|Led Zeppelin and Stairway to Heaven Privilege
||[Dec. 31st, 2011|03:38 pm]
Marty McFly Fan
Since getting more into feminism and other equal rights advocacy, I've been seeing all these privilege checklists - in which a bunch of them are linked to on Amptoons. This doesn't mean that people who are privileged should feel bad or guilty, or even that being unaware of their privilege necessarily makes them bad people. Rather, this means that it's easy for people who are in a majority group to take for granted that they are the majority. As such, it's easy to see leveling the playing field as being an attack on them - when, in actually, it's giving minority groups a chance to be heard and respected.|
Such as, for example, some Conservative Christians have an issue with salesclerks saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" during the holiday. They're so used to their religion and their holiday being widely accepted and celebrated that they see recognizing other religions with their own holidays as being an attack on their religion - as opposed to, you know, recognizing that other religions besides Christianity do exist... and that followers of other religions have just as much right to have their religion be recognized and acknowledged. It's not telling Christians to stop observing their faith - but, rather, it's telling Christians to step back and allow followers of other religions just as much freedom to observe their faiths. And I'm saying all of this as someone who does celebrate Christmas.
Well, when it comes to the Led Zeppelin fanbase, there is a group of fans that have a privilege that other Led Zeppelin fans don't have. Specifically, I'm referring to the fans whose favourite Led Zeppelin song happens to coincide with the band's most well-known and highly-esteemed hit... that being Stairway to Heaven. Now, I'm not saying that these people are wrong for considering Stairway to Heaven to be their favourite song. After all, we all have a right to our opinions.
However, the problem I have is the fact that some (not all) of these fans... Well, they seem to have a bit of difficulty accepting that maybe not every Led Zeppelin fan does like Stairway to Heaven the best - or, in fact, even like Stairway to Heaven at all. And, yes, it is possible to like Led Zeppelin without liking Stairway to Heaven. After all, Led Zeppelin has over eighty different songs to choose from - and it is okay for a Led Zeppelin fan to not like each and every one of them.
The great thing about Led Zeppelin is that they have experimented with many different styles. It's kind of like Led Zeppelin's music catalogue is one big buffet - and you may not necessarily like every single item that the buffet contains. It doesn't mean that, just because you don't like one item on the buffet - even if the item is widely regarded as being the best - that you can't choose from myriads of other options. That's the great thing about individuality and variety. You have the option to choose what you like, and leave the rest - and you don't have to like something, just because it's popular.
The fact is, most Led Zeppelin songs don't sound a thing like Stairway to Heaven. Just because you don't like Stairway to Heaven - it doesn't mean that you can't like Achilles Last Stand, Kashmir, Nobody's Fault But Mine, Whole Lotta Love, That's the Way, No Quarter, Since I've Been Loving You, Dazed and Confused, Hats Off to (Roy) Harper, All My Love, D'yer Mak'er, Misty Mountain Hop, Hey Hey What Can I Do, or (my personal favourite) Over the Hills and Far Away. Each of these listed songs showcase different styles that Led Zeppelin have experimented with, and not one of these songs sound a bit like Stairway to Heaven - except for, well, Stairway to Heaven. To claim to somebody cannot like one of these other fine songs by Led Zeppelin, if they don't like Stairway to Heaven, is to be simply closed-minded and arrogant.
The bottom line is, I'm not saying that people can't like Stairway to Heaven - or even that they can't like it the best. I'm just asking for these people to recognize that, perhaps, some people enjoy Led Zeppelin because they enjoy some of the other songs that Led Zeppelin has recorded. Stairway to Heaven is not, never was, and never will be the end-all/be-all of Led Zeppelin's catalogue. So, please, do not assume that someone who enjoys the works of Led Zeppelin is necessarily going to be a huge Stairway to Heaven fanatic. When you watch a video on YouTube from a user listing their top favourite Led Zeppelin songs, and you see that Stairway to Heaven does not top their list - please, do not start bitching at them. There is no rule that states that liking Stairway to Heaven is a prerequisite to liking any other song that Led Zeppelin has recorded. Besides that, there are plenty of videos lists on YouTube (some not even Led Zeppelin specific) that have Stairway to Heaven topping the list. You should be happy about that, instead of bitching at people who dare to prefer some other song by Led Zeppelin.
The fact that there are people who are so used to seeing Stairway to Heaven being number one almost all the time - and, yet, they still take exception to the few occasions that it's not number one - that's Stairway to Heaven privilege. All I ask is for these people to step aside, and allow the opinions of those of us who prefer other songs by Led Zeppelin to be heard. Nothing more.