music; also known as “my thin skin”

Sorry, no pictures (of me, anyway.) I’ve been ill. :/

Lately I’ve been thinking of highbrow vs lowbrow. Mostly in music, because that’s pretty much the only thing I can talk about with confidence.

A lot of people denigrate pop music, and I’m not really sure why. “It’s manufactured, they don’t write their own songs,” etc. etc. And yet, this is one of the most popular bands in history:

The Beatles are one of my favorite English-language groups of all time, so I’m not ragging on them. But they’re a pop group. They were manufactured — sure, they were discovered in a pit in Liverpool, but without George Martin’s direction and cleaning up their image, they would have never made it. “She says she loves you/and you know that can’t be bad” isn’t exactly literary genius. Paul McCartney has even said that he and John used to call each other up and say “we need a new swimming pool, let’s write a song.” Did they play because they liked music? Of course. But let’s not think of them as martyrs for their craft.

I don’t know a thing about Justin Bieber, but he gets a lot of hate and I’m honestly not sure why. He’s marketed to pre-teens and teenagers and he’s just picking up the reins that the Beatles left (see: Menudo, N*SYNC, all the other pop gods teenagers worship). Am I a fan? No. Couldn’t care less about the kid if I tried. Do I disrespect people who are? Nope. Like what you want, it doesn’t bother me.

What bothers me is when people try to make others feel bad about what they like to listen to. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge j-and-k-pop fan. With the Japanese entertainment industry especially, it is really difficult to get away from these pop idols because they’re also all actors, newscasters, in every commercial, etc. I understand getting sick of seeing them. But to call them untalented or to make their fans feel bad for enjoying their talent? That’s what offends me.

No, it’s not opera (though there are k-pop singers that have sung opera). It’s not classical and it’s not rock music. That doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable, from being something I love, and it doesn’t stop them from being talented. They chose to go down the pop music path and that doesn’t mean a thing except that they are pop musicians.

It is no one’s right to talk at me about “how stupid k-pop songs are” or “Japanese TV is terrible because it’s all these untalented monkeys bumbling around” (all things I’ve seen/read within the past week).

Being a fan of Britney Spears doesn’t stop me from enjoying Rachmaninoff concertos. Loving Michael Jackson doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the Who.

It’s something that goes across the board, too. Film? I have TERRIBLE taste in film, and I’m okay with that. Most of the time I choose to not watch artistic, serious films because they’re generally not my cup of tea. Does that make me less of a person? Yet I refer to myself as “the worst theater major” because I cannot stand musicals. Give me a straight play, the stronger and more serious the better (not that I don’t like comedies!) I can talk your ear off about the theater of cruelty and the alienation effect.

I will never make you feel bad about enjoying “The Beauty and the Beast” on Broadway.

It’s little to ask, I think. Let people enjoy what they want. (I’m not talking about whether or not you’re offended by it — to me, that’s a different beast — but rather, if it’s just not something you like.)

I never know how to end posts like these. I’m just wordvomiting over the page. So here, have a k-pop idol sing opera (because, you know, they’re so untalented):


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