15 February 2005 

nine inch nails

One of the questions on an application I filled out recently was "List the 5 movies, books, pieces of art, etc. that have had an impact on your life in the last 10 years." The only music I put on that list was Pretty Hate Machine by nine inch nails. The rest of the list was made up of books, and narrowing it down to five was very difficult.

Consequently, I've been listening to that album again recently to try and more fully understand why it stood out to me as having had a particular impact on my life. Listening again to the lyrics of Head Like a Hole ("God, Money let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised...") and Terrible Lie ("Hey, God...why are you doing this to me?"), I've got a more firm understanding of NIN as a purger of bad theology. NIN was the first place that I got a sense that all of this God talk was supposed to be a lot more powerful than Kool-Aid and felt board story telling on Sunday mornings.

If I was doing some serious Christ and culture analysis, I think nine inch nails would be one of the first places that I would look. Hopefully I'll get into it in the future, but Trent Reznor's lyrics (as cheezy bloody bad as they can be) and music (often brilliant) says a lot about hunger for God.