I'm bipolar. I blog about it. I also blog about sex, theology and atheology, funny shit and sad shit, books, music, feminism, and love. Mostly love.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Let your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground.

Here comes some *word vomit:

fun. is back. And everyone else knows who they are. Cool. Not like I knew them years before you all did. Nice of you all to make fun of my music until everyone else started to like it. Just saying. Happens all the time. Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Lily Allen, Sia, Ray Lamontagne, Kate Nash, and I liked RATM WAAAAAY before their comeback with the cool (douche) boys in my high school senior class. My music is "weird" until a song ends up on the radio, then it's "Such a good song!" What does that say about our culture? This is actually kind of interesting to me--annoying, yeah, but still interesting.

I'm pretty sure Emma said, "Don't feel stupid if you don't like what everyone else pretends to love." She's a stinking genius, really, and not just because she's Hermione.

I want to know why it is that people are afraid to like what is a little different. I mean, obviously because people will give them the shit I always got about it. But I always knew my music was good. I always knew that while what I heard on the radio was fun and sometimes even good, what I found through music enthusiasts, good magazines, and interesting people was better. If I can write a paper on a piece of music, then it's worth listening to. If it reflects nothing beyond the lyrics--a shallow message--then I'm just not interested. That's good dancing music, good driving music. That's all. And there's nothing wrong with that. Bubblegum Pop is an art all its own, but I wouldn't call it good music.

And here's the rub: I have really cool friends, who aren't shallow (and I don't always use that negatively--only to mean a lack of depth). They have a lot to them. But they are still trapped in this endless, blinded view of what's "cool." I've never really cared. When it came to music, anyway. I guess I fall short of individuality in other areas. But music is one thing I hold dear to me. I'm a musician. I'm a singer. And I'm not going to sing some shit (sorry!) that doesn't make me work, that uses no range, that does nothing interesting with meter or key or rhythm. Jeez. Those people are famous because they're pretty and can carry a tune. Again. An art all its own. But not good music.

And rapping. Smh. There are good rappers. They're poets. They can communicate feelings, ideas, and beliefs through their words. Every word contributes to the message. There will be metaphors (duh, it's poetry) but they're carefully considered. They're not just kind of witty to reel the oblivious audience back in. *Cough, cough Eminem. Holla if you hear me, poets*
Rapping is a really, really cool form of expression that's made its way to kids who have no other way to express themselves. But the little white girls from rural Illinois and Indiana nodding their heads to gangster rap should perhaps take a look at why.

Why is something only cool when everyone else thinks it's cool? Who decides this? Why isn't something cool by its own right? But I guess I do the same thing. I just like the music that people I think are cool like. And if you're the kind of person that finds people that listen to that music cool, then that's what you'll listen to. Whatever. But seriously, from a cultural perspective, I want to know why we have this phenomenon. Why is it that Sperry's which have been around forever are just now catching on? Or why big glasses, which have been a big joke for years, are cool now? Why do we have to wait for other people to think things are cool to think it ourselves????????

I've always been kind of a weirdo. I know that. But in a different group of people, I'm not all that weird at all. In people from more diverse areas, with more liberal values, with an interest in philosophy, and a respect for theology, and who like poetry and canon literature. Those people don't think I'm weird at all. But people who read romance novels, watch reality TV, have more conservative values, and those who are uncomfortable learning about different theologies or interacting with different cultures... those people have always found me a little weird. "Quirky," in Drew's words. That was a nicer way to put it. I have a respect for those people. That is their culture. But I was kind of living in a counter-culture to that in which I was raised. Marshall's culture was contrary to mine, which is kind of an interesting concept.

Culture isn't geographical.

Not anymore. Not with worldwide communication and with long-distance travel. Cars. Planes. So I managed to live in one culture: Marshall, but I represented a different culture: 1111 ____ Street. It's kind of cool from a theoretical standpoint, but in practice it was really hard on me. I was sometimes mean about that culture just because I was fighting so hard to preserve mine. Now I know there's nothing wrong with their way of life. It's just different than mine. It took some space for me to come to that conclusion, though. I needed to leave a while. But now I appreciate it for what it is. I don't want to live here again. But I don't hate it; I just don't fit in.

Okay. I'm going to try to end Word Vomit posts with a little bit of a wrap-up so you or I can make sense of this mess:

Wrap-Up in 3:

1) I'm a music snob because I'm a musician, and my tastes don't usually reflect popular music, although I like it for shallow entertainment. (Again, I don't use shallow like ya'll do. I use it to mean simply lack of depth.) Sometimes I get bitter when people make fun of my music. I know in time other people will start to like it, and then I'll get bitter all over again. I'm a pretty bitter person.

2) I am fascinated by herd mentality. I want to know what popular tastes show us about our society. How does something catch on? Should artists stay true to their style of music? Or should they meet popular demand? It's interesting stuff--fear of straying from the norm.

3) Culture is not geographical. I was my own culture within a culture to which I didn't belong. No culture is wrong or right. They're socially constructed; not innate, which people assume, which makes accepting different ways of life so hard for some.

*Word Vomit: train of thought writing, restricted to line-editing, and sometimes hard to follow. Sorry bout that. But not that much. Because I still post it.


kyle gene said...

I get a little bitter when suddenly everyone is listening to one of MY bands. I know what that is like.

I love that Emma Watson quote. She is quite insightful...I truly adore her. Of the trio she certainly seems to be the most well-rounded.

There are a million good points in this post.

Kelsie Jo said...

Umm..your old lad bluegrass music=not good. Definitely can't see the boys we went hs with catching on to that. Just saying. I love weird you. Even if weird you does torture me with grandma music.

Kayla said...

I love the section about rap! My little sister and her friends "bop their heads to it" and so don't understand most of it. But, my sister is getting better at understanding. She is starting to write her own stuff, and it actually sounds like poetry. I wish she could show you. She really idolizes you. :)

Cypress said...

I agree! Especially about fun! (fun.! ...? punctuation argh) I think it's the iTunes generation honestly... it's not always the bands getting the attention, it's the song, which leads to the band, but sometimes it's just shallow interest in the band or group or genre because iTunes will let you buy just one overpriced song at a time. So you know, you can be popular and have cool stuff on your trendy iPod. Well said everything in this post, and agreed.