Will's Coffee House

John Dryden, Dramatist, Critic, Poet Laureate, and my ancestor, frequented a coffee house called Will's almost daily, where he would hold forth on sundry subjects with great wit and aplomb. Same deal here, only without the wit or aplomb.

Location: Large Midwestern City, Midwestern State, United States

I am a stranger in a sane land...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

BBC Voters are Capital "W" Wrong

A quick note as I recover from the grading--worse than I imagined, but then, when is it not, and I've got the feeble number of job market responses to worry about now--60 applications out and so far only a trickle, 5 or 6, of signs of faint interest--not good--anyhoo:

The news is semi-old by now but what the hell, in case you hadn't heard: an online poll (always a bad place to find accurate analysis) of BBC viewers determined that the Beatles' "Ob-La-Dee, Ob-La-Da" was, and I'm not kidding here, "The Worst Song Ever." Let me say that again: Ever. Ever. This finding is so...I mean...it's not as if the song is brilliant, you understand, but...oh Jesus, people, it's not even the worst Beatles song ever! Christ have you listened to "Number 9"? Or "Yellow Submarine"? Or "Paperback Writer"? Folks, the worst sin of "Ob-La-Dee" is that it's a bit treacly, and, admittedly, John and Paul didn't exactly break their backs with the lyrics. (Though this could be said of some of their more popular numbers, like "Love Me Do" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." And nobody seems to want to bitch about them.) But the Worst Song Ever? Ever? No. No, no, no, no, nonononono! Unacceptable. I mean, dear God, if you want to hate the fact that you have hearing, try anything that McCartney did in collaboration with Michael Jackson--"The Girl Is Mine" will actually cause you to consider pulling a double-Van Gogh. As for John, well, let's face it, when he switched from collaborating with Paul to falling into the siren clutches of Yoko--I mean, there's a reason that "Imagine" is the only song of his we remember, post-Beatles. Great song, but an exception to the rule.

And when we move beyond the Beatles catalogue--when we start to consider the work of, say, Paul Anka, and Celine Dion, and every single boy/girl-band EVER--well, then, oh please. Please. I mean, seriously: PLEASE. If I wind up in hell and I'm forced to choose between being sealed in a room where "Ob-La-Dee" plays on an endless loop and the Violent Femmes' "Blister In The Sun" plays on an endless loop, I won't have to so much as pause for thought. Lock me up with Paul's smooth-toned banalities, I'd rather face that than grating idiocy any day.

To sum up, These People Are Wrong. Not "entitled to their opinion." Not "misguided but otherwise understandable in their mistake." Wrong. Wrong. And wrong enough to advocate corporal correction, frankly. So, if you're one of those voters, do what's right. Take your hand, place in the nearest door-frame, and slam it. Hard. There. Now the universal scales of justice are balanced. All is well.

And for the record, that Alvin & the Chipmunks piece of s--t Christmas dirge is the worst song ever--"Christmas, Christmas time is here, Time for joy and time for cheer..." Oh, it's guaranteed to make you steer into oncoming traffic just to end the pain. QED.


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