Created By: TheHandle on November 10, 2013 Last Edited By: TheHandle on July 29, 2014

Sin Is In

Waxing lyrical about unhealthy or antisocial activities

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In contrast with Do Not Do This Cool Thing, this is when something that could be seen as reprehensible is lauded and praised to high heaven (this need not be a song, though it often takes that form; Lyrical Dissonance may come into play depending on your sensibilities), with no expense spared in lyrical ability and epical tone for the sake of conveying the perceived wonderfulness, significance and importance of these vices. Compare with Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll, Good Is Boring, Good Is Dumb, Good Is Old-Fashioned, Evil Is Cool.

Works with criminals or gangsters as protagonists can be this way, particularly when there is no payment of karma shown for the violence, cons, or stealing that they do. Or, the karmic payment is in terms of the "honor code" or culture within the criminal world (e.g. punishing bad deeds, insults, or betrayal against fellow gangsters), but not for the general bad deeds they inflict upon society at large.

Intimately related to Evil Is Cool, Evil Feels Good, Evil Is Sexy and Evil Is Stylish.

General:

  • Vampire in Brooklyn has Eddie Murphy's vampire character Maximilian killing and replacing a minister (also played by Murphy) and then preaching about the balance of good and evil. Or being more specific, that there cannot be Good without Evil, and as such is all right to commit sins for the sake of balance-the more heinous, the better.

Drugs Will Blow Your Mind

From song lyrics entirely dedicated to praising ketamine, crystal meth, or cocaine, to classic poems about the awesomeness of wine and liquor.

There's many, many examples of "Drugs Will Blow Your Mind" in music, particularly when it was more "innocent" experimentation in the 60s, before the fallout became more apparent and ugly in the 70s (for hard drugs). Marijuana might still be celebrated in song today, but rarely the harder stuff. Steppenwolf's "the Pusher" actually drew the distinction quite early:
You know the dealer, the dealer is a man
With the love grass in his hand
Oh but the pusher is a monster
Good God, he's not a natural man
The dealer for a nickel
Lord, will sell you lots of sweet dreams
Ah, but the pusher will ruin your body
Lord, he'll leave your, he'll leave your mind to scream.
  • "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by The Beatles: Many believe the title to be an anthropomorphism of LSD, as the initials of the key words coincide. And the song describes relaxing, turning on, and taking in some incredible sights.
  • Sammy Hagar's "(There's Only) One Way to Rock":
So many things can get you high
I'm gonna try 'em all just once before I die
He'll fly his astral plane
Takes you trips around the bay
Brings you back the same day
Timothy Leary
  • "Heroin" by The Velvet Underground is more bittersweet: the user who sings its praises knows that, for better or worse, he's hopelessly wed to it ("it's my wife/and it's my life"), and he knows he's one of those people whom others point to as one who won't ever amount to much, but doesn't care ("And thank your God that I'm not aware/and thank God that I just don't care"); but it mostly describes the rapture of a high, with the quickening instrumentation itself suggesting something rushing through the blood.
  • "We like Rohypnol! Just forget it all!
  • La Celestina has the titular villainess go in great detail about how awesome wine is, listing all kinds of virtues, real and imagined, concluding with "the only bad thing is that good wine is expensive, and bad wine hurts you".
  • The drink Tequila was popularized in Western countries by a novelist who wrote entire novels about his protagonist boozing it up around the world.
  • Calimotxo became very popular in Spain after a New York Times article praised the obscure, cheap drink (coca cola with cheap red wine) as a delicatessen.
  • Tex Williams' "Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette," a simultaneous paean to and denunciation of smoking. Followed by "Smoke Smoke Smoke '68," an updated version.
Now it ain't that I don't smoke myself / I don't reckon they hinder your health / I smoked 'em all my life and I ain't dead yet
  • Mercilessly spoofed in Clone High's musical episode, where the kids got high on raisins and re-enacted the entire hippie movement in the course of one day.

Gambling Is Fun:

Describing scenes of gambling in loving detail, showing how it takes lots of skills to succeed at them, or treating luck as an inherent virtue of the player.

Violence Is Cathartic And Spectacular:

An Omnipresent Trope, dating back to when kicking ass and taking names was a very effective way of increasing the wealth and security of your culture and your clan; hence, War Is Glorious, Might Makes Right, etc. Has been falling out of favour as technological innovations in war have made it more and more impersonal, and violence has become a less and less efficient way of resolving problems in modern society. Nineties Action Hero and Nineties Anti-Hero tend to embody this attitude.

