Arts & Letters Saturday: ‘Brick’

December 15, 2012

This week’s work is the song “Brick” (1997), by Ben Folds Five.

When I listened to it as a teenager, I thought it was just a catchy song with a great sound.  But if you listen to the lyrics, the verses (and watch the music video, above), you realize that it’s a beautiful, deeply sad song about a teenage couple getting an abortion.

Ben Folds apparently “wanted the song to speak for itself”; so I’ll leave it at that.

Further reading:

2 Responses to “Arts & Letters Saturday: ‘Brick’”

  1. I am heartened that you wrote above that the song is about a “couple” getting an abortion. Men are undeniably part of this conversation. Whether they are pressuring girlfriends to get abortions, or wishing women wouldn’t. Whether they are dehumanizing women by sleeping with them while refusing to marry and support them. The pro-choice camp insists that men simply turn on their heels and walk away, offer no opinion, and (ironically) no support. As Anselm of Canterbury says, the normal way a human being is created requires a man and a woman. An abortion necessarily involves a couple.

    • “and (ironically) no support”

      I think this is a really interesting point. Liberalism dreams of an ideal world in which women are perfectly “free” to make their own choice, in a neutral environment that doesn’t influence them one way or the other. Of course I disagree with liberals—I don’t think that would be ideal even if it were possible—but that kind of conservative-liberal disagreement is well known; what’s less known or contemplated is that neutrality isn’t even possible.

      This is further illustrated by this chilling personal report, in which a girl became pregnant, and initially didn’t want an abortion, but everyone around her—the culture, her boyfriend, her mother, the nurse—refused to support her and pressured her to give up and get an abortion:

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