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Jingle Cats is terrifying

Unpopular opinions without adequate provocation

Cat piano: whimsical or monstrous?
Cat piano: whimsical or monstrous?

Happy New Year, all you hipsters! I hate to break with the typical Q-preceding-A format, but I must begin this year with a shout-out to the observant hipster who pointed out how my idea for cat-themed Christmas music is really nothing more than a poor man’s Jingle Cats. For those of you who don’t know, Jingle Cats is an awe-inspiring, cringeworthy piece of musical nonsense from the early Nineties. Basically, this one hipster dude recorded his cats making every manner of cat noise, and remixed it into Christmas songs.

I know you’re all sick of holiday tunes now that it’s 2020, but, trust me, Jingle Cats is damn terrifying, and you owe it to yourself to freak out over the pitch-shifted cat sounds and vintage green screen effects of the “meowychristmas” YouTube channel. It’s marvelously bad, and it must have been a heroic effort on 1993 audio tech. (Today, there are at least half a dozen cat piano apps available in the app store.)

While we’re talking weird stuff and cat pianos, Wikipedia defines a “cat piano” as a “hypothetical musical instrument which consists of a line of cats fixed in place with their tails stretched out underneath a keyboard so that they cry out when a key is pressed. The cats would be arranged according to the natural tone of their voices.” The odd practicality of the last sentence makes this monstrous idea seem somehow whimsical. A cat piano is also the eponymous subject of a 2009 short film narrated by Nick Cave.

Ok, having weirded up your New Year, I suppose I should field a query.

Dear Hipster:

I was waiting in line outside a restaurant last week, and I overheard some dude say something along the lines of, “I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but” something about Breaking Bad that I couldn’t make out, and then something about margaritas. I don’t know if the two things are related or not. It got me thinking, why do people feel the need to voice unpopular opinions, sometimes without adequate provocation?

— Kelly

There are two kinds of “unpopular opinions” in this world: (1) thinly veiled excuses for someone’s intolerance; and (2) hipster virtue signalling.

The first category usually sounds something like, “I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but they really ruined Star Wars by making that character black/female/gay, or really anything that doesn’t look or act like me.” Dolling up quiet bigotry as unpopular opinion is a bit like calling torture an enhanced interrogation technique, or calling the Chernobyl meltdown a case of technical diffulties run amok.

Unlike the first category of unpopular opinions, which earn their well deserved unpopularity on the merits, the second category of unpopular opinion is an opinion only because it is unpopular in the first place.

The second category usually sounds something like, “I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but In N Out Burger is really overrated.” Imagine the courage to come out mildly not in favor of something trivial! The brave souls holding such opinions consider themselves intellectual pioneers, the Copernicuses and Harriet Beecher Stowes of our age, whom history will someday elevate for their unpopular opinions. In reality, it’s more likely an attempt to seem mysterious, and among the lowest forms of hipster posturing.

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Cat piano: whimsical or monstrous?
Cat piano: whimsical or monstrous?

Happy New Year, all you hipsters! I hate to break with the typical Q-preceding-A format, but I must begin this year with a shout-out to the observant hipster who pointed out how my idea for cat-themed Christmas music is really nothing more than a poor man’s Jingle Cats. For those of you who don’t know, Jingle Cats is an awe-inspiring, cringeworthy piece of musical nonsense from the early Nineties. Basically, this one hipster dude recorded his cats making every manner of cat noise, and remixed it into Christmas songs.

I know you’re all sick of holiday tunes now that it’s 2020, but, trust me, Jingle Cats is damn terrifying, and you owe it to yourself to freak out over the pitch-shifted cat sounds and vintage green screen effects of the “meowychristmas” YouTube channel. It’s marvelously bad, and it must have been a heroic effort on 1993 audio tech. (Today, there are at least half a dozen cat piano apps available in the app store.)

While we’re talking weird stuff and cat pianos, Wikipedia defines a “cat piano” as a “hypothetical musical instrument which consists of a line of cats fixed in place with their tails stretched out underneath a keyboard so that they cry out when a key is pressed. The cats would be arranged according to the natural tone of their voices.” The odd practicality of the last sentence makes this monstrous idea seem somehow whimsical. A cat piano is also the eponymous subject of a 2009 short film narrated by Nick Cave.

Ok, having weirded up your New Year, I suppose I should field a query.

Dear Hipster:

I was waiting in line outside a restaurant last week, and I overheard some dude say something along the lines of, “I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but” something about Breaking Bad that I couldn’t make out, and then something about margaritas. I don’t know if the two things are related or not. It got me thinking, why do people feel the need to voice unpopular opinions, sometimes without adequate provocation?

— Kelly

There are two kinds of “unpopular opinions” in this world: (1) thinly veiled excuses for someone’s intolerance; and (2) hipster virtue signalling.

The first category usually sounds something like, “I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but they really ruined Star Wars by making that character black/female/gay, or really anything that doesn’t look or act like me.” Dolling up quiet bigotry as unpopular opinion is a bit like calling torture an enhanced interrogation technique, or calling the Chernobyl meltdown a case of technical diffulties run amok.

Unlike the first category of unpopular opinions, which earn their well deserved unpopularity on the merits, the second category of unpopular opinion is an opinion only because it is unpopular in the first place.

The second category usually sounds something like, “I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but In N Out Burger is really overrated.” Imagine the courage to come out mildly not in favor of something trivial! The brave souls holding such opinions consider themselves intellectual pioneers, the Copernicuses and Harriet Beecher Stowes of our age, whom history will someday elevate for their unpopular opinions. In reality, it’s more likely an attempt to seem mysterious, and among the lowest forms of hipster posturing.

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