Unethical Sex Is Sexy:

overcoming a lot of women's resistance to have sex with you or overcoming a lot of men's wills by baiting them with your self makes you a charismatic and empowered person.

Con Games Are Best Games:

Keep taking advantage of the system and rob everyone around you blind with a suit and a smile.

Stealing Is Swell:

From the Gentleman Thief to the Cat Burglar, thieves are clever Blythe Spirits who are to be admired for their skills.

It's a Criminal's Life For Me:

A criminal lifestyle in general is something to be strived for, well worth the inconveniences, and more fulfilling than the alternatives.

  • Disney's Peter Pan has the song "A Pirate's Life", which is about how fun it is to be a pirate. It's sung by Captain Hook and his pirate crew to the Lost Boys to try to convince them to become pirates.
  • One Piece and any other shows with The Pirates That Dont Do Anything, where you get all the freedom and badassery of an outlaw lifestyle without the drawback of having to cut throats just to get by.

Perversion Will Prevail: what inspired me to write this trope in the first place. Anything that makes out the sexual objectification and sexual aggression of others to be exciting and excellent, from being a Peeping Tom to a Barbarian Hero "ravishing" women.
  • It is very typical of Japanese works of fiction to have males go in-universe on great, epically-worded tirades about their sexual perversion of the day. Usually the narrative treats it as but endearing rather than out-and-out supporting it.

James Bond stories tend to feature many of these at the same time. Directed at incredibly obvious villains... and women.
Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • November 10, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Drugs Will Blow Your Mind:

    Music

    • "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by The Beatles: Many believe the title to be an anthropomorphism of LSD, as the initials of the key words coincide. And the song describes relaxing, turning on, and taking in some incredible sights.
    • Sammy Hagar's "(There's Only) One Way to Rock":
      So many things can get you high
      I'm gonna try 'em all just once before I die
    • The Moody Blues' "Legend of a Mind" is a tribute to LSD guru Timothy Leary:
      He'll fly his astral plane
      Takes you trips around the bay
      Brings you back the same day
      Timothy Leary
    • "Heroin" by The Velvet Underground is more bittersweet: the user who sings its praises knows that, for better or worse, he's hopelessly wed to it ("it's my wife/and it's my life"), and he knows he's one of those people whom others point to as one who won't ever amount to much, but doesn't care ("And thank your God that I'm not aware/and thank God that I just don't care"); but it mostly describes the rapture of a high, with the quickening instrumentation itself suggesting something rushing through the blood.

  • November 10, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    There's probably a metric shit-ton of examples of "Drugs Will Blow Your Mind" in music, particularly when it was more "innocent" experimentation in the 60s, before the fallout became more apparent and ugly in the 70s (for hard drugs). Marijuana might still be celebrated in song today, but rarely the harder stuff. Steppenwolf's "the Pusher" actually drew the distinction quite early:
    You know the dealer, the dealer is a man
    With the love grass in his hand
    Oh but the pusher is a monster
    Good God, he's not a natural man
    The dealer for a nickel
    Lord, will sell you lots of sweet dreams
    Ah, but the pusher will ruin your body
    Lord, he'll leave your, he'll leave your mind to scream.

  • November 10, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Works with criminals or gangsters as protagonists can be this way, particularly when there is no payment of karma shown for the violence, cons, or stealing that they do. Or, the karmic payment is in terms of the "honor code" or culture within the criminal world (e.g. punishing bad deeds, insults, or betrayal against fellow gangsters), but not for the general bad deeds they inflict upon society at large.
  • November 10, 2013
    Generality
    Oh, I thought this was about songs denouncing vice.
  • November 10, 2013
    TheHandle
    That would be an inversion of the trope...
  • November 10, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^ Given the name of this trope, I don't blame him. You know what an elegy is, right? Maybe Sin Is In, as it fits the naming convention for the subpoints.
  • November 10, 2013
    TheHandle
    I like Sin Is In.

