Jesse Leach’s Check Your Head: Wise Up!

The lead singer of Killswitch Engage returns with an impassioned plea

Jesse Leach's Check Your HeadJesse Leach's Check Your Head

Jesse Leach’s Check Your Head

[The following song partially inspired this column]

Let’s just get right to it. I have had a breaking point as of late. I am attempting to expand my horizons and branch out as an artist (with my website, JesseLeach.com), so I am on the internet a lot.

As a writer and musician, I observe people and the world around me a great deal for inspiration. It is becoming increasingly and painfully obvious that lately, our entertainment in society is taking a hard nosedive into nonsense.

Recently, all I see on social media is stuff like the “celebrity” (for whatever reason) Kim Kardashian, posing nude and “revealing” her self. Massive amounts of reality television are ruling the airwaves.

I turn on the radio on occasion, just to see what is considered “pop” music these days and I hear the most mindless, ignorant phrases being repeated over and over. Songs about living for tonight and tonight let’s bang because tonight I’m yours or tonight someone roofied me…

Seriously, turn on your radio and you will hear the word “tonight” on any pop station multiple times.

We are living in a distracted and temporary society. We are entranced by pointless entertainment that is slowly draining the intelligence out of us all, in one way or another. It’s like the media is jingling keys over us and we are fat headed adult sized baby’s enamored by the sight and sound…except the “keys” are overexposed, talentless and narcissistic halfwits obsessed with themselves!

You can call this a rant, make a snide comment about it on some online forum, “troll” me, what have you…I really don’t care.

I am fed up and honestly quite confused as to why this overall dumbing down is snowballing to a fever pitch these days. Why is lowest common denominator of entertainment commanding the airwaves and the internet?! Why are people who are contributing nothing to art and culture have a massive soapbox to pontificate their skewed points of view and bias opinions?

Well, I thought about it for a few minutes and it struck me: things are the way they are because we allow it to be so!

We are responsible for the collective “us.” This is simple supply and demand. For example, when someone posts a ridiculous article on Facebook and you click on that link because you want to see how dumb it really is, your “click” is a vote — a signal to whomever is monitoring that site that this “interests you.” I know it happens all the time, because I do it too!

This is driving what is popular across the board. If you participate in an online argument and get emotionally invested to the point where you are name calling, you are contributing to the downswing. Think about it: you are typing words into a keyboard, no eye contact, no tone of voice, no body language and you’re arguing? That’s not how it’s supposed to be done, it accomplishes nothing!

(See this article I wrote years ago).

As far as the reality television goes, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “I only watch it because it’s soo dumb.” Perhaps there is that ridiculous song that you “just like the beat to” and “ignore the lyrics.” We have just got to stop this nonsense or at least scale it back some!

Granted, I know with this article, I am only talking to a small, tiny sliver of the population, but for those of you who are still reading (and not distracted by something on the “jingling keys” of the internet), you are my people — I am talking to you.

We have to wise up! We need to raise the bar and not participate in all of this nonsense (the finger is pointed back at me too here). What we do on a daily basis counts for something. As small as it may seem, it matters in the long run.

Stand up for what you believe in! Pursue a dream! Fight a social injustice! Raise awareness for a good cause! Have an intelligent conversation! Turn someone on to a great band! Buy a record! Shut your phone off and go for a walk in the woods! Suggest a good read to a friend perhaps…but stop participating in this cultural dumbing down.

I want to be clear here: I am all about fun and enjoying life. I have a dark sense of humor, and I participate in stupid stuff here and there for the laugh of it. However, I just feel we all could be more aware of how much we allow our minds to be steeped in stupidity. Our brains are an amazing electrified mass of potential. We are capable of profound and brilliant things. Our brain takes in what we feed it, what we allow it to absorb. If we are taking in too much nonsense, then nonsense will begin to outweigh the intelligence.

Balance is key to anything in life. All I ask as a fellow human that still believes we as a species are capable of great things is contribute to the greater cause. Uplift and edify, teach and learn. Make a difference in somebody’s life; even if its just a small seemingly insignificant thing, it counts.

If you take time to step back and see the larger picture of this life, there is so much more than meets the eye.

The media will continue to heap massive amounts of mind-numbing content, but you have a choice to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Life is much too precious to waste it reading about Kim Kardashian’s big ol’ butt, the top ten celebrities who blah, blah, blah, or watch a reality show about some family and their “problems” (pay attention to your own problems!)

You have your free will, and you will do what you want regardless. I just ask, as a conscious, concerned citizen of humanity…let’s all just wise up a bit!

Thanks for reading my “rant.” Thanks for supporting my music and writing and thanks for flexing that muscle between your ears.

One Love.

Keep fighting the good fight!

P.S.: Have you ever watched the movie “Idiocracy?” I avoided it for a long time, thinking it was just another stupid spoof comedy. Now that I have watched it, I realize the genius of it! This movie — although exaggerated and ridiculous — does make a very valid commentary on our current state of affairs.

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