Music/Popular Culture

30-Day Song Challenge, day 2: my least favorite song

Remember how I said yesterday that naming my favorite song was really, really hard? Uh-huh. Piece of cake compared to naming my least favorite song.

At the root of the issue is a basic math problem: if 99% of everything is crap (and that’s probably understating the case) then there are 99 times as many crap songs as great ones. I mean, I hated every motherfucking song that the radio played during the disco years. I detest large swaths of hip-hip, all American Idol-style industry put-up job pop, and will somebody please kill those guys who did “The Macarena.”

In addition, I think if you’re really a fan of a band, you have to hate those moments where they jump the tracks and betray your faith in them, like when The Police chose to record “Mother.” Like Queen with “Get Down Make Love.” Like two or three things on U2’s Pop and Zooropa CDs.

So “least favorite” is like “favorite” in that I could have chosen a lot of songs. I decided on this one for a reason.

Music should lift us up. It should make us better for having heard it. It should ennoble our souls (or have a beat that we can dance to) and in the best of moments it is the white-hot fire in which our greatest cultural moments are forged. Like any tool, though, music can be used for evil purposes. It can be used to make us hateful and dumb. It can be used to pander to our worst instincts and to empower those who approach life in a spirit of militant, malignant ignorance.

Today’s song is built on so many lies, so much ignorance, such powerfully stupid ill will that it would take an army of scholars years to unravel it all.

As Natalie Maines put it when explaining that t-shirt she’s wearing in the picture above, “FUTK” stands for Freedom, Understanding, Truth and Knowledge.

FUTK, buddy. FUTK.


10 replies »

  1. Well, THAT oughta irritate some people. I’m going to pile on and add Lee Greenwood, “God Bless the USA.” He was down to schilling carpet on TV in GA before 9/11.

    I get the motivation (besides patriotism). I did community theater when I was younger and we did a variety show every June. We always ended with a patriotic medley with flags flying. Made the audience happy, brought them to our feet, and ended us with a built-in standing ovation. Pandering and cynicism at its finest.

  2. Well Lee Greenwood would probably get my vote, along with the entire catalog of Creed songs.

    I think David Cross sums it up perfectly here.

    • At least you went after one of my last favorite Floyd records. And this is hardly my favorite track on the record, either. Still, if I might riff on something a wise man once said, how can you dog on PF when Huey Lewis is still alive?

  3. Boy, i’d put together a big long list, but you said “least.”

    America Pie. Should i ever decide to use an assault rifle against a crowd of unarmed, innocent people at the mall or something i would probably listen to that song just to get me in the mood.

  4. Sam, I see you haven’t generated the controversy you wanted so how about this:

    I see you’re one of those hate America liberals.

    Actually, when that song came out I found it cathartic. I heard it recently while spinning through the dial and my response was much more complicated (Keith also has expressed mixed feelings).