I know what’s good for me, and I know what I like.
First what’s good for me: keeping abreast of the latest twists and turns of popular culture does wonders for my social standing, so I do my best to figure out how various pop bands relate to one another and evolve. It’s a lot of work, though, and not much fun. There are always people who are happy to lord it over you with their superior knowledge.
Now what I like: I know this is bad for me, but I still guiltily sneak off from my pop-music responsibilities to get a dose of Couperin, a wallop of Xenakis, some colorful mind-bends from the Adams family, a dab of Brahms. I know every minute I spend on this stuff kicks the knees out from under any social progress I may make in the world, so I go to great lengths to keep it all a secret.
To be honest, I think pop music is fine, but way too formal in its presentation. I try to follow the ridiculous social conventions that go with listening to it (do I really have to move my bottom from side to side?), lest I get pegged as a non-initiate and shunned, but it all seems so far removed from life as we live it in the early 21st century.
What really kill me, though, are the elitist performance venues. After all, a club is something for which you have to get a membership, and membership is, by definition, not for everyone. Pity the poor guy who shows up for one of these club concerts without the proper attire – he may not even get past the doorman. And don’t get me started on the rampant ageism, where your value drops in inverse proportion to the height of your hairline.
But I keep trying, because I know popular culture is good for me – as long as I can still waste away enough hours of my life with the music I really enjoy.