I wasn’t thinking about him as much as I was thinking like him… somewhat. I was driving home last night, listening to my radio and car dancing. And although most people would content themselves with just jamming along with the music while coasting along at breakneck speeds, I felt it important to really think about the lyrics that went with the music.
The song in question, you ask? Pitbull’s “International Love”. I was dancing along when all of a sudden it really stuck me how offended I should be. At one point in the song, Pitbull is going on about how some chick in Romania offered not only herself up to him but also her sister and then later continued on about the ladies in Brazil with their “big ole b**bs” and their choice of apparel (thongs)…
I’ve had this discussion with people before. Songs like Cee-Lo Green’s “F*** You” or Enrique Iglesias’s “Tonight I’m F***ing You” are on the radio with safe words in lieu of the naughty ones that are bleeped out. And while I appreciate the music, there is a part of my soul, shaking her head asking, “When did we be become so crass?”
Listen, as I mentioned before, I am no prude. If people who know me ever heard the inner dialog I have going most of the time, they would be shocked that sweet, innocent little Farheen even knows what those words mean. Then again, most people don’t know that I consider being able to curse correctly and creatively the highest level of linguistic competency. But given the kinds of things one hears on the radio these days, it causes me to wonder, did Mr. Savonarola have a point? I’m convinced if he had a grave, he would have been rolling around in it for sure.