I don’t really like music. I don’t buy it, or listen to it.
That isn’t completely true, obviously, but that’s sometimes how I’ll phrase it. I like the effect it has on people. Not everyone, but particularly those who have made it a really integral part of their life. I’m ‘that guy’.
“What do you mean, you don’t listen to music?! I couldn’t LIVE without music! It’s like oxygen to me!”
Well, that isn’t completely true either, is it? Or you’d be dead by now.
Being ‘that guy’ makes me a bit of a dick. I know this. So why do I do it? Before writing this post, I’ll be honest. I had never explored my motivations very deeply.
I do it because it’s true, and I want to take part in the conversation any way I can. This is what I have to offer – the perspective of a person who doesn’t engage at all with this passion of yours, this slice of life that you might believe is utterly ubiquitous, and unites all humanity. Not so much, my friend.
I do it because, as hinted at above, I like to be shocking. It makes me the centre of attention, and… you know. That’s good, sometimes.
I do it because I think it’s important to see the big picture. To appreciate lots of different perspectives, even if you don’t agree with them. Remember Dead Poet’s Society, where they did silly walks in the quadrangle, and one guy leaned on a pillar instead, exercising his right not to walk at all? It’s also a valid stance.
I do it because I’m a bit tired of feeling left out.
I have never driven a car. Not ever. Not one lesson. I have never had a cup of tea, or coffee. I’ve tasted both, but never had a full cup.
I can’t talk to people about these things, other than to say “Yeah, I’m ‘that guy’. Sorry.”
Here’s the thing. I totally listen to songs, and my face makes a happy shape, and I’m all like “Oh, this is a pleasant experience I do not regret!” But I won’t buy that track. And you could ask me why, and I might say something like “Well, how many times will I ever want to listen to it?” and you’ll say “Who knows? Maybe dozens, or more. Maybe you’ll love it so much you buy the album, then more albums by the same band, then albums by similar bands, then…” and I’ll say “No, I just don’t have room in my life for music at the moment.” and you’ll say “You don’t have three minutes spare? Anywhere at all?” And I’ll say “Well, look. Obviously when you say it like that, maybe I do. But the vast majority of the time either I’m at work, cycling to or from work, cycling to or from training, training, playing a computer game, watching YouTube/Netflix/iTunes, or asleep. I can’t listen to music during any of those activities.” and you’ll say “Break this wall of text up, man. No-one will read this.” and I’ll say “No-one reads this anyway, I don’t publicise it beyond my Facebook friends” and you’ll say “Well, at least you didn’t turn this conversation into a crazy argument, that’s kind of a played out trope” and I’ll…
It’s true, though. I can’t listen to music at work, it’s incredibly distracting. Given the choice, I’d always rather listen to a podcast than music. The Art of Wrestling, or Crate and Crowbar, or The Bugle, or Nerdist, or whatever. Interesting people saying interesting things about subjects in which I am interested.
I don’t have a good ending for this post. Endings are hard.
Send me some music to listen to. Maybe I’ll like it enough to create a three minute gap in my life.