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Friday, January 20, 2006

The tyranny of pop

I don’t tell everybody about my blog or my other writing endeavors. Why? Well for the same reason other people decide to be totally anonymous so they can more freely rant, I don’t tell everybody what I do in my spare time so they won’t cramp my style. I wouldn’t be able to voice opinions such as these:

The people at my work have the worst fucking taste in music you could possibly imagine.* And, most unfortunately, to the detriment of my sanity, they all have Itunes installed on their computers and have thousands of songs each. The bombardment of crapacious music is constant.

Just now I heard, for the thousandth time, that horrible, horrible, song that goes Dooo do do do dooooeeeeooooo, by Mariah Carey where she shrieks like a eunuch on hot coals (I don’t know the name, nor will I ask). I’m waiting for Maneater, which is sure to come next. Yes, you read right. Maneater, that risqué song from the eighties. Then there’s Bulería by David Bisbal, that blond jerry-curled fool that spins around all the time. Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Coldplay, Christina Aguilera, Jarabe de Palo, Natalie Imbruglia, Robbie Williams, The Darkness …

But wait, there’s more, so much more! Songs from the Titanic soundtrack(!), Madonna, Ozone** … the Cranberries, Ugly Kid Joe … Barry White (?!) … and, I don’t know who it’s by, but that song I Need a Hero … and then, countless songs that have only gotten famous after being used in a commercial (yup, these are the types) … and, the absolute worst of all, which for some reason is always louder than all the others: the You’re Beautiful song. This is a sonic assault of unspeakable cruelty.

In fact, instead of torturing prisoners with Eminem, they ought to use the You’re Beautiful song. At 120 decibels they’ll be pleading for mercy after the first hair-raising refrain. It will make the most battle-hardened, fanatical muyahidin cry for his momma. I’m so sure of this.

They did, in all fairness, ask me if I wanted to put my music on. I declined for three reasons:

1. I think, due to the incredibly boring nature of my job, that putting good music on would spoil it. I take great pleasure in good music, and I don’t want any negative associations made. It’s so much more appropriate to cut and paste, make charts and graphs in powerpoint, translate phrases like "paralelamente, los distribuidores están ampliando las categorías de productos que ofrecen para cerrar el punto de venta" to the tune of say, Maneater.

Oh oh here she comes
Watch out boy she'll chew you up!
Oh oh here she comes
She's a maneeeeeter

Uh, yeah. That's dangerous. I often think the nineties sucked, but the eighties take the cake!

2. My second reason for declining their offer is I don’t want to scare them. Their ears couldn’t possibly comprehend the glory of say, Tenor Madness or Giant Steps. They would think I’m a pedant if I put on Don Cherry or Zorn’s Filmworks or anything longer than three minutes without shitty loops and obvious AABA chorus structure. They’ll think I’m hopelessly weird (the worst social stigma) if I played those great Dirty Harry soundtracks.

And, finally: 3. I need this job. It pays my rent, feeds me. I put my music on and they’ll suddenly be downsizing my department. This I know.

I’m perfectly aware that I’m not the "normal" one here, and, by democratic majority this means I have to cede my right to listen to the kind of music I want to listen to. I’ve come to accept that the most "underground" I’ll ever hear here is "No woman no cry" (crazy pot smoking rastafarian!)

Life is about understanding the compulsions of our fellow human beings, and - if they don’t interfere with your personal integrity - coming to accept them.

Meanwhile, I have 4.5 days of music on my Itunes at home.

A post script: Luckily no one I work with even knows what a blog is. So, I can get away with writing this stuff and publishing it in my spare time at work without really risking my neck. Just to clear that up.

* To somewhat soften the blow - because, really, to be fair I have to mention this - the people in my little space are decent and friendly people

** Horrendous Romanian europop popular everywhere in Spain. You might recognize the following lyrics: Dadala heeeee, dadala hoooooo, dadala ha ha ...

In fact I will make an axiom whereby every human being would be better off if they were to follow it: Europop SUCKS and it should NEVER be listened to.