So I'm noticing a trend. As many of you have also noticed, the last year has seen a fascinating number of pop songs aimed specifically at empowering various groups, usually "the gays." From Katy Perry's "Firework" to both of Pink's Greatest Hits singles to Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" and now to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," I'm curious as to what some of your thoughts are on these songs and this direction. In the "Born This Way" thread, I know at least yearscomeandgo has made some interesting posts about the song seeming to hold onto antiquated notions of what it means to be gay, and especially given the current speed (and sometimes ridiculousness) of the "Born This Way" thread, I thought opening up a thread that not only addresses issues related to that song, but a broader trend in pop music at the moment might be helpful. As for me, I recently siphoned away a few hours of my life to writing a piece about this, with "Born This Way" as a jumping point for a broader discussion about culture and belief. http://treeofheartsahumanblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/born-this-way-yes-if-youre-american.html It's probably entirely too long for some of you (no offense: I realize the Internet feeds on micro-transactions of attention), but the gist is that the whole idea of being "born this way" as it applies to gays and lesbians is culturally influenced. If you do bother to read the article, take note: I am not saying that homosexuality is a choice. I'm just pointing out that politics and science have collided on this issue in interesting ways, with pop music (interestingly) throwing its two cents in for good measure. A lot of these issues are (presumably) beyond the scope of a pop music forum, so my specific questions are these: 1. Do you like "empowering" (slash "real-world") messages in your pop songs? Or would you rather they just stay "in the club"? 2. Do you think such messages make a difference in the world? Or are pop stars deluding themselves into thinking they do? 3. Why do you think these recent "equality anthems" have been so popular? Are they just good songs? Is it because most were penned by known hitmakers, such as Max Martin and Dr. Luke? 4. Am I making something out of nothing? Do a spate of songs like "Fuckin' Perfect," "Firework," and "Born This Way" strike you as nothing new? (Note: The videos to these songs must be watched to get the full effect. For instance with the "Fuckin' Perfect" video, it's the specific marriage of lyrics with images that creates what I'm talking about here). Finally: it would be best if we could limit the discussion to this specific trend rather than whether or not you think Lady Gaga's new single is shit or not.