How Good Friday affects Rebecca Black’s Friday…

By now, I suspect you will have seen Rebecca Black’s debut single Friday. If not, add yourself to the other 21,176,864 witnesses of this televisual car-crash now:

The song has been subject to wave after wave of criticism and ill-tempered mockery across the internet. The song has been absolutely pilloried in music magazine and tv shows alike, and – sadly – as with most critiques, it quickly goes from the actual issue (i.e. the video) to personal slander. Good Morning America’s rigorously scientific poll has showed that 59% of 6,390 respondees believe that the internet response “isn’t too harsh”. Bear in mind, that one forum ‘Black-lash©’ will see pornographic pictures emailed to schools with ‘Rebecca Black’ name as a subject header (for more info, see ‘Operation Black Friday’ – the work of those perennial mischief-makers at 4chan)

What has this shown about humanity?

Two posts this week that showed a laudable response to our [internet] culture of hatred were Olivier Blanchard comments on the ugly side of the internet and Charlie Southwell’s post Is The Internet Dehumanising Us?. Their choice of topic was not original – in that many have already commented on how the internet is a hotbed of racism, xenophobia and ruthless trolling – but both posts expressed opinions about humanity and human nature that were quite divergent from my own (apologies in advance if I’ve grossly mischaracterised your respective worldviews, chaps!)

Olivier articulated -although this was in no way the primary thrust of his original post – that humans are essentially morally neutral but have the capacity to do good or bad actions with each individual choice:

100% of the social web’s potential is tied to human potential…Through the use of social platforms, we can be a force for good, or a force for cruelty and hatred.

Charlie’s post spoke about the internet’s ability to “dehumanize”, intimating that we are essentially ‘good’ but the internet facilitates/encourages our baser selves:

“…the internet has provided a dehumanising wall, with which to hide behind when pointing and laughing at real people. Vulnerable people”.

And I, somewhat morbidly, made the case in Charlie’s comments section, we are naturally ‘bad’ and:

…Consequently, unless we sort the problems within ourselves, the social web will continue to not only be a channel for “bad” behaviour but also a funnel, a magnifier and a receptacle too.

N.B. I encourage you to read the comments section of Charlie’s post in their entirety – they are rich in thought-provoking insight and opinion (especially mine, yo).

A [very brief and inexhaustive] Biblical view of Human nature

The Bible presents that at the beginning of creation, Man lived in harmony with God and nature – it was “good”. Then Genesis 3 went down, “we done goofed” and consequences will never be the same.  The effects were that sin entered the world, marring us as humans, separating us from God and resulting in the kind of world which leads to the unseemly vilification of Rebecca Black.

Thus, when the Bible speaks of man’s natural state it does in uncompromising terms such as these:

“For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft,  murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly” (Mark 7:21)

An unflattering assertion for sure, but – upon examining myself at least – a true one (my left ventricle in particular has a propensity to steal).

How Good Friday affects how I should treat Rebecca Black’s Friday…

Some 2,000 years ago a Jewish carpenter ambled around first century Palestine healing the sick, raising the dead and preaching repentance and the coming of God’s Kingdom. Three years into his ministry this man was considered such a threat to the established order that he was – as the result of a theo-political conspiracy – crucified  by a Roman governor. After three days, the aforementioned carpenter rose from dead on a day known in Western Christianity as ‘Good Friday’.

According to the Bible, Jesus rising from the dead changes EVERYTHING. From how we relate to God to how we act to others in light of this.

To Christians, God has promised to “give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (Ez 36:26). This is not to say we will become morally unimpeachable nor does it follow that we will be the best or the nicest people, but it gives us a new impetus and empowerment to be different from the world. Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus exhorts them to ” …let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph 4:31) and reminds them that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10).

For these reasons – and many more – let us Christians be known as a segment of society that is not quick to  gracelessly eviscerate benign and easy targets such as Rebecca Black, but instead a people who show the fruit of the Spirit (sans sanctimony).

