In modern contemporary politics, commentators on both sides of the spectrum have this terrible tendency to treat every single cultural moment as innovative and new when it’s often not the case. Twitter mobs didn’t invent “cancel culture” in 2015, they just coined the term — for example. This is the treatment we’re seeing with the Lil Nas X music video for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” and we’re already over it.
If you get your news from progressive sites like Pink News, you might come away from this thinking that there’s this major right-wing backlash against the LGBT hip-hop performer over the highly sexual and satanic imagery in the video. To be sure, if you’re of a Christian persuasion, there really isn’t a whole lot to like — and we’re not ignorant enough to suggest that there isn’t a single pastor or person of faith who has complained about it somewhere. However, this idea that every Bible clutching American is experiencing PTSD after watching a music video is pure nonsense.
Just like with “cancel culture,” “devil music” has been part of American entertainment for a long time. To pause for a second, we’re defining “devil music” as any performer that uses the Judeo-Christian version of The Devil (you know, that horned guy who wants you to do bad stuff) for shock effect. If you’re older than, well, almost anyone of voting age, you remember the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s. You might remember when heavy metal bands like Venom and Slayer started wearing eye liner and drawing pentagrams on their album covers. You might even recall when performers like Marilyn Manson took this a step further by tearing up Bibles during concerts in the 1990s.
Speaking of the 90s, if you follow the more niche forms of hard rock music, you might remember hearing about several musicians in Norway being arrested over connections to a series of church burnings and gruesome murders. Yes, there are indeed radicals who take this whole Devil thing extremely seriously.
But here’s the thing: Americans are mostly over it.
Pentagrams, inverted crosses, blood-covered devils, and “black magic” are simply not the rebellious symbols they once were. Satan isn’t shocking anymore. Now, if you’re a person of faith, this might be indicative of a greater moral decay in our culture — and we can’t say we disagree with you. But the point we’re making is that this isn’t the “resistance” anymore. Everyone in Hollywood supports this. Everyone in the cable news media supports this. Every single major corporation’s social media account would express support if pushed hard enough. Satan is not only not shocking, he isn’t even counter-culture in any meaningful way.
So, if you like hip-hop music, and the idea of Satan receiving a lap dance doesn’t bother you, enjoy the new video — not a single conservative is really going to care. But if you really want to shock the establishment, get more creative. Things like waving American flags, kneeling down in prayer, or wearing a MAGA hat seem to do the trick these days.