It probably comes as no surprise that this project has cut into my social life. Hell, it's become my social life. So I've tried to multitask where I can. Like today, for instance, when I combined something new with both visiting with a friend and exercising, a task I accomplished by acting as personal trainer to my buddy, 94.7 deejay Tara Dublin, who also did something new by setting foot in a gym and wearing workout clothes in public.
I thought the experience would be about me sharing what little I know about physical fitness. But, as with so many other times in this project, the unexpected happened and I found myself focusing instead on the music played over the PA. Because Tara knew Every. Single. Song.
"This is a song about a mother dying in childbirth," she said, referring to "Lightning Crashes" by Live. "There's a line about her placenta falling to the floor."
"Catchy tune, though," I replied.
After that we heard Marilyn Manson's compelling but sadistic cover of the Eurhythmic's "Sweet Dreams are Made of This," followed by a cheerful ditty entitled "Hemorrhage."
"I don't think that's a good sign," said Tara.
What is it about pop music—as long as it’s got a good beat, people don’t care if it’s a fucking suicide note. I'd like to think that the average American understands the cognitive dissonance caused by the juxtaposition of lyrics and music that are binary opposites. But I'm afraid that most Americans don't know the meaning of the words cognitive and dissonance and juxtaposition. And lyric.
As a writer and a citizen it worries me when we don't pay attention to words. I mean, one minute you’re pumping iron to the beat of songs about miscarriages and hemorrhages, and the next minute we’ve got President Sarah Palin.
This is what happens when a nation doesn’t pay attention.
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