In 1985, Michael Jackson and over 40 other musical greats came together and recorded the music video We Are the World. I had long been a bit of an old hippie. In fact, I sang in a folk group during the ’60s, and I grew up singing songs of love, hope, and peace. Does anyone else still sing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” When I viewed the 1985 video We Are the World, I screamed: “YES!” That video simply came at the right time in my life to impress me deeply. Since 1985, there have been many other star-studded videos that addressed great concerns, and I believe that Lil Dicky’s Earth Music Video almost falls into this chain of efforts.
Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Leonardo de Caprio, Miley Cyrus, and many other of today’s entertainment giants helped Lil Dicky pull his production together, but Lil Dicky’s video differs a bit from earlier and similar videos in that it opens with a non-musical excerpt. To jump to the musical portion, you should fast-forward to 1:29.
Since I have spent 90% of my life as a teacher and then later as a children’s librarian. I recognize that Lil Dicky’s video could be dynamite for classroom and library programs, but I also know that until the song is cleaned up a bit, this will never happen.
I understand that for generations, cursing has been infused into animation and other movies that children will ultimately see, but I also know that schools, libraries, and parent groups are still not ready to include cursing as part of an official educational program. Supposedly Lil Dicky’s intention is to educate people about the problems associated with climate change. In my opinion, children should be the primary target audience to hear that message, and I know for a fact that schools and libraries look for Earth Day books and productions every year.
When I was a teacher and a children’s librarian, I always played We Are All Earthlings on Earth Day and on other days, too. That is the right song for every day and for everyone.
I love Lil Dicky’s video. The song is great, and the animation is perfect. I don’t, however, think that all of the cursings are an appropriate approach for the education of kids. Don’t get me wrong: I know that kids today hear cursing every day, and I am not at all an old prude. For heaven’s sakes, I am from the generation that peed in the fields at Woodstock. I am still fairly liberal, but I know the educational system well enough that I can say that schools and libraries cannot push the Lil Dicky video in its current state.
I began by mentioning that We Are the World strongly influenced me about 34 years ago. For me, that performance was the right thing at the right time. In my opinion, Lil Dicky’s video could be the right thing at the right time for kids today. I simply think that the potty mouth is unnecessary and will actually hinder the video’s reaching the people that most need to see it.