Why I listen to the music I listen to

After chatting with a co-worker about the music on my iPod, she helped me come to the realization that the depressing and angry music I listen to actually cancel each other out, allowing me to lead a (somewhat) normal life.  (“Normal” is such an arbitrary term, and besides, I think conventional normalcy is extremely overrated, but that’s another post.)

Take, for example, the very similar messages offered by the stylings of 10,000 Maniacs and Green Day:

10,000 Maniacs’ “The Big Parade”:  But for Christ’s sake he’s been dead over 20 years / He leaves the letters asking, “Who caused my mother’s tears? Was it Washington or the Viet Cong?” Slow deliberate steps are involved / He takes them away from the black granite wall toward the other monuments so white and clean

Green Day’s “Holiday”:  Hear the drum pounding out of time / Another protester has crossed the line to find the money’s on the other side / Can I get another Amen? There’s a flag wrapped around a score of men / A gag, a plastic bag on a monument / I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies

See? Similar messages (war is such a waste – and the government isn’t totally honest with us, especially about war), but very different approaches.  The Smiths (I know I’m unloveable – you don’t have to tell me) can be nicely juxtaposed against Suicidal Tendencies (You’re the one who’s crazy), too.  So, somewhere in this jumbled head of mine, it all evens itself out.

Or maybe I really am a ticking time bomb and I’ve got everyone fooled.  Who knows?  (But I have to add that angry music is much more fun to listen to when you’re working out!)


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