Nobody else in the bar knows how foul the lyrics are

It’s a rap song, hip-hop as the kids say. This bar plays the music loud, which is fine by me. When I got here it was good ‘ol AC/DC, and I was rockin’. It moved on to Cher, her overproduced later work, a bit of a letdown after the shameless guitars and lyrical shouting. I didn’t notice the music that came on next; it just wasn’t memorable.

Next came this. Let’s get it right out there that I don’t consider rap to be music. Music has to have music in it. Rap is a poetry recital. I’ve got nothing against poetry. In fact, I like the stuff. Sometimes.

Our modern urban poets don’t do much for me, at least not the ones represented by major record labels. Maybe it’s a language thing. Maybe I just don’t have the vocabulary to feel the nuances of the lyrics. I suspect, however, that it is they who lack the vocabulary. Instead they use the few words they own for shock value.

The bit playing when I started writing this episode is a case in point. The woman chanting has found her niche, and it is sexually explicit. I can see how the marketing of this crap would be pretty easy, young masturbators would eat it up. Musical porn. Rather sick porn at that. I’m in a bar in a mall, people coming and going, and blaring from this place are descriptions of acts I will never, ever, do. The place is emptier now, so perhaps I’m not the only one who could understand the lyrics.

As I am packing up to leave, the music has changed. It sucks less now, but I think I’ll be going anyway.

18 thoughts on “Nobody else in the bar knows how foul the lyrics are

  1. That totally reminds me of this commercial.(click on the one marked funny danish commercial) It’s the same here. It’s like they don’t care what they are listening to. Coming home from school today I heard a song that was talking about a guy who was quite the ladies man..(so he says) He also talked about all the ladies he’s had and how he had them. He used enough colorful language that he would be hunted and killed if played in the US.This was at 5 o’clock. But in so many ways, to me, it makes the music so much less taboo. That’s more ‘free speech’-like to me.

  2. There are occasions, admittedly not many, when I really do wish I were listening to an ABBA imitation group rather than what is playing. The lyrics are just so offensive that, First Amendment advocate that I am, I still can’t approve them; they trigger an almost irresistible vomit reflex.

    Then I wonder, am I turning into an old fogey? Am I being too reactionary? Might our own parents have been as offended at what we listened to? Does time roll on?

    No, wait. Mom borrowed my Fleetwood Mac album to make a tape of “You Make Loving Fun” for the Marriage Enrichment group she and Dad have taken part in since I was a teenager.

    The music really has changed. It used to be about celebrating love; now it’s about abusing the opposite sex.

  3. Indeed. Yesterday, a kid a few doors up and across the street was blasting obscene rap out his bedroom window ALL DAMN DAY. I could hear the angrily-shouted “f-word” if I went out to the front of my house; in my studio, all I could hear was the “percussion” background. Oddly, it reminded me of the sound of my mother’s wringer washer sloshing the clothing back and forth. I didn’t think that sound was “music” then, nor do I think it is now. And had I shouted “f—” every other word to the tune of the washing machine, my mother would have definitively taught me from “f—“-Word One that such behavior is unacceptable.

  4. Count von Hurplepurple, the Earl of Stickywicket, and myself had just finished listening to the Earl’s man playing the harpsichord. My it was delightful. Truly a superior sound. We then proceeded to that new “thing”, a public concert. Can you imagine? They were letting common people in, middle class business owners, guild members. Preposterous! The concert hall was positively packed with der folken. Thank goodness for royalty boxes.

    Anyway, it was Ludwig, playing his new piece. I must satisfy myself with only one word – abominable! Heresy! It was loud, and brash, and bold. Much too emotive. The youngsters were really eating it up, if that tells you anything! My what bombast. I’m afraid Ludwig has gone down a cul-de-sac of unmusicality, and we won’t hear from him anytime soon. Silly, daft old deaf beggar. Really! My word. I still have a headache and ringing ears.

  5. I am somewhat of an old fart when it comes to that stuff, but in this case is more than jjust the use of foul language – “fuck” is used so often these days it’s lost its punch, which is a shame.

    No, in fact in this case the language was actually not that bad – much cleaner than lyrics I’ve heard in many genres of music. What I found noteworthy was the acts that were being described while all those around me carried on, oblivious. Wow.

  6. Agreed old man. I myself prefer the expetive “Sweet fancy Moses!” That when a simple, “Holy Mother of Fuck!” just won’t do.

  7. The other day, we went with the in-laws to a chinese restaurant. Suddenly there was the obnoxious booming of a boom truck reverberating in from the parking lot. The restaurant patrons hunkered down to wait it out. The joys of modern life. But it would not stop. Of course nobody did anything.

