*Could* have been?

So, I’ve been listening to Rihanna’s song Man Down, which I quite like, but there’s one line that drives me absolutely crazy:

‘Cause I didn’t mean to hurt him
Could’ve been somebody’s son
And I took his heart when
I pulled out that gun

*Could* have been somebody’s son? *Could* have? Is it possible that he wasn’t somebody son? What, did he spring from the foam on the ocean? Erupt from a volcano? Materialize out of thin air? Why the hell would anyone write such a line? Did no one at any point in the production of this song point out “Um, yeah, that doesn’t make any sense.”?

One Reply to “*Could* have been?”

  1. This calls to mind something that made me laugh out loud during the rush to war in Iraq. I was watching Bill O’Reilly’s show (not as a fan, but as a student of propaganda techniques,) and he went off on this bizarre rant about the Sopranos. After working himself up into a frenzy of hot air, he concluded by proudly declaring, “the producers of this show cannot be forgiven for treating mobsters like human beings!” As he tossed to a commercial break, I thought to myself, “are mobsters robots? Are they space aliens?”

    I believe below a certain intellectual threshold, there is a strong tendency to adopt two-dimensional cartoonish perspectives of the much more complex world we inhabit. This is precisely why the ravings of a few extremist clerics enable millions of Americans to believe every single individual amongst a billion Muslims is thirsty for Christian blood. It is also precisely why the ravings of different extremist clerics enable millions of foreigners to believe every single individual amongst a couple of billion Christians is thirsty for Muslim blood. I suppose we can take solace in the fact that Rihanna is a well-intentioned pop star rather than a political opinion leader. That is surely the least offensive pairing of a big voice with a small mind.

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