When I was watching Trent Reznor’s version of “Hurt”, I was struck with a terrible sadness. It was not a sadness induced by the images of doom, decay, and destruction in the video. It was not even the hopeless lyrics that got to me. It was a single sound, something so subtle and natural in the music world that most people probably didn’t even notice or care when they heard it. It was the sound of cheering. When Reznor finished his cacophonic dirge, the crowd watching his performance erupted in shouts and cheers. This wasn’t light clapping or scattered applause; this was the glory of the crowd at its fullest. Here’s Trent Reznor, singing about drug addiction, pain, and hopelessness, and the people just eat it up. They loved it! They worshipped him for it! And that is what strikes me as so sad…

            Did you ever wonder why they cheered? I wonder. I wonder if it is because they do not understand the message that Trent Reznor was preaching that day. Perhaps they cheered that day simply because they did not comprehend the agony and horror embedded in the song. Perhaps they cheered because they were lost in the sound and they just liked NIN profusely. If those people cheered for such reasons, woe unto them.

            But here is an even scarier thought. What if they did understand what
Trent was saying? What if they knew exactly what his song was promoting? What if they cheered because they liked his hopelessness? Now that is truly a terrifying thought, because despair is no reason to cheer at all. How empty a person must be, to cheer for lost hope and gloom! A cheering crowd at the end of Reznor’s song speaks volumes as to what our generation idolizes and prizes. And if our generation idealizes despair, how great is their need for Christ! Tis inspiration for evangelism, pure and simple.



1 Comment

  1. As for those who cheer, I can honestly understand. For myself, to hear emotion poured out in lyrics, it’s something that i would quite posibly applaud. But without the hope I have through Christ, I would be all over that…

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