Sunday, November 1, 2009

Now Playing

Periodically, I go through my iTunes library and clear out the "Last Played" and "Most Played" lists because if I should die horribly--or even, at my age, rather predictably of fatness, sloth, inattention, excitement at a Stampeders game--I don't think I could stand for people to know just how often I have listened to, say, Franz Ferdinand or Dolly Parton (whom you should really reconsider, you know) recently. I get on these jags perhaps not unrelated to my wackadoo case of OCD (you think?) during which I listen to songs over and over and over, until I have memorized every bass line, every warble, every chord squeak. I have been informed that I ought not to worry, teenagers do this all the time, but I have not been a teenager for pretty close to 30 years now.

Daniel Levitin says that we evolved to produce and consume music for six reasons: friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion, and love. Overconsumption of music is for me a pretty clear case of requiring comfort. I simply need to know what will happen next. For 3:40, for example, I know exactly what I will be hearing, if left undisturbed during the length of "No You Girls."

Today however, 2:36 minutes in, right as the bridge was about to happen, predictably, with God in his heaven and all right with the world, I did not actually know what was going to happen next: namely, being pelted in the back of the head with two handfuls of fish crackers and an Alpha Percival Cyclone Bakugan. Nor was I comforted to learn that the Alpha Percival has amazing powers. Reading from the packaging, a small boy assured me that "Using its mighty cyclone spin, it can take down some of the largest opponents on the battlefield, striking with unparalleled accuracy and efficiency." But not with impunity. Oh no, not with impunity.

I shall now take comfort in the knowledge that for the duration of this timeout--roughly 15 minutes, shall we say?--I know exactly what will happen next.


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