    I checked it; turns out I actually meant euology, in the sense of "high praise", with other alternatives being "encomium", "panegyric" and "paean"
  • November 10, 2013
    Generality
    And you're going with 'paean' because that's the one we've probably all heard of. Good call.
  • November 10, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Supporting Sin Is In for the name. Maybe there are examples about people who try try to get the vice banned are depicted as evil?
  • November 10, 2013
    Scrounge
    Also supporting Sin Is In for the tittle. It's short, catchy, and to the point.
  • November 10, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Tex Williams' "Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette," a simultaneous paean to and denunciation of smoking. Followed by "Smoke Smoke Smoke '68," an updated version.
    Now it ain't that I don't smoke myself / I don't reckon they hinder your health / I smoked 'em all my life and I ain't dead yet
  • November 11, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    another vote for Sin Is In. though putting out Ode To Vices as well. paean is a needlessly obscure word.
  • November 11, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • Disney's Peter Pan has the song "A Pirate's Life", which is about how fun it is to be a pirate. It's sung by Captain Hook and his pirate crew to the Lost Boys to try to convince them to become pirates.

    Theatre
    • The play Oliver has "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two", sung by Fagin and his gang of young pickpockets.
  • November 11, 2013
    DAN004
    This isn't necessarily about songs, right?
  • November 11, 2013
    TheHandle
    No, it can be about speeches, monologues, articles, columns, and... actually, the format doesn't matter, only the content, but said formats are the ones one thinks of first when it comes to praising something to high heaven.
  • November 11, 2013
    TheHandle
    Sin Is In suggests that vice is fashionable, and may make an interesting counterpart trope to Good Is Old Fashioned, but it's misleading as to what this trope is about. And, like "Vice Is Nice", it runs into the problem of suggesting that the trope writers agree with the trope. We had enough problems with "Abuse is okay when..." tropes and such. I'll switch to Singing Sin for now.
  • November 11, 2013
    DAN004
    Sin Is In is already good...
  • November 11, 2013
    arbiter099
    Wouldn't the point about crime also count as Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster?
  • November 11, 2013
    DAN004
    This trope isn't concerned about gangsters.
  • November 12, 2013
    TheHandle
    Well, not about gangsters per se, but about being a gangster, living as one. It's like the difference between "being a pirate is awesome" and "pirates are awesome"; there's a difference in perspective.

    Subverted (I think?) by Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise; while the song shows much macho posturing, it seems to mock or at least moot it, lamenting the cost and the waste and the suffering it causes, and the misguided dreams that broought it on.
  • November 12, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster would be a crime-based subtrope.
  • July 3, 2014
    AgProv
    Good Omens has the lines
    The wages of sin might be death, but at least you got to go home early on a Friday and never work overtime

    or something similar, attributed to the demon Crowley.
  • I'm not exactly sure how to word this, but...

    Live Action TV
    • Seinfeld. Almost all of the characters on this show - both regular and recurring - fall into this trope: Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine all engage in sexual activities so regularly that it's almost like breathing for them (George even remarks that Kramer really has it made for being able to have sex with women without even dating them); they feel it unnecessary to help people in need on the grounds that it's the jobs of nuns and Red Cross workers; and to top it all off, they view all of their activities as absolutely normal, and find that all of the traditions and conventions of society to be odd and abnormal.
  • July 3, 2014
    DAN004
    Uh, the examples are a mess...

    Maybe needs to mention the problem with these with dealing with Moral Guardians as well.
  • July 3, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Music
    • Mathematics professor / pianist Tom Lehrer has recorded some social satire songs, mostly during the Fifties, including "The Masochism Tango," "Poisoning Pigeons In The Park," "I Got It From Agnes," and "National Brotherhood Week" among others.
  • Oh! This is songs about sin...

    Okay, neyvah mind then.
  • July 3, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ It shouldn't be so.
  • July 3, 2014
    Karalora
    The song "Fie on Goodness" from Camelot. A group of mercenaries bored with Arthur's peaceful reign reminisce about all the looting and raping they used to do.
  • July 3, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    Vampire In Brooklyn has Eddie Murphy's vampire character Maximilian killing and replacing a minister (also played by Murphy) and then preaching about the balance of good and evil. Or being more specific, that there cannot be Good without Evil, and as such is all right to commit sins for the sake of balance-the more heinous, the better.
  • July 4, 2014
    arbiter099
    • ACDC: A large amount of the band's catalog fall into songs about conquests of lusty ladies or violent criminal activity, often delivered as a Badass Boast.
      • "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is an advertisement for a killer for hire
      • The "Problem Child" is running wild with a knife and a gun, daring the cops to stop him.
      • "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)": It's criminal/There ought to be a law/Criminal/There ought to be a whole lot more
  • July 29, 2014
    arbiter099
    bump
  • July 29, 2014
    DAN004
    Just sort it based on media. Those superfluous categories shall remain in the description.

    Again, compare Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster.
  • July 29, 2014
    DAN004
    The Handle doesn't seem to be around anymore...
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