Wednesday, May 30, 2007


A topic that's been on my mind is my musical tastes. We have this question and answer session going on in the forum putting folks in the "Hot Seat" to answer questions about themselves for three days. And some peoples' musical preferences have come up. And so I've been mulling over how to describe mine if the question comes up. And I've come to realize that my self-perception of my musical taste as being odd or strange really isn't odd or strange at all. I'm not so different as I once wished and hoped that I was.

I like feeling like an outsider. I have the biggest crushes on the dark silent outcast bad boys. And yet when I start thinking about how everyone else really is, and what other people are really like, I find I'm not so different from everyone else out there - there a billion of us who revel in the 'outsider' image. It's popular to embrace the outcast image. And it's been popular for decades. It's not new. It's old.

So I'm coming to terms with my mediocrity once again. I remember a time from my teenage years, in fact I think I still have the diary in my closet in which I lamented my 'averageness.' I hated myself for being of average height, average looks, average tastes, average smarts, average everything. I ranted on for a couple of pages in my self-pity for my mediocrity. And then as I grew older I seemed to find ways to make myself different, to rebel from the crowd, to stand out and be odd. I have long taken pride in being a bit odd.

But now the older I get, the more I get my own attempt at being strange reflected back at me from others all around, in music, in books, in movies... It is apparently the thing we all strive for - to be different enough to feel unique, and yet be admired.

Oh, and if you care (probably not) what I think should be 'strange' musical tastes aren't so much the artists that I like, but rather the range of artists. I once thought myself peculiar because I like things all the way from classical music and bluesy jazz to goth metal, and even hippie folk music.

I thought it was antithetic to like Louis Armstrong, James Taylor, Dean Martin, the Beatles and Chopin, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Cyndi Lauper and Howard Jones and to also like Mazzy Star, The Killers, White Stripes, Staind, Beck, Rob Zombie, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Linkin Park. But I have learned I'm not so alone after all and that many people like a wide range of music for their every mood. And everyone else out there has the capacity for being just as average-ly moody as me.

And it all feels so deja vu ... I"ve been here before. I've experienced this realization before. But it's not tragic this time around. It's just amusing.

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