    We are all wusses.

    One table asked to be moved from the outside wall to an interior booth. Perhaps they really wanted to be moved, or maybe it was a diplomatic way to hint to the wait staff that this is, “your establishment, DO something. Go outside and stop it.” So the wait staff moved them. Forget about protecting your customers.

    We are all wusses.

    There were probably a hundred customers. This music was impacting all of us, and * it * would * not * stop. Why didn’t a customer take matters into his own hands?

    We are all wusses.

    This is probably the single most general headache of modern America – we all suffer, from sea to shining sea. It is blatant disrespect. The boom truck contingent know what they are doing. They don’t care. They like the b.s. rush of throwing it in our faces. Premeditated disrespect. Stoplights, carwashes, parking lots. Very few cities have tried to pass ordinances. Police claim they have more important things to pursue. Nobody writes letters to city hall or the editor. And City hall ignores it.

    We are all wusses.

    Finally I went outside to do something. I’m still a wuss, but my limit had been reached. There was truck, a passenger, the driver inside the very same restaurant picking up a to-go order. It was taking forever. I wasn’t going to meet disrespect with disrespect, so I just smiled, and asked in a friendly way (mostly sign language) to please turn it down. G was so surprised he turned it down before he could think about it or protest. He probably wasn’t used to his disrespect being faced head on.

    We are all wusses.

    Shortly before this incident, I was at a gas station. Another car there was rattling the rafters with their boom music. I learned that you, “…can’t pimp me / I’m a pimp myself / I got all these bitches and hos…”. Of course the clerks did nothing except to start the pumps, and take boomie’s money.

    We are all wusses.

    I should make my wuss self cut-n-paste this comment into a letter to the editor.

  8. In Albuquerque for the past two summers, the police have actually been ticketing boom cars. They have met with a firestorm of protest — don’t they have better things to do than harassing our youthful drivers?

    Seems like you can never win.

  9. Fear not — in San Jose boom cars seem to have lost their popularity. The new craze for immature technophiliacs is having illegal video screens installed in the dashboard or built into the sun visors. Since it’s illegal to drive while showing a DVD on a screen visible to the driver, but because that’s the whole *point*, these drivers don’t want to attract the attention of the police.

    So wait a few years, and the boom-car drivers will probably be supplanted by nice, quiet, distracted drivers.

  10. Ah, yes, and then there’s playing DVDs (and video games too) in the car to keep the kids in back quiet. It sure cuts down on “are we there yet,” but it also, to my way of thinking, really pollutes the vacation experience. The kids can watch the same zombie-making couch-potato fare that they do at home now that the folks can bring the video babysitter into the SUV.

    It’s bad enough that too many parents use the TV and video games at home to keep the kids out of their hair, encouraging short attention spans and a craving for nonstop prepackaged entertainment that does little to engage the brain or imagination. Now that trend extends to the car.

    Instead of reading, either at home or on the road, kids sit inert in front of a video screen, becoming obese in the process. And in the car, the video does another disservice: It keeps the kids’ attention focused on a little screen inside the car, rather than on what’s going on outside the car windows. Sure, getting there is supposed to be half the fun, but that fun is supposed to be at least in part about enjoying the scenery on the way. What’s the point of traveling by car if all the kids do is the same stuff they do at home?

  11. The ‘rents may have an opinion about this one. Was getting there half the fun when we were in the car? Perhaps sedating the kids makes getting there more pleasant for the adults.

    Still you’re right about the TV. Better to use quaaludes.

  12. I agree 100% with CA on this one, everyone of her points.

    We’re beyond the age with the boys of needing to entertain them in the car, but even if they were younger I personally would be opposed to getting a car with a built in DVD player. TV is the opiate of the masses. I draw my line at Walkmans and Gameboys in the car, and there is a limited time of that, allowing for interaction between family members. Even if they do seem deaf to parental frequencies…..

  13. I say the way to keep kids happy and engaged on the road is to give everyone a turn at the wheel. And it gives dad a break from driving.

  14. Keith, I imagine your kids are wonderfully polite, respectful, selfless, resourceful, imaginative, creative, energetic, and inquisitive. These are all qualities that are killed when kids spend too much time in front of the idiot box.

    I have seen what happens when parents a) allow the kids to spend too much time in front of the television, and b) give in the the kids’ pleading and whining. It’s not pretty. The kids become inconsiderate, disdainful, selfish, demanding, dull-minded, robotic, lethargic, and closed-minded.

    Keep up the good work, Keith, and I hope your offspring and mine will soon get an opportunity to meet at the next Boys’ Bacchanal.

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