The Blue Jays won last night, completing a sweep of the Kansas City Royals behind a suddenly not terrible Marcus Stroman. That was good!
Late in the game, however, up on the video board in centre field, they played that terrible fucking song again. You know the one I mean. And that was bad!
It was oh so intollerably miserably bad. As it always is.
In the afterglow of victory (read: once I was several sheets to the wind), I wrote down a few thoughts about it. More thoughts than anybody in their right mind could possibly have! It is, after all, just a stupid (and shitty — so unbelievably shitty) song that they play at a baseball game. Who cares, right?
Well apparently I do. Sometimes quite a lot! And though these thoughts from last night are almost certainly best left in a draft of a post that will never see the light of day — because they’re going to make people mad (especially people on the wrong side of history on this one) — where the hell is the fun in that? So I’m just going to post them anyway.
Hopefully they will be the last words I ever say about this musical abomination. (And hopefully that’s because somebody with the club recognizes that I’m right and cuts it with this dreadful shit already).
* * *
Look, I’m not a total snob. I can get into a shitty song time and again. More often than that, really. One of the essential, life-affirming things about music is that it can take us unexpected places. It brings something out of us that can’t always be rationalized. I wouldn’t say that we’re *better* always treading in these base instincts, but it’s good to know they’re there. And there’s something about music, as there is the seasons of the calendar, or love, that forces us — consciously or not — to grapple with what we really are. Music is pretty amazing, when you think about it. It’s an incredible, intrinsic thing to the human experience. We don’t even know the half of it, I don’t think.
But what we do know is that some music is also godawful trash.
Sure, sure, “it’s subjective” you say. I know. Except… no. It isn’t. Saying a tune is shitty is no farther out of line than acknowledging a lacklustre sunset. We know. Some people maybe just need a little push towards recognizing what’s worthless patronizing garbage.
This brings us to the pathetic attempts of the Toronto Blue Jays’ game ops folks to foist some kind of anthem onto the crowd at Rogers Centre. Blue Swede’s “Hooked On A Feeling,” to be precise.
It’s a song I’d prefer to not be talking about, yet whichever interns the Jays have put in charge of their in-game fanfare just keep humping the dream that this atrocious trash — this sappy, flat, uninteresting, uncomfortable (tribal chanting???) affront to the thrill and the promise of music — will be embraced.
Everything about the song and that idea is, quite literally, the worst. And those insults don’t even do justice to what corny horseshit this song and this phony attempt to spark a tradition is. It’s not only an affront to music — with its embarrassingly pedestrian lyrics, it’s passionless delivery, its unflinching embodiment of the safest and most insipid blandness — it’s an affront to the intelligence of every single person in the Rogers Centre every single night that it’s allowed — encouraged! — to be taken for something it’s not: unifying and enjoyable and not ungodly horrendous shit made by talentless entitled assholes.
It was in Ally McBeal, for chrissakes. They’re playing the Ally McBeal “ooga chuka” embarrassment-to-humanity song. At a baseball game. A song that wouldn’t be out of place on a Disney-branded cruise ship. Think of how powerfully uncool that is. And people are ready to let it be a “thing”???
Maybe I’ve missed how ironic it is to pretend to enjoy this limp dick of a turd, but holy shit again. People actually will defend this trash! Will defend… listening… intentionally… to this song. To the “ooga chukas” and the crayon-written lyrics, to the imperceptible shift into the laughable “high gear” of the chorus, the vocal range as thin as the premise that nobody’s going to notice what unapologetic ancient quaalude schlock it is, the bored brass instruments, and the fucking cowbell. (Is there even a cowbell? Because it deserves a goddamn cowbell).
Do we seriously hate music this much? Ourselves? Are we such imbeciles and such slaves to our reflexes that someone presses play and we get all googly about this putrid tub of half-catchy shit without bothering to notice how vacuous and sad and cheesy and painfully unremarkable it is? That people can *expect* that we will?
Fuck me. Better still: fuck us.
And most of what I’ve said so far barely even touches on how inauthentic and inorganic this all is, too. Corporate jerk-offs tell other corporate jerk-offs what the most ino-fucking-fensive song imaginable (that half-convincingly apes shitheel-Boston’s “Sweet Caroline” thing) is, and now we’ve all got to listen to it every game?
People ask me, “MEUHHHH well then what would you rather hear?” and I tell them, half facetiously, “literally anything.” We have a laugh, but the thing is: SERIOUSLY. Literally anything would be better than this Ikea futon of a song.
And yet… why choose? Why force it? Why have some unseen focus group decide what the crowd will be allowed to respond to — as though, if left to their own devices, they might respond to the scawwwwy “wrong” thing, like when organic chants and cheers need to be snuffed out with canned Addams Family bullshit or whatever else the horrendously out-of-touch masters of our fandom choose to lazily shit out of the P.A. system for us to mindlessly dance to.
Because the thing is — and this is really the important thing here, I think — fuck off. Fuck the fuck so far fucking off with this shit already. It is the embodiment of everything that is so tremendously wrong and off-putting with the non-baseball “entertainment” in that damn building. Fuck it into dust, sweep that dust into the trash, then light that shit on fire. For the love of all things decent.