To those who don’t take so readily to Biblical injunctions, I simply say “Play nice” – it makes it better for all of us 🙂


About jonathanrose

Raconteur. Intellectual. Showerman.
This entry was posted in Christianity, New Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How Good Friday affects Rebecca Black’s Friday…

  1. Ed Ross says:

    Funnily enough, I’d only gotten around to seeing what all this “Rebecca Black” fuss on Twitter was about last night, so good timing for this article.

    Some good points made there.

    I don’t think anyone likes to hear themselves be criticized – at least as much as poor Rebecca has been since the launch of her video!

    Also, is it really that bad? I can think of some tune a lot worse that have done very well as far as single sales go. As I get older (I’m almost 29 you know?!) I’m getting further and further out of touch with the modern day music scene, but from what I can tell this tune is just another in a line of similar products churned out by the industry, and shouldn’t come under any extra attention.

    I suspect a lot of the ill will might actually come from similarly aged girls to Rebecca who are jealous that she has gotten this chance and they have not.

    So really, instead of criticizing, just go out and do something better, if you can!

  2. I think that it’s a lovely song Jonny! Ha. If I could find a way to procure 22 000 000 hits in a month I’m not sure I’d be too concerned about the quality of my songwriting…

    The question of how we use the internet is a big one – I guess that a good test is always ‘would I say it to their face?’

  3. Jordan says:

    Think Rebecca Black “Friday” is bad…listen to this one…Jenna Rose “My Jeans” Click on the link for the video

  4. Hannah McCole says:

    I’m using my brother’s account so don’t be confused by the name I just really want to somehow let Rebecca Black receive this message. Okay first thing you are AMAZING. You are beautiful and talented. I love this song it is so catchy and everyone in my school walks past me signing this song and I live in New Zealand! Your famous world wide! SHE SHOULD BE SO PROUD. Do not take anything that people say to you personally. I mean these people don’t even know you! It’s like Justin Bieber. People mock him because they can, not because they really have a reason to. I’m not a Justin Bieber fan, but I think that people shouldn’t judge him nonetheless. They are obviously just jealous. Everyone would love to be famous. You are successful and that is what you should be focusing on. You are so strong for putting up with these ignorant, stupid brainless idiots saying these horrible immature things to you. They should be ashamed and embarrassed saying these things to a 13 year old girl. They are all heartless monsters if they really enjoy seeing a 13 year old cry. If they do, they don’t deserve to be living. You are a young teenager fulfilling your dreams and trying to have fun whilst doing so AND SOME ARESHOLES ARE STOPPING YOU! These people are all pathetic are they really proud of saying these things!!!! All you haters out there think about what you’re saying. Would you say these things to your daughter or younger sister? Keep singing girl your perfect don’t let people tell you that you are not. People on Youtube commenting are just trying to be funny. They are all just trying to get people to like their comments. They don’t realize that in the process of saying these things they are hurting you emotionally and possibly scarring you for life. They don’t even realize you’re human. They just think your some pretty girl on their screen that they can rip into to make themselves feel better. So many people love your song they are just afraid to admit it because that’s not what people think is ‘cool’ to do. Some people have decided they don’t like this song so everyone else is following them and being sheep. I LOVE THIS SONG. Anything that people say isn’t directed to you or your song it’s just people shitting out their mouths that aren’t properly thinking. I’m a major fan and will always be there to support you when people are attacking you. And do you want to know something? I’m a 14 year old girl called Hannah McCole search me on Facebook. I love Lil Wayne, Nirvana, My Chemical Romance, Dubstep and Chris Brown. And Rebecca Black will now be joining my list of favourite singers and before people sit reading my comment thinking of the ‘funniest’ way to reply to it. Fuck you and get a life.

  5. abal says:

    Teenage sensation Rebecca Black was found dead in her home in Anaheim Hills, California today. While Orange County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the death, an officer at the scene did say “It has all the signs of a suicide”. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department refused to comment any further on the matter.

    Black, 13, was best known for her instant internet hit song “Friday”, the parents have yet to say whether they suspect her suicide is related to her sudden fame.

  6. Pingback: Rebecca Black’s Friday gets a Christian makeover | Jonathan Rose's Blog

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