I think I may have a stalker. No, it’s not an old boyfriend, a creepy neighbor, or anything of that sort. Actually, a testosterone-stoked psycho would be an improvement over my current situation. I’m being stalked by one of the most irritating songs of all time.
In the last week, I have heard this song twice at the Safeway, once at CVS, once at Pentagon City, and, best of all, once by a whiskey-drenched street musician. The song is “My Father’s Eyes” by Eric Clapton. Confession: I don’t like Eric Clapton. I think “Wonderful Tonight” is the stupidest piece of hokum I’ve ever heard in my life. When you really think about it, the song is about a guy who sits around waiting while his girl takes forever to get ready for a party. Then he retaliates by getting tanked so she has to drive him home. How is that romantic? “Tears in Heaven” bores me silly. “Layla” gets on my nerves, in both the slow and fast versions.
I have spent hours of my life defending my hatred of Eric Clapton, and every second was worth it. I don’t care if he’s one of the greatest songwriters of all time, or if he can play the accordion with his chest hair, or if he’s been in every important band in the history of humankind.
“My Father’s Eyes” is the nadir of the abyss of my hatred of Eric Clapton. The precise second you get over the bland, repetitive lyrics, the cheesy faux gospel singers kick in. And the auditory assault continues for an astounding five minutes and 24 seconds.
So this has me thinking of all the stuff I’m “supposed” to like, but can’t stand. Like jam band music. I get that there’s artistry involved, and maybe this is just my short attention span speaking, but why take 20 minutes to say something you can say in three minutes? And jazz. Lovely in person, or as background music, but don’t ask me to sit and concentrate on it.
I hated Leaving Las Vegas. Why should I care about self-indulgent alcoholics and hookers? Notes on a Scandal was overwrought, overacted nonsense. I despise NPR. Talk radio of any sort bores me to tears. I also hate to discuss politics. I understand that I live in Washington, and that I used to work in politics, so it’s natural to assume I want to debate the merits of the Electoral College. But any time someone engages me in political conversation, I feel a migraine seeping into the corners of my brain. Caviar is simply fatback for rich people. I don’t watch television, and couldn’t care less about “The Sopranos.”
Joshua Bell performing on a Stradivarius at the Metro? I would have walked on by.
Over the years, I’ve been told that I lack sophistication, taste and/or maturity. I’ve been told that an appreciation for NPR/caviar/Eric Clapton is the key to being a whole person, or that I’ll “get it” when I’m older. That’s a total lie. Having different opinions is not a character flaw, and I’m happy just the way I am. I have a great CD collection. I read the newspaper every day (I subscribe, even!). I read a lot of books, and most of them don't have large print or pictures. I like art museums.
So why have I spent so many years defending my taste, or lack thereof? I don’t have an answer, but as of today I’m not going to bother. I'm happy in my state of rubeness.