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October 16, 2008

maybe i am just getting cynical

Posted by dogpossum on October 16, 2008 6:02 PM in the category music

I found this video clip on someone else's blog:

This type of song would have been right up my alley when I was about 16. He's all mournful and longing for his wooz. It's very sing-along-able.
But it really doesn't do anything for me today. Watching, it I thought (in this order):
1. 'What's that goob on his... oh, he has a nose ring. Ok. And so does she. Well, I guess piercings are pretty everyday now, aren't they?' Goes to show how long it's been since I watched a mainstream video clip. In the olden days you'd have found a nose ring on any indy boy (or girl), but definitely not in the nostril of this little emo lad. Things've changed. And it's been a long time since I shaved my head each week and wore docs. Now I just let my hair get shaggy and long and wear hiking shoes or sneakers everywhere.

2. 'He's singing like a girl, and that's probably why I would have liked him when I was a teenager.' All that emotional exposure was not something I would have found in your average northern Brisbane suburban boy in the 80s. It would have been riveting, fascinating and utterly irresistible. I think, in part, because it's the type of hardcore emoting girls my age did. But not boys. Now I look at it and think 'harden, up, mate'. If I knew him, I'd know that this arty lad was a one for pulling the guilt trip, some hardcore passive aggressive manipulation ('I'm emotionally sensitive - you can't say you don't want to have sex/come to the party with me/do what I want - I'll cry or spend hours writing poetry or get into bed and never get out'). These days, this is the type of bloke I have absolutely no patience with. I know that he's the type of bloke who'd spend hours telling you about his emotions or his poetry or his songs or his whatever, and then cleverly manage to turn the conversation back to himself, him, he when I wanted to perhaps talk a little about myself. I am wary of men who like a woman who listens. I am wary of these soft-centred blokes who really just want you (woman, girl) to listen to how they feel. When I was a teenager, it would've been my cup of tea. These days, if I meet a bloke who doesn't once ask me about myself, or who can happily spend hours talking bullshit about himself, I'm totally not interested. Get a blog, for god's sake. I like blokes with emotions (and who know how to use them), but this sort of overly-romantic, dumb-rhyming, soft-focus shit gets my hackles up.

3. 'He's attractive, attractive in an ordinary-bloke sort of way. Why isn't the girl in the clip attractive in an ordinary-girl sort of way? Why is she this super-skinny glamour-girl? He'd be so much hotter if she was actually attractive in that idiosyncratic ordinary-girl way.' It was quite jarring to see this too-conventionally-attractive girl in the clip. It kind of busted up his 'I'm just interested in what you say' refrain. Obviously he's also missing her skinny arse and her lashings of mascara and her my-eyes-look-this-big-because-I'm-malnourished dull as dishwater mainstream chic. Booooring. He'd ring my bell if the woman he's pining for was actually wearing a proper indy aesthetic, and not just a piercing.

Watching the clip now, listening to it, it's so difficult to have patience with this sort of music. I think it's the territory of teenagers. Only they can actually feel like that, so completely and bottomlessly and without any sense of irony. I look at that clip now, and it makes me giggle a bit. Inappropriately. I think this type of music is for teenagers. Because most adults realise that those intense, hormonally charged feelings aren't going to go on and on forever. You get up, you go to work, you talk to people; you can't just wallow all day in the way you feel. Unless you actually are a teenager. Or seriously depressed. And only a teenager would think that sort of depression was romantic. I listen to that song (which is designed to be played and played and replayed and replayed and so become eternal and never-ending... interminable) and I think 'There's some crazy obsessive stalking going on there. Get over it, mate.'
It certainly pales in comparison with some of the music I listen to now. I mean, Billie Holiday is queen of being freakin' depressed and on heroin and getting beat up by your man. But her songs manage to be both utterly miserable and also kind of self-depreciating. She knows she's screwed, but she can manage a wry smile. She has that level of self-awareness. That lad up there... well, really, either he's trying it on to pull some romantic teenager, or he's too caught up in his own pain to realise he's lacking sympathy.

Maybe I am just getting cynical.

Posted by dogpossum on October 16, 2008 6:02 PM in the category music