katy perry

Katy Perry and Roar

katieBack when I was a teenager, I was a fan of musical anthems. I liked songs that told me to run harder, to work longer, to keep my eyes on the prize, to fight the power, to never give up, to stay alive. They blared from the speakers attached to my walkman—powerful words that showed me, dammit, I was important and in charge.

Live your life!

Move forward!

Don’t stop!

Never look back!

Because I was young and naive, I accepted the words at face value. Even if the singer was, say, shooting up crack, or sleeping with myriad hookers, or treating people like sludge, well, I was merely about the music. It inspired and moved me. That’s what counts, right?


Now, at age 41, I am old and wrinkly and cynical. I no longer eat everything I’m fed. I no longer pump my fists and grit my teeth to “Living on a Prayer.” I’ve seen a lot of shit, and it’s influenced my ability to be motivated.

And that, dear friends, is why I absolutely abhor Katy Perry’s new song, Roar.

I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You’ve almost certainly heard the damn thing. It’s played on Z100 no less than 30 times a day, and features Perry (a singer I generally have no beef with) screaming about her personal comeback; about overcoming her awful ex-husband, Russell Brand, and moving above and beyond. Katy clearly dislikes her ex, and wants to show all the little girls out there that a man should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever bring you down.


Here’s the thing: Once you’ve become engaged to a guy after knowing him for, eh, three months, you lose all rights to complain when the thing doesn’t work out. You don’t get a poem, a speech, an anthem. You don’t get to brag about moving forward. Hell, you don’t even get to tell us what a jerk he was. Why? Because you knew him for three months. THREE! Why—Christ almighty—do celebrities always make the dumbest decisions. Three months? Three months? It took us three months to decide upon an air conditioning unit for the house. And you’re getting married? Really?

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready cause I’ve had enough 
I see it all, I see it now

Did you think, just maybe, getting hitched to a recovering heroin addict might include some risks? Did you even know Russell Brand was a recovering heroin addict? And bipolar? And went through a period of self-harming? And bulimic?

Truth be told, instead of making Roar about returning from the depths of a bad marriage, Perry should have included lyrics about not being dumb enough to wed a drug addict after three months.

I’m a famous singer
And famous singers always do stupid things
Like marrying bulimic bipolar heroin addicts after three months