I'm writing this while on the stationary cycle at the gym. The gym is the domain of ass-eyes. Not ass or eyes. You know, ass-eyes.
I'm glancing around from time to time to see who is checking out who. It's good theater.
The gym. Is there any place more superficial, more dedicated to image?
It's hard to take the gym seriously when it promotes itself as a lower level of evolution.
It's a strange phenomenon. We voluntarily go to the gym to get what life used to force on us — a workout.
How many times have I heard people say they hate the gym because it's so shallow? I'm okay with people saying that so long as they resist the superficial in other areas of their lives as well.
I have low expectations from the gym. I'm looking for a little sweat and an okay pump.
Which, and now we're getting to the point, is what we expect of pop music. We're looking for a hook and a beat.
Case in point, "I'm so fancy... trash the hotel room, let's get drunk on the minibar." This, just like the gym is the realm of "the ass". It’s also decidedly not fancy to get drunk and trash the hotel room.
I'm really not resisting or criticizing songs such as that. In the same way I don't resist the gym. In fact, I get better results when I admit I'm at the gym because I want to look and feel good — in that order.
I enjoy pop music when I don’t resist it. Most pop music is here today and gone tomorrow. If I let pop music be the gypsy that it is then there is nothing to get worked up about. If you hate a song, give it a few months, it'll be gone.
Another reason not resist pop music? Because every now and then something comes along that bursts through the superficial and enters the realm of beauty.
Now and then I have a workout at the gym that is as satisfying as a long run.
Now and then a song comes along that is as beautiful as anything Schubert or Schumann wrote. "... Because all of me loves all of you," for example.
For the record, that is the apples to apples comparison for pop and classical. If we compare song to songs or lieder then we have a discussion. We would never compare a Schubert art song to a Beethoven symphony. It makes no sense, so why do we compare pop songs to symphonies or operas?
I understand we've moved away from our original ass and eyes idea but, I promise, it will be fulfilled.