So I was driving around the other day, listening to the kind of loungey jazz compilation CD that I favor, minding my own business, and “Not Me” came on. You know the one: “Not me, it’s the people who say / the men are leading the women astray / but I say / that the women of today / are smarter than a man in every way…” OK, I can buy that, but the song is not actually about women being smart; it’s about them being deceptive.
In particular, the part about Samson and Delilah got me thinking. Who decided that the moral of that story was that women are deceptive and not to be trusted? (OK, that’s rhetorical. We know who: a bunch of shriveled white guys. That’s always who.) There are so many other possibilities! What about, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice?” If Samson hadn’t spent all that time being a jerk, nobody would have wanted to find out the secret of his strength and defeat him in the first place. What about, “Never go to a new stylist without references?” I mean, who among us hasn’t been robbed of our strength by a terrible haircut? Or, “Best not to be a man-whore–it’ll get you into trouble.” That was the essence of Samson’s weakness, long before his fateful coif.
We all get the same data, but it’s all in the interpretation. Critical thought is good stuff.