I LISTEN TO WHAT I WANT: Or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Good Music”

I love music. Like fuckin’ throw away my life “love music”. I have ended multiple relationships over music. Not close to the Rob Gordon level, but like, It’s me or the music. and I reply with, I’ll still be able to play guitar in my seventies. So as soon as I felt I deserved an opinion on music, I got one.

Some of us choose to heavily identify ourselves and others by music and art. You might think this is wrong, but it’s not. What you consume says a lot about you. Art and music is what we use to console our suffering, and what type of band aids you use and where you place them says a lot about your wounds. Your wounds say a lot about your life. Your life is how you react and proceed with environmental stimuli. You are however you choose to spend your limited time on earth. Good or bad. Shallow or enriching.

Are you an empty piece of shit? Most likely. Do you consume things because they’re bright, accessible, and feed a romantic narrative of the life you want to live? Maybe. Do other people do the same shit but for some reason because they listen to Brian Eno and Foday Musa Susso, they think they are not a piece of shit? Most certainly. If you’re upset with this statement, you might want to consider why you’re butthurt.

It’s strange really. People who have such immense brainpower to sift through the towers of shit to get to the good stuff in the back, the rarities and vested interests, can be so blinded by their shitty impulses. It’s more than elitism in a lot of cases. More than, LOLZ got u, u use to listen 2 blood on the dance floor. There’s not really a one word title for these judgmental turds, OR IS THERE?

Yes. There is. It’s called, human. See to be human is to be inherently flawed. Fucked from the get go. Even with ace parents, a dope cushy upbringing, all the support, emotional or financial, you will prolly do bad things and say bad things while demanding more from others.

We are beyond the binary of good and bad. We are pigs who can’t recognize the difference between mud and our own shit. We wallow and then run across the pen to tell the other pigs how awesome it is to be covered in mud while we wait till we’re fat enough to be on someone’s bacon and cheese biscuit. We are all wounded, domesticated creatures lashing out at the other critters in the pen. Also, the bits of solace we find, we glorify and propagate.

Duality. Humanity. Stupidity. It’s a dirty dumb process. That’s where empathy and defensive apathy come into play.

If you see someone jamming and sharing some horrible record that you believe is belittling the format of recorded sound, imagine yourself as that person. What have they dealt with today or in the past? Why are they listening to this garbage? I’m sure they have a good reason, and if they don’t, who the hell are you to say anything out of the way to them about what they listen to. This is empathy, if you are the turdy aggressor.

If someone starts to tell you how garbage your taste in music is, you reply with, PLEASE DON’T TELL THE COPS I LISTEN TO BAD MUSIC. THEY’LL TAKE ME TO BAD MUSIC PRISON WHERE I’LL HAVE TO LISTEN TO WHATEVER STUPID SHIT YOU THINK IS GOOD. Or you don’t reply at all; giving their opinion the attention it deserves.

It’s really simple. Enjoy what you enjoy. Try to challenge yourself every once in awhile, but don’t be ashamed of things making you happy. You can like whatever you want to like. Just this evening I have listened to Talking Heads, Gordon Lightfoot, Isis, Baroness, St. Vincent, and it’s only seven. I will prolly listen to eight more artists before I fall asleep tonight. Some stupid shit. Some dope shit. Some music reflecting my shallow self. Some reflecting the better parts of me. I’m human.

Every transgression you pick up with another human about the same human element you possess, you add another shit stain on the austerity of your opinion. So shut up, enjoy what you enjoy, and for god’s sake, stop listening to Fetty Wap. He makes garbage music for garbage people.

We are all equally idiotic. All opinions are stupid.

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About Charles Ray Hastings Jr.

Charles Ray Hastings Jr. is a musician, producer, and writer based in Huntsville, Alabama. The twenty-nine year old Alabama native has written, recorded, and produced over twenty-five solo and band albums and has had essays and short stories published through webzines, small press, and magazines like Before Sunrise Press, Two Dollar Radio, Flaneur, and That Lit Site.

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