Katy Perry's "Firework" comes up.
I roll my eyes.
My wife: "What?"
Me: "It just gets to be a bit much after a while."
Her: "You don't like female pop singers?"
Me: "Well, I have my problems with this female pop singer."
Her: "Shouldn't we sometimes listen to music that challenges us?"
Me: "I think I've been challenged sufficiently, thank you. Skipping to another song would be nice. Preferably something not on the Glee soundtrack."
Her: "So you don't like any of the girls' songs."
Me: "It just gets to be a bit..."
Her: "You think it would be better if everybody liked what you liked and didn't give you grief about it."
Me: "Now hold on..."
Her: "We should just listen to your music, all the time."
Me: "Wait, pause the game! That is not at all what I am saying. Let's trade places for a moment. Let's say I'm the breadwinner, and you're the one at home -- only with two boys, ages 10 and 12. And ever since the older boy turned 7 all the two of them ever listen to is AC/DC. "Hells Bells" "Thunderstruck" -- five years later they never get tired of it, that's what they listen to when they wash dishes, when you drive them to hockey or a sleepover, you name it. Nothing else pleases them. You're driving, you say it's your turn to choose the music, and they just stare moodily out the window. But then you put on "Who Made Who" and suddenly they're both singing along -- again."[Long pause.]
Her: "That would get to be a bit much after a while."
Alright, let's move on to this bozo.
|"I think music has gotten very girly."|
I think music has gotten very girly. And there are some good things about that, but hip-hop is the only place for young male anger at the moment – and that's not good. When I was 16, I had a lot of anger in me. You need to find a place for it and for guitars, whether it is with a drum machine – I don't care. The moment something becomes preserved, it is fucking over. You might as well put it in formaldehyde. In the end, what is rock & roll? Rage is at the heart of it. Some great rock & roll tends to have that, which is why the Who were such a great band. Or Pearl Jam. Eddie has that rage.If your social media feed hasn't yet apprised you of the situation, go ahead and Google "Bono" "girly" to see just how much flak he's caught for saying this. And granted, "very girly" is not the wisest choice of words at this particularly fraught cultural moment. But his larger observation, however clumsily expressed, is worth consideration.
You need to find a place for young male anger. I'll sign on to that. Adolescent boys have cauldrons of anger in 'em, and it can't be helped -- they're flooded with testosterone and dozens of other crazy-making hormones that keep them from thinking straight. Here in the Enlightened West the tribal rites-of-passage that once goaded young hotheads past the breaking point and into acknowledging the necessity of the mature warrior committing to communal and maternal expressions of masculinity have been all but abolished. Now take away the circle-pit and see what happens next.