One line of demarcation between youth and adulthood, I’ve decided, is whether or not you give a shit about the Billboard Top 40 — and I don’t.
Some time in the past few years — and I can’t recall exactly when — I crossed this line. Now that I know I have passed it, I’ve determined that I am far, far beyond it.
I cannot name a single song on that list. I’m strangely proud of that.
O.K., that’s a lie — I can. Only because Rahm Emanuel was videotaped thrusting his pelvis to some song performed by Alan Thicke’s son. An intern had to tell me why it was funny, aside from the awkward pelvis thrusting.
I listened to it and — surprise! — the song sucks. Canadians aren’t known for their music, and you should trust that anything by somebody other than Elton John who named their son “Rocket Man” (really) also sucks. Imagine if those two forces combined, and you get “Blurred Lines.”
My musical tastes are as dead as Amy Winehouse. I was reminded of this by who else but Amy Winehouse herself. Among some old CD’s I popped in my trendy new six disc changer in my brand newish car was a CD I made for a road trip I took in 2007. “They tried to make you go to rehab, Amy” I thought. Alas, she’s dead, so I suppose those people were right.
The next song on the CD by some no-name artist made me realize that I haven’t listened to popular music in years. To and from work, I alternate between WTOP news, WNEW All News 99.1, and WCSP-FM, which is C-Span’s radio station. In addition to avoiding traffic pitfalls in one of the country’s most congested cities, the former hill staffer and current journo in me finds it hard to enjoy much else.
Since four of my six radio presets are news stations, I should make an official declaration: I am either a curmudgeon or a Beltway insider. Possibly both.
I have become like my childhood dentist, who subjects you to NPR in his torture chair. Sitting there drugged and helpless, Mara Liasson murders your eardrums all while you’re getting stainless steel pick axes jammed into your gums.
No wonder everyone’s afraid of the dentist. NPR is downright scary.
(Memo to self: If Gitmo absolutely must be closed, can we subject prisoners to a strict dentist/NPR regimen? Email John Yoo about that.)
All of the news on our car rides irks Mary, and I can empathize even though I’m not making her listen to talk radio. After a while, she’ll complain and we’ll listen to Big 100.3, which plays oldies rock songs. That’s about it so far as music on the radio goes, and I’m O.K. with that.
Recently, when planning what music will be played out our fast approaching wedding, there wasn’t even any debate to leave the “Top 40” box unchecked.
As a youth, I never was all that into popular music, other than what was socially required. Now that I’m engaged and nearing 30, I spend less (read: no) time at trendy clubs. Thus, I have no incentive to know or care.
While this is all well and nice, I realize that this respite is likely temporary. At some point I’ll probably have rugrats running around. And before I know it, my inner Tipper Gore will jump to life and convert me into a one-man Parents Music Resource Center, blindly meting out justice.
Until then, I’ll enjoy the news.