Thursday, December 17, 2009

Musical Stupidity


I must admit, there are times when I indulge myself with some pretty terrible music. That time I drove around stoned singing Wham at the top of my lungs comes to mind, but then again that was right after Zoolander came out so it’s negligible. But the world’s music taste is going downhill faster than teen celebrities are picking up drug habits.

Recently I was at a party where a drunk girl traded The White Stripes for Boy George, and that’s just not cool. What that iPod was doing with both of those artists on it is also inexplicable, but that’s beside the point. The point is: do we really want to be part of a society that plays Boy George when it gets a little buzzed?

Where does this musical stubbornness come from?

In a country where we're crying for change, I find it ironic that most of us are actually scared of new things. That's why we eat at the same restaurants week after week, order the same dishes each time we go, become uncomfortable when the manager doesn't have oldies playing softly over the loudspeakers.

People may claim to have changing tastes. You might argue that the Jonas Brothers are popular and they haven't been around that long. I'd have to say you're wrong about that. The Jonas Brothers are Hannah Montana are Hanson are the Backstreet Boys (guess which one of those bands features a penis*). They're all the same crappy jingles with the exact same prepackaged lyrics and stupid hooks.

This is a relatively modern movement. The classics of the sixties were also the better constructed and more complex songs, and perhaps that is a product of fewer possibilities.

With our ever expanding list of choices, we've created a culture of mass consumers who go with the simplistic popular picks because diversity frightens them. I can't claim to be worthy enough to write that off as a bad thing, I'm just sad that in fifty years, the classic songs of today and the good songs of today will be unrelated.

I'm thankful this trend did not start sooner or we'd really be in trouble.

Geoffrey: I've stumbled across the greatest music. You must hear it at once.
Theobald: Beethoven? Hmmm. We wouldn't want to go too wild, now would we?
Geoffrey: Of course not. I don't know what got into me.
Theobald: Let's just listen to some Gregorian chants, shall we?


*Hannah Montana's female guitarist was born with boy and girl parts.

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