BackMasking

January 30, 2009

turntableIf you’ve ever heard an entire point of a sermon based on playing six seconds of a rock and roll records backwards, you have probably been a fundamentalist. Fundies are convinced that demonic messages are being secretly coded into…just about everything.

In the 1980’s various fundamentalists became convinced that subliminal messages were being hidden in rock music songs via “backmasking.” This inevitably led to a rush on pastors and youth leaders buying up record players that could play backwards, for use as sermon illustrations.

Of course, other than a few publicity stunts nobody has actually ever proved that there is backmasking in songs, nor that recording messages backwards into music has any effect on the listeners. Fundamentalists, however, are so convinced of the truth that they don’t allow themselves to be confused by the facts.

They also bear the dubious distinction of being the only people who have ever spent more time listening to rock music in played in reverse than played forward.

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Blaming Africa for Rock Music

January 24, 2009

rock-n-rollAll music has rhythm and most cultural music around the world has a lot of syncopation. You’ll find the sin of syncopation is just about every kind of music including Middle Eastern music, Slavic music, Indian music, Chinese Music, Celtic Music, and Native American Music. However, fundamentalists have determined beyond a shadow of a doubt that rock music has come from evil witchcraft ceremonies in Africa.

How did they come to this conclusion? It’s not quite clear. Surely they didn’t just play on a preexisting racial prejudice and pick the homeland of the group of people who were least liked in society at the time to blame rock music on. One would not even dare to suggest it’s possible. On the other hand, if you ask fundies about what makes music evil it’s unlikely that you’ll be informed about the syncopation of Jewish music and how it makes the dance. Nope, the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Africa and for fundamentalists that’s where it will stay.

Just once I’d like to hear a sermon on those ‘dangerous Celtic beats’ that drive men into the depths of degradation. Ethnomusicology be hanged. Let’s blame the Africans.