This song has the most meaning of any song of this year, or from any year really. That’s about as blunt as I can get. Ben Haggerty takes one of the most explosive topics in America today and creates a beautiful commentary targeting all of society and our choice to continue to use the word gay as an insult. After re listening and re listening to this song, I came to a realization. I still don’t truly understand that meaning of what Ben Haggerty is going for. I still use the term “gay” as a negative connation. I still am encouraging a prejudice that is so heavily ingrained into society that children grow up in a world where they only know “gay” to be a bad word. It’s as if every time I listen to this song, I ignore what is being told to me and I just hear the beautiful instrumental.
This summer, I got in a bit of a disagreement with my friend over using “gay” as a bad thing. My friend decided to punch me every time I said the word, in an effort to stop the use of it in such a negative fashion. Now obviously this did not go over well with me, and my defense of my anger was, why start getting mad about something that we have all been doing our whole lives. Plus I argued, its not like I am a homophobe, I love the gays! Looking back on my thoughts that day though, I realize that is a ridiculous way of thinking. If people just didn’t want to do something simply because it was a change in the norm, society would never be allowed to morph and grow.
I think my problem was and still is, I am ashamed that I am so thoughtless with my actions yet, I continue to do it because I don’t want to admit I am wrong. “Same Love” is one of the first, mainstream attempts I have ever encountered meant for the masses to try and understand who is being hurt when gay is used negatively. At first, I wanted to use “Thrift Shop” as my song of the year off of The Heist. I knew I would have a song off that album I mean, it is only the album of singles, and for most of the year I was sure it would have to be “Thrift Shop” with its infectious beat and hilarious accompanying video. When December rolled around though, I watched a concert Haggerty did for NPR and he played “Same Love.” It was one of the most powerful things I have witnessed, and I was watching it on a computer screen thousands of miles away, days after it had actually happened. Watching Haggerty sing the chorus and rap those lines with such emotion, I slowly began to turn and look in at myself. I still, to this day use “gay” negatively with little to no thought about what I am truly saying. I am not allowing Haggerty to get his message across to me. I read my friend’s review of this very same song, and what he said had me do a double take. It was like a huge frying pan was being beat over my head when I realized his whole review could essentially be talking about me and my ignorance. So I listened to the song again. And again. And now as I write this review, I swear, right here on my blog to the world, I will finally start to accept Haggerty’s message of one love. I will finally begin to purge my vocabulary and soul of the hate that has been enveloping society and myself for my entire life. Because if I don’t start now, will I ever?