The Ethics of Singing Along: The Case of “Mind of a Lunatic”

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 71 (1):121-129 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In contrast to film, theater, and literature, audiences typically sing along with popular songs. This can encourage a first-person mode of engagement with the narrative content. Unlike mere spectators, listeners sometimes imagine acting out the content when it is recited in the first-person. This is a common mode of engaging with popular music. And it can be uniquely morally problematic. It is problematic when it involves the enjoyment of imaginatively doing evil. I defend a Moorean view on the issue: It is wrong to enjoy evil whether real or merely fiction. I develop my position through an examination of the controversially song "Mind of a Lunatic" (1990) by the Houston based rap group Geto Boys.

Author's Profile

Aaron Smuts
Rhode Island College

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-02-24

Downloads
773 (#20,132)

6 months
117 (#38,571)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?