Here’s an ugly truth – At some point, when this cruel world is done chewing us up, it’ll spit us out.
The waltzer ride doesn’t last forever. All too soon, a disgruntled young punk with a fanny pack and an earring lifts the safety bar and kicks us off the car.
Before the ride ends though, the waltzer slows down, and this is when the world really puts the boot in.
After a certain age, as the clock ticks down, our faculties start to diminish. Instead of rewarding us for reaching advanced ages, the world only makes it clear that we’ve over-stayed our welcome.
Sight, hearing, mobility and basic cognition will all be eroded and then confiscated, as we shuffle into old age. I’m becoming a bit skeptical about all this cozy, ‘Golden Years’ horseshit we’ve been fed.
Things are moving too fast and the rules keep changing.
If we don’t take Nature’s hint and we stick around too long, we become drooling TV watchers, confused by, and distrustful of the endless flow of new technology.
I blame computers.
I’m only 56, and already I’m starting to feel like the confused old guy at the ATM, nervously pushing buttons while an increasingly angry queue of people behind me check their watches and sigh loudly.
Remember the days when we thought these nifty computer thingies would do all the work for us and give us all a bunch of free time? Well it didn’t quite work out like that.
The rapid emergence of computer technology has been both a blessing and a curse.
This small supercomputer I carry around in my pocket, puts a world of knowledge at my fingertips.
I love that with a swipe of my finger, I can check news headlines and sport scores from around the world.
I hate that the big media houses have the power to manipulate the news with their own biases and influence the opinions of billions of people.
I love being able to pay all my bills quickly and easily, from anywhere in the world. I’m old enough to remember the pre-internet days when I’d spend half of a precious Saturday, withdrawing money from the bank and then trudging around to various stores, paying accounts.
I hate that if I happen to forget my phone on a shop counter, my bank account could be drained by cyber criminals. In this new digital world, small mistakes can have catastrophic consequences.
I love the convenience of being able to order food online and have it delivered to my door.
I hate that a huge chunk of our society has become lazy, obese, and sick.
I love being able to connect on video calls with friends and family all over the world.
I hate that the cameras and microphones on my devices can monitor me without my knowledge.
I love the speed of our new world.
I hate the speed of our new world.
I love my iPhone.
I hate my iPhone.
Most of all, when it comes to technology, I often feel like a junkie with a needle in his arm – it feels fucking great, but my growing dependence on it makes me uneasy. And just like a junkie, I’ll tell you I can stop any time… and I’ll be lying.
All the ‘problems from progress’ listed above worry me, but the big concern – technology’s deformed new offspring – is Social Media.
Obviously, there are positive aspects to social media. Self expression, information sharing and the ability to connect to online communities have benefited billions of people.
But this cute little bundle of joy has a dark side too.
It turns out that while no-one was looking, social media grew up and turned into a noisy, petulant toddler.
It has become irritable and sulky, and if it doesn’t get its own way, it screams the house down. It insists that everyone should look, speak, and think a certain way. It is impatient, intolerant and it demands compliance.
Like lazy parents, society has pandered to its tantrums, and in so doing, we’ve created a monster.
Loud and obnoxious, the social media toddler is also fragile and insecure.
On issues of politics, race or gender, any opinions that contradict its own are called acts of aggression or hostility.
It’s also ever vigilant and hyper-sensitive to offense. It claims that words are weapons and it demands protection from any ‘offensive’ word projectiles. It is traumatized by dissenting ideas and it needs a ‘safe space’ to recover from these assaults.
The social media toddler is a perpetual victim and a tyrannical little asshole, with no sense of humor.
It’s the fat, pampered bully with shiny shoes and a clean blazer who gets his wealthy parents to complain about all the other nasty kids and the smelly school toilets.
He should be dragged out to the playground and given a good kicking.
That being said…the social media toddler has introduced one thing that appeals to me.
I like this idea of a, ‘cancel culture’.
If these social media bullies can band together and just cancel things they disagree with or don’t like, why can’t I?
There are many things I’d like to cancel, but seeing as this is a music related blog, I’ll get back in my lane and only whinge about certain songs that have come to annoy me.
If you happen to agree with my ‘cancel’ selection, maybe we should sign a petition or start an online movement to get the songs banned forever. Let’s throw some toys out of our cots.
We too can be arrogant, entitled little shitheads!
Some songs are born bad. Some good songs turn bad through reckless overplaying.
Unfortunately, good songs are like cute kids – they’re the ones that tend to get molested.
Some songs are so bad, you wonder how they ever got played on radio. You have to assume that like sideshow freaks, they were given to the world for their novelty value.
