Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

In which I don’t say anything

Posted by Alex Malone on November 14, 2016

My brain just keeps locking up when I try to expend any more thought on the election or people who have thoughts about the election. So I’m going to break the stream of politics and talk about music. Okay? Okay.

“Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.”

~ John Cage

The fan in my dorm room has been stalling all semester. This weekend I finally put in a maintenance request because I’m pretty sure it’s why my room won’t even think about being more than 65 degrees ever. I’ve been sleeping on the sofa in the suite from which I’m currently writing this for about three weeks now, which means I’ve been listening to an irregular KHKKKKKHKHKHKHHHHH until it eventually gets tuned out.

I’m okay with this because 1. it helps me sleep and 2. a disturbing percentage of the music I listen to has the rhythmic pattern of my broken fan EXHIBIT A EXHIBIT B you get the idea.

I haven’t really considered this as being the same sort of music as the songs I listen to that tell a story in two and a half minutes. I’ve never, ever been in the mood for Venetian Snares and Bob Dylan back-to-back.

Music is not exactly something I engage with for political reasons. I can’t help but feel that popular culture is entirely consumed by politics right now because I haven’t seen fucking anything else in a few weeks. This isn’t exactly helped by the composition of articles for this week.

I think it’s neato that there’s an Other Music shoutout among them, though. A while ago, they posted a list of their top 100-selling albums that read like a list of my personal favorites. I wish I had been around to see in more depth what the precursors of blah blah LCD Soundsystem I’m so done with this right now.

Sorry this is an inauthentic rambling piece of shit but that’s what I am right now so bite me.


4 Responses to “In which I don’t say anything”

  1. toppermike said

    I think you’ll find a lot of politics in music in the aftermath of this election. I mean, if music is basically just lyrical self-expression, then people are going to sing about what’s on their minds. I would say that anything made between now and shortly after Trump’s inauguration will have one essential topic in the background, and people are going to want to talk about it. THE GOOD NEWS: This also means that, inevitably, as the political climate changes and expands and contracts, as it always does, you’ll find other musical trends to drown this out. If nothing else, Bob Dylan was right about one thing: The times, they are a-changin’.

    And I’m sorry about your fan.

    • alexmalone1729 said

      I just hope to God it doesn’t date itself (see: Death Cab, whoever the guy one of the posts linked was, sundry.) Music that carries a political message is no problem, but I’m so done with this election leaving its mark on every goddamn little thing. The Donald has ruined enough songs for me already. I’m never going to be able to listen to one of about half a dozen Leonard Cohen songs ever again without thinking of psycho alt-righters.

      • toppermike said

        Music, inherently political or otherwise, will pretty much always be used to express and exemplify political points though. It’s a little bit like the Bible in that, since a lot of people are familiar or at least relatively familiar with the material, it will be referred to ad nauseum to “prove” a point. If you do truly want to avoid more political contamination of beloved songs, I would advise avoiding social media for a while. There are always posts that get shared referring songs to topical content.

      • alexmalone1729 said

        Well, of course. I’ve kept off of Facebook newsfeed and such for the interim, but I think people are starting to think about other things again. At the very least, the posts I’ve seen have been more about issues of race and social change than issues of race and social change as explained by these 10 popular songs. God, I’m going to depress myself just talking about this.

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