Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Total Eclipse of the Art

Why do people think Total Eclipse of the Heart is a good song?

It’s not even an OK song.

It’s a truly, empirically-proven awful song.

Seriously. Researchers in Zurich tested this song at the molecular level and determined, “Zis song, eet sucks beeg time.”

Despite this, I see it pop up all over the place as if it’s an American standard. Most frequently on those shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent, The X Factor, The Voice, Mega Karaoke Space Bus. All those shows where singers try to pick the biggest, balladiest tunes to showcase their pipes.


I’m telling you, if you tried to torture me into believing Total Eclipse of the Heart was a good song, my last utterance before perishing from disembowelment would be, “I still think it suuuuucks.”

But OK, I know some people—a lot of people—like it. That's fine. I’m happy to be in the minority of people who know what good actually is. I'm also someone who hates pandas, so perhaps I'm just woefully out of step with popular taste.

I do think everybody’s got an example of this sort of thing. When you feel genuinely bewildered about what’s trending or can’t understand why people like something you don’t. Or more to the point, don’t like something that you love.

But what can you do? Your compass of taste and passion points where it points and you gotta follow. If you try to recalibrate your tastes, you're doomed to fail. And then you become a Taste Zombie, just following the herd, hoping for your next meal of brains, singing along with the rest of the zombie chorus, "Once upon at time there was light in my life, now there's only love in the dark...."

You don't want that to happen, do you?

Hard as it is to accept, if you keep writing long enough, you will have at least one project get crushed under the millstone of Popular Taste. I know I’ve got one, and I’m still not sure what to do with it. I guess I’ll wait and see if things change. Which is all I can do.

How about you? Have you ever set an oddball project aside or hoped the trend winds would change direction in your favor?

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