(Roll up, roll up – come and see the hairy lobster boy…)
Here’s a short list of some real honkers. These don’t even merit discussion. Read quickly and then turn away…like rotten teeth, you don’t want these in your head.
- Who Let the Dogs out – Baha Men
- Macarena – Los Del Rio
- Wannabe – Spice Girls
- Barbie Girl – Aqua
- MmmBop – Hanson
- I Should Be So Lucky – Kylie Minogue
- Cotton Eye Joe – Rednex
- I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred
- Shaddap You Face – Joe Dolce
- Agadoo – Black Lace
- Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
- Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin
Some songs are like spouses and children; they’re cool at first, but after a while they start to annoy the shit out of you.
Unlike the lemons mentioned above, these songs deserve at least brief eulogies before being sent into the abyss. There are probably thousands that fit into this category…here are a bunch that have become mosquitos in my ears.
Summer Of ’69 – Bryan Adams (1984) – For about 8 years after it’s release, this was a good song. Now – 37 years later, and thanks to massive radio overplay, whenever I hear the lyric, ‘I got my first real six-string…’, I get explosive diarrhoea. Couple this one with the equally overplayed, ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’, and you’ll understand why Bryan Adams is banned in my house. CANCELLED.
We Built This City – Starship (1985) – A horrible song with no redeeming qualities. How did the ultra-cool Grace Slick sink to these depths? From ‘White Rabbit’ at Woodstock to this? Starship would go on to record the equally dogshit, ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ for the dogshit soundtrack, to the dogshit movie, ‘Mannequin’. CANCELLED.
Dancing On The Ceiling – Lionel Richie (1986) – After the abysmal, ‘Say You, Say Me’, I thought Lionel Richie could only improve. I was wrong. Standing in the queue at the chemist recently, this song was played over the in-store PA system. After I killed the store manager and all the employees, I turned the gun on myself. It was the right thing to do. CANCELLED.
Karma Chameleon – Culture Club (1983) – A No. 1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic, this is the dentist drill of ‘80’s pop music. The idiotic video, with Boy George playing a harmonica on a riverboat, turned it into a double insult. He rarely played an instrument, but he sure loved to blow an organ. CANCELLED.
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham! (1984) – Arguably the worst song George Michael ever wrote, and the accompanying video is the most cringe-worthy ever filmed. The attempt to make George look thinner by putting 4 chubby dancing girls behind him, was unsuccessful.
The liberally applied fake tan made him look like Mama Klump from The Nutty Professor.
‘Choose Life’? Fuck off, George. CANCELLED.
Get Down On It – Kool & The Gang (1981) – The first 28 seconds of this song are kinda groovy. As soon as the mindless repetition of the title kicks in, it’s all over. Sometimes droning repetition works – I still love ‘Da Da Da’ by Trio – but it doesn’t work on this. Also, whenever I hear it, I get a visual of a dumb blonde in a loud disco club, dancing her ass off in front of the DJ as she shouts across to him, “’Scuse me. What’s the name of this song?” CANCELLED.
Words – F.R. David (1982) – Somehow, a No. 1 hit all over Europe and in South Africa. A flaccid, impotent little song. They play this on a constant loop in the elevator on the journey down to hell. According to Wikipedia, the F.R. stands for, ‘Fucking Rubbish’. CANCELLED.
Africa – Toto (1982) – I enjoy most Toto songs, but this one never sounded like Toto. A victim of goofy lyrics and indiscriminate overplaying. Can we invoke the new Woke offense of ‘cultural appropriation’ to get this one cancelled? Please? CANCELLED.
Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin (1988) – It’s only Robin Williams’ appearance in the video that saves this one from the ignominy of inclusion on my initial list of sideshow freak songs. After a frontal lobotomy, all songs sound like this one. CANCELLED.
Fairground – Simply Red (1995) – At one point, Mick Hucknall was the funkiest ginger on the planet. With this song, he glued shit onto his teeth, and he started looking like something from another planet. The annoying, non-stop, Latin/Samba percussion is my main gripe. This song gives me the type of headache that I suspect may actually be a brain tumour. CANCELLED.
Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison (1987) – This Harrison cover might be the worst ‘earworm’ song I’ve ever heard. According to sources, this was part of a Russian military plot to overthrow the West by song-induced sleep deprivation. Getting this out of your head is like trying to remove a civil servant from his post. This childish, irritating tune from a contributor on Sgt. Pepper’s…it beggars belief. CANCELLED.
I’ll stop here, but I’m not done yet…not even close.
I’ll be keeping my ears open for offenders, and I’m taking down names.
Like the social media toddler, this list will continue to grow…until I get my own way.
You’ve all been warned.