The reason I like this song is multifaceted. I had just heard it on the Radio not too long ago, and the music video is not good because it ruins the musical shade on the meaning. It’s just, not capturing the song the way I see it.
It’s unrepentant. It’s the modern age, unrepentant. It’s not sarcastic; it rather basks in the glory of sin. It’s saying, “I did this, and I’m not going to say sorry.”
And in doing that, it shows how desperate our civilization is, making the point that the Music Video doesn’t have to; rather, the music video is too moral bearing and not journalistic enough. The song as it is naturally makes its point—shaded by an unrepentant beat, an unrepentant soul, an unrepentant sinner praying in the golden cathedral for the faithless.
It’s upbeat, about screwing over the other guy in order to get where you are going. And “It’s ok.” The song doesn’t need to bear a moral weight. All of our songs are like this. They just say, “Screw it, I’m going to be bad.” And I like it because it’s honest. It’s easy to know how messed up it is. The writer of this song is obviously unrepentant about being successful—“If you lose, boo-hoo.” Panic at the Disco does a good rendition of it, but secretly, like a few Johnny Cash songs I know, they probably didn’t write it. Johnny always wrote his songs, but surprisingly was the talent behind a lot of our most famous grooves, and you’d never know it.
The ethos of the song is unrepentant, and the pathos is too overbearing. It’s just flagrant, spiteful, not angry, just flagrant. And I LOVE IT! Because I feel like everyone I know is like this. I feel like our whole society has to be this way in order to make end’s meat. I love it because it captures exactly how I feel about modern society. And, journalistically—that being a style without the moral expressly stated—it makes sense in our modern ethos to have a song like this.
Halsey did a good job in a few of her poems at doing this, but it’s too dank and depressing. It’s not glorious enough. It’s not that glorious future that you get if you just say “F____ off” to everything, and then go on living your life not caring about how it affects the people you love.
And then “Hey look ma I made it!” He’s singing the chorus to his mother, who is probably seething and chomping at the bit to just smack that boy across the behind. Not because he made it, but because he compromised all of his virtue doing it. It’s beautiful, how “Ma, look at me! I’m successful!” and Ma is looking back at him, seeing whatever revelry had to be done to get there. She’s thinking, “I’d rather you be poor and a rat, being honest, than to be successful screwing over everyone who ever loved you.”
And that is our modern age. I love this song because it just captures it without any hesitation. There isn’t a beat missed, there isn’t a groove missed, that doesn’t say, “Hey look Ma I made it!” The puppet didn’t need to be there, because this isn’t a puppet. This is not a puppet at all. This is an unrepentant, flagrant, “Hey look ma I made it!”
I like our modern music for this reason, but I would like to see something more sentimental. I’m getting tired of the whole, “I’m bad and I’m not going to care about it.” Because it’s getting boring. I’m tired of hearing songs accusing the listener of all their hidden sins, or on the flip, encouraging people to be bitter and petty. I’m tired of it. And with this song, I think we’ve captured it all, the portrait Halsey couldn’t paint. The portrait that a lot of singers and songwriters couldn’t. “I’m having fun, therefore I don’t care about who I hurt.” Halsey comes at a close second, but this song by Panic at the Disco really just grooves it. Other songs are singing about women wearing blades in their bras, and how they can fight a man. But this song just grooves, and seethes with this generation of America. It is the alter call of American civilization. “Hey look Ma I made it! And if you lose, boo-hoo.”