Monday, May 24, 2010

Music Monday: Stone Sour, "Through Glass" & Panic! At the Disco's "I Write Sins"

It's been awhile since I've done a Music Monday, hasn't it? Here is Stone Sour, and their song "Through  Glass."




You can read the lyrics here, but I highly recommend watching the video--both for the sound, and for the super-cool special effect where people turn into cardboard cut-outs.

In the song, the verses say: "So while you're outside looking in / Describing what you see / Remember what you're staring at is me."

Those lines really struck me. As writers, we must always strive to describe our characters not as characters but as real people with real identity. Even background characters need to have their own story, just one that's not necessarily told in the current work.

Maybe it's because I'm working on edits and writing and all that good stuff, but this song totally reminded me that I need to make my characters real. In the video, the band is the grungy, nasty gate-crashers at a high-class Hollywood party. But...these people are real, and the clean-cut nice looking Hollywood type are nothing more than card-board cut-outs.

One of the things I love about the really good spat of recent YAs is realistic characters. In, for example, Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely, the main good guy, Seth, has the appearance of an angry punk kid with piercings and an intimidating presence...but he's really a sweet, wonderful guy. (Thanks for Kiersten White for reminding me about Seth at the perfect time.) And what's more important: he's more realistic because of that.

I see this a lot now as a teacher. I'm not one of the teachers who cares about what kids look like, and so, very often, the Goth/scene/emo/fill-in-your-stereotype-here kind of kids tend to flock to me. While some of the (older and--let's be honest--more prejudiced) teachers are shocked by some of "the kids these days," they're really not that different from anyone else.

Just because the kid wears black doesn't mean he's a bad guy, no more than the cheerleader has to be a slut just because she's pretty.

Personally, I'm glad that in the past decade or so, YA has been breaking through the stereotypes surrounding kids. Let the hardcore punk be a softie, let the cheerleader be brilliant, let the "perfect" child be the bad kid and the wimpy kid be the hero.

And since this topic really inspires at me, let's celebrate with another video along the same lines. Here's Panic! At the Disco's song, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." The lyrics (which do involve cussing, fair warning) are about not judging people and jumping to conclusions, but the video shows a wedding between "perfect" people and circus people...with an interesting twist at the end.

19 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

You're right about characters, like Seth, who I really like, but wouldn't think so because of what he looks like. But he's a great person inside. It's similar to not judging someone by their race or stereotyping them because of that.

aLmYbNeNr said...

I love both of these songs!

Candyland said...

I love these songs. Great lyrics.

Slamdunk said...

Great post about breaking down the stereotypes with kids. I think simply talking to all kinds of folks and developing relationships will benefit them (and likely me as well) no matter where they are in life.

Kelly said...

I've always liked this Stone Sour song, but never saw the video. Hollowood. So true.
Great lyrics, never thought of them like this. Looking at the whole person, not just the outside.
My almost eleven yr old son has shaggy hair and wears Megadeth, Slipknot, band tshirts every day. If someone just met him, they may think he's some punk. But he's a straight A student who all the teachers say is a good kid and is in sports and takes guitar lessons. (which is one of the reasons I let him dress and wear his hair the way he wants - he's a good kid, why not let him be who he wants to be?!)
And speaking of him and Stone Sour, I am taking him to see his first concert for his 11th birthday and the line up is his favorite bands- Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed. And the lead singer from his other fave band, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, who happens to be the lead singer of Stone Sour, too.! (I'm glad that it's Stone Sour playing, I know he's not ready for a Slipknot concert - he only has five songs by them as the songs aren't appropriate)
I will be cringing during the concert as I know there will be F-bombs. I buy "Clean" versions of songs for him and even if songs have mature themes I won't let him have it on his iPod. So there will be a few things he'll hear that are questionable at the concert, but that's why a parent will be there :) (but I like the bands too! so will be fun!)

salarsenッ said...

For me "Through Glass" is an amazingly powerful song and reminder. I love Seth. He's a great example of an outer 'glass imagine' and an inner one. Those are the characters that grip me and the ones I long to write about.

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome - seeing beyond the surface is so important - especially with teens. They're trying out all kinds of personalities and looks, seeing what fits, what's fun for a bit. They're also looking to see who can still 'see' them. You're obviously doing a good job!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

This is so true - steriotypes ought to be broken. But I think sometimes they're true as well. Yes, break steriotypes, but maybe sometimes the cheerleader is mean, or the kid with piercings, tattoos and eyeliner is dangerous. Mixing the two (steriotypical/atypical) results, at least for me, in the most interesting stories, because then you never know for sure. Plenty of potential shockers too. :D

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. It's very, very true. For teenagers, especially, one needs to look beneath the surface and not just fall into the stereotypes.

And the songs are amazing.

Danyelle said...

Great post! A character's physical identity can be used to great effect--especially in breaking stereotypes. And you're right, characters need stories of their own to round them out. I love reading books where even minor characters have a feeling of having a past.

Lydia Kang said...

Thanks for the vids! I really enjoyed them!~

ali said...

These are all great videos AND songs. I love Seth and had the same thoughts as you--he didn't fit a stereotype, he was just himself. Which is awesomely REAL. Thanks for the reminder to keep our characters true-to-life! ♥

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I love Panic! At the Disco. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

"Personally, I'm glad that in the past decade or so, YA has been breaking through the stereotypes surrounding kids. Let the hardcore punk be a softie, let the cheerleader be brilliant, let the "perfect" child be the bad kid and the wimpy kid be the hero."

I'm glad too. It's about time.

I haven't read that book. I'm going to look for it.

Myrna Foster said...

I love this post! I dated one of those guys who wore black and died his hair in high school. He was (and still is) such a great guy.

Missed Periods said...

One of the great things about being a teacher is realizing how unique people are. No one really fits into types.

dellgirl said...

Great post, Beth. I had not heard this before, thanks for the enlightenment.

Just popping in to wish you well and, I hope you had a fabulous week! Happy “rest-of-the-week”!to ya!

Zauzeti said...

interesting blog:)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

(Okay, completely random piece of information, I changed my blog url like a week ago, and I thought it would automatically transfer people through, but it doesn't, and my mom couldn't find my blog (ha) so if you haven't seen any blog updates on your feed, could you pretty please refollow? beyeager.blogspot.com is the new URL. I'm so sorry about this!!!)