What really sticks in my craw

Kai Beasley

You know what really sticks in my craw? Music artists. Not all of them of course, but some of them are really annoying. And don’t get me wrong, I listen to as much rap, pop, rock and country as the next guy. Actually, I listen to about as much country as Helen Keller (too soon?).

I love music. I think there’s some really great stuff out there, but at the same time, there’s some really stupid stuff too. I mean whatever happened to the good old days, Villanova?

What happened to the time when a man could come home, kiss his wife and children, sit down, enjoy a nice brand and listen to the latest Gershwin tune on the radio (whoa, I never did that, and brandy is actually quite nasty)?

Nowadays you can’t turn on the radio without fearing for what you might hear. And don’t get me wrong, I think 50 Cent is a noble and honorable individual (I mean hey, sometimes you just gotta get shot nine times so that you can make money … capitalism), but do you think that when Duke Ellington (jazz musician) riffed in the beginning of “Take the A Train,” he was really trying to say “The drama means nothing to me; I’ll ride by and blow your brains out?”

Or when Beethoven wrote his moonlight sonata he was actually trying to say “Wait ’til you see my [explicit reference to the male sex organ]?”

I’m gonna go ahead and say no, that’s not what they were doing. That begs the question, what do artists these days want? I mean what are we supposed to think?

When I listen to a rap song that says “I gotta stay high, ’til I die,” I shake my head because I think that song is just making it harder for the rest of the backwards-hat, baggy-jean wearing population to get a decent job (and I freakin’ like baggy jeans damnit!).

So what do they want when they say that? Do they want people to think that everyone that looks like that has to stay “high ’til they die?” Because they’ll do it. Oh, they’ll do it.

And then the many smart, decent people who dress like the artists in the videos will get pulled over by the cops because of the suspicion that they were driving high, and if it weren’t for them getting pulled over, they probably would have done it until they died.

There’s another popular song out there by a group called the Pussycat Dolls. They sing a popular song that has a hook as follows: “Don’t you wish your girl was a freak like me? Don’t you?” Needless to say, the chorus acts as thesis, and the body of the song goes on to prove that the performers are indeed freaks.

Now upon first hearing this song, like most men, I thought to myself “Ahh yes, that would be cool.” Then I thought about it. Don’t I wish my girl was a freak like me? Umm… no! If she were, then she probably wouldn’t be my girl. She would be someone that I may consider for one night relations with after having one too many martinis at the local … umm … where do you kids go these days, “speakeasy.”

But my girl? Heavens no! I would like my girl to be an intelligent and upstanding girl that I wouldn’t have to worry about if she went out on the town one night with her girlfriends.

But you know, if you want me to think that you’re a freak by singing that song, that’s fine, because I’ll do it. I have no problem with that.

That brings me to the likes of Marilyn Manson and all of the other really strange dressers out there. Now you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that can become difficult when the book is prancing around on stage, screaming at the top of his lungs wearing a thong and subsequently giving all of the upstanding, intelligent Goths a bad name. I mean, we get it Marilyn; you’re a non-conformist.

But the only thing that you’re achieving by portraying that image is making it so that the people who look like you are non-conformists whose best job is the one at the used record store at the corner of Poor and Lack of Ambition.

The moral of this story is that you should be perfectly willing to be yourself. I’m sure you’re all great people (most of you), but people do pay attention to the things that you say and do, and it goes a lot deeper than the cover of the book.

So do what you want, but you must be fully prepared to accept the consequences of your actions. And that’s what really sticks in my craw.

Good luck Villanova, and godspeed.