The Universal Language

I sometimes wonder what my friends think of my entertainment choices. Actually, “wonder” is a little misleading. I’m fully aware of what they think – my friends aren’t the shy, reticent types and they let me know, loud and clear.

Lemme back up a sec here and explain. These days I do much of my music-listening online, through one of the various ad-driven Internet music services like Spotify or that other one whose name I can’t remember that I used before Spotify. Hold on – Pandora. That’s it.*

Kanye West very public break-up with Taylor Swift several years ago, leading to Taylor's hit song, "I'ma Let You Finish, Boy."

Kanye West very publicly broke up with Taylor Swift several years ago, leading to Taylor’s hit song, “I’ma Let You Finish, Boy.”

Anyway, Spotify and similar services play music – either a specific artist or album, or they create a fake “radio station” and play artists the program considers similar to your selection. So if I tell Spotify to create a radio station based upon “The Beatles,” Spotify will play selections from them, The Who, The Rolling Stones, and anybody else it guesses is similar to the Beatles. Sometimes it guesses hilariously wrong – it thinks John Denver is like Leonard Cohen, for example, or that Celine Dion is like P!NK – but what the hell. It’s free. And occasionally I encounter some new artist that I’d otherwise never run into. So, cool.


Another thing Spotify does is to periodically inform all of my Facebook contacts what I’m listening to. I’m not aware that it has done this until I start receiving helpful messages from my pals:

“’Walk of Shame’ again?” They exclaim. “Channeling your inner tramp, are you?”

Or, “James Taylor? Seriously? Have you tried any music from the century we currently occupy?”

Or, “I think it’s creepy when guys your age listen to Taylor Swift so obsessively. I’m unfriending you.” Comments like that.

On the other hand, through the magic of Facebook I also get to see what my friends are playing. And I occasionally sample their selections, with uneven results. I mean, I “get” rap – I’m totally gangsta – I just find it difficult to do any productive work while somebody’s bellowing in my ears:

“Yeezy season approaching
Fuck whatever y’all been hearing
Fuck what, fuck whatever y’all been wearing
The monster about to come alive again
Soon as I pull up and park the Benz
We get this bitch shaking like Parkinsons
Take my number and lock it in
Indian hair, no moccasins
It’s too many hoes in this house of sin
Real n*gga back in the house again
Black Timbs all on your couch again
Black dick all in your spouse again
And I know she like chocolate men
She got more n*ggas off than Cochran (Huh)”

Also, I’m deeply terrified that the driving beat will hook me and I’ll sing along. I much suspect that bellowing “She got more n*ggas off than Cochran (Huh)” out loud in the office could be extremely career-changing.

Wait. Is she the meat-suit chick, or what?

Wait. Is she the meat-suit chick, or what?

So I think what I’m trying to say here is, “Mind your own goddamned business, my so-called ‘friends.’ You groove to Kanye if you want to. I’ll be here at my desk, listening to something more age-appropriate.”

“I, I’ve got a little piece of you
And it’s just like Woo Hoo
Wham Bam Thank you Mam
Boo Hoo
I’m a slut Like You
Woo Hoo
Looks like the joke’s on you-hoo
So go home and cry like boo-hoo
I’m a slut like you!”


*I had to Google that. I Google everything now. My brain has atrophied since I started carrying a cell phone everywhere I go. I don’t miss it much, to tell the truth. That thing is totally analog. Talk about outdated.


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2 Responses to “The Universal Language”

  1. George M. Cohan Says:

    I believe the line you have as
    “Yeezy season approaching”
    is actually
    “Now is the winter of our discontent.”
    A lot of people make that error, because Dylan’s articulation is not always clear.

  2. Leonard Says:

    Great post. At least you’ve stopped going on about how Schubert translated his song “The Trout” into his string quartet of the same name. We’re all tired of that story, dude. At least switch to his “Death and the Maiden” quartet for some variety.

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