When P!nk burst onto the music scene in 2000, the splash she made was overshadowed by that of her fellow pop princesses. With a Billboard hit in her hands, her future in the music industry was as promising as it was ambiguous. One thing was for sure, she didn’t have Christina’s vocals, Britney’s sex appeal, or Jessica’s charm—but she didn’t need to. The pop music underdog had enough edge to eventually become Billboard #1 Pop Song Artist of the Decade.
P!nks latest single, “Raise Your Glass” from her upcoming album Greatest Hits: So Far!!! stays true to her roots but also raises some questions about the relationship between alcohol and celebration in our culture. The pop star sings, “So raise your glass if you are wrong / In all the right ways, all my underdogs / We will never be, never be anything but loud / And nitty gritty, dirty little freaks / Won’t you come on and come on and /Raise your glass! / Just come on and come on and / Raise your glass!” It’s doubtful that P!nk is toasting with apple juice but the problem doesn’t lie within the lyrics of her songs; the song is simply the expression of a issue that America has with alcohol.
As a collective society we have been socially conditioned to equate celebration with alcohol. We are bombarded with images of people celebrating life with a bottle of alcohol in their hands within every level of society since we are old enough to walk. By the time we are of legal age to purchase alcohol, we have learned that celebration is inherently accompanied by alcohol.
The question then becomes, can we unlearn what our culture has taught us all along? Can we reach a level of consciousness that allows us to enjoy the successes of our community without any chemical alterations to our state of being? If you think we can, then raise your hand—not your glass.