The Aquinian

A few words for all music snobs

(Sherry Han/The AQ)

I’ve been in the same situation a million times. I’ll be driving in the car with a friend, usually a musician whose favourite band performs some kind of obscure metal I’ve never heard of, when a Carly Rae Jepsen song comes on the radio. As I shamelessly smile and start to sing along, my friend rolls his eyes and begins the rant.

“Turn this shit off. This is what’s wrong with society today. Playing junk like this on the radio? The world is doomed.”

If you’re a fan of pop music in any way, this situation has probably happened to you. You’ve probably been forced to tone down your pop enthusiasm and keep a happy face through harsh criticisms of the music you love. You probably have snobby, dramatic music elitists in your life, too.

There’s this inherent hatred so many people seem to have towards pop music and pop culture in general. It doesn’t even usually come from old people who claim they had better music “back in their day.”

What I’ve noticed, more than anything, is this pride certain young adults take in being different. Individuality is very important and I endorse it completely. But I don’t think it necessarily means only listening to obscure indie bands, or to only watch films made strictly by low-budget creators.

Beyond this, it’s the way these people choose to express this love of their own individuality that really irritates me. People will look at a harmless, albeit not very artistic, pop song and say something like, “This is what’s wrong with society today.”

I just have to scratch my head when I hear stuff like this. Are we even watching the same news? Because when I turn on the news, I see villages getting bombed and schools in America getting shot up. All of these awful things are happening and you think the Kardashians are the bane of society? What the hell is wrong with you? You’re that attached to your hipster image?

When I was in high school, I’ll admit it – I very much tried to make people think I was this cool, cultured person who only listened to obscure bands and liked super cool, obscure things.

But I sat myself down one day and said, “why am I doing this? Who cares? I don’t. It’s stupid.”

I like pop music. I can acknowledge not all of it has substance, but why does something need substance to be enjoyable? There’s something very freeing about just shutting your brain off and accepting something at face value and genuinely enjoying it. Sure, there are more talented people than Carly Rae Jepson, but who is her fame really hurting?

People put so much energy into hating pop culture and I just don’t get it. Isn’t it exhausting? Why can’t you just let people like what they like? Nobody cares how many vinyl records you own or how many actors from the ’60s you’re able to name. These things aren’t indicative of how good of a person you are – your actions towards others are. In a world where there are so many awful things happening, why can’t we focus on more important things than criticizing others’ music taste?

In the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter whether you prefer Justin Bieber over Pink Floyd. What matters is the goodness of your soul and the kindness of your heart – neither of which are represented by what kind of music you enjoy, or whether or not you watch shitty reality TV shows.

So basically, in the immortal words of Kim Kardashian, “don’t be fucking rude.”

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