A few nights ago, some friends and I were conversing about the strengths and shortcomings of music today, when one of them mentioned, “Call Me Maybe.”
“What?” I asked. The title did not ring a bell. “I don’t think I know that one.”
I got incredulous looks as my friends proceeded to describe and even sing parts of the song while not even a flicker of recognition showed on my face. “It is not possible that you have not heard this song!” one of them insisted and then sang some more. I actually started to become concerned. Was my memory failing? Was I terribly old, unhip, and out of the loop? Was it possible that I was just listening to too much NPR?
A few days later, I looked up the song on YouTube and confirmed that I had not heard it before. Now that I have heard it, my reaction is a resounding, “meh.” It’s catchy. It’s not good, but it’s not awful. However, it is the type of song I would probably get annoyed with pretty quickly, so I felt thankful that, while this song has been doggedly assaulting the ears of Americans from coast to coast, I had somehow escaped unscathed for so long.
How did I manage this? Have I been living under a rock? No, it was much simpler than that. I had recently cut off my main line to the more bubble-gum aspects of pop culture. You see, for a long time, I faithfully listened to a popular Chicago radio morning show. This was, by no means, high-culture entertainment, but it was just the kind of relatively mindless amusement I like in the morning as I gear up for my day. The music was repetitive and sometimes not the best, but the show was mostly talk and not a lot of music, so I tolerated what I didn’t care for. Gradually, though, the music they played became worse and worse. The (in my humble opinion) more tolerable members of their music library (P!nk, The Killers) increasingly made way for Ke$ha, Usher, and similar artists who sing what I refer to as “The Soundtrack of Suck.” I found myself changing the station to get away from it so often that, one day, I just never went back.
And so I avoided “Call Me Maybe” until just recently.
Sure, you might call me an out-of-it weirdo geezer, but come on–there’s a little part of you that envies me, right? 😉 There’s room under the rock if you want to join me.