Dave's Mental Meanderings
2002-03-19 14:56:14 (UTC)

Unoriginal Bastards

In the interest continuing a tradition of mine, I decided
to write another "People I Hate" journal entry. So here's
another group of misfits who should be beaten with a club
and left bleeding in the moonlight:

Unoriginal people. Obviously nobody is going to go even a
single day without having thousands of thoughts that have
been pondered by thousands of other people before him, it's
just not possible. What I mean by "unoriginal" is when a
person constantly uses other people's thoughts and words
to express their own. Once again, I'll probably be
misunderstood there. There's nothing wrong with having a
nice quote on your away message or using a quote to shed
some light on an argument or discussion. What really
pisses me off is people who go so far as to mold their own
existence around the words of famous people who obviously
weren't writing their songs for that purpose.

I had a girlfriend for a while who insisted that "our song"
was "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. To this
day that song still makes me want to puke simply because of
the memory it inspires within me. Whoever wrote that song
(I can assure you it was not Steven Tyler) wrote it for a
movie, not for the thousands of teenage couples who watched
Armageddon and convinced themselves of the idiotic notion
that some Aerosmith songs perfectly describes their over-
dramatized, empty relationship. Here's another gem that's
famous for being "our song" for thousands upon thousands of
couples - "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton. He did not
write this song for you. I promise. He wrote it about a
girl who was always fishing for compliments to the point
that it became annoying. Surprised to hear that it's not
as romantic as it sounds? Don't be. People go to great
lengths to convince themselves that a certain love song
expresses exactly how they feel about someone, when they
probably don't even know how they feel about that person.

No, I'm not done bashing ex-girlfriends yet. The same girl
I mentioned earlier (I'll leave her name out of this) has a
quote on her AIM profile from a song which apparently
describes the way she feels about her current boyfriend.
Well guess what? Two years ago, she made me listen to that
exact same song and she told me that it "totally sums up"
the way she felt about me. Pardon me if that doesn't seem
like a great big steamy crock of shit.

I probably sound like an immense hypocrite at this point.
I will admit that there are songs out there whose lyrics
seem to do a very good job of describing my feelings about
certain things. I even made my girlfriend a compilation CD
of songs that remind me of the way I feel about her. But
notice the key word in there - "remind." A person couldn't
listen to any of those songs and have any idea exactly how
I feel about her, only I know that. Sure, they remind me
of her, and the songwriters of them wrote about the same
kind of feelings that I have for her, but all of those
songs combined wouldn't describe the way I feel about her
as well as a few lines from something I personally wrote
about her. Besides, I am at least original enough not to
pick one song and quote it to every girl I date. When you
use a song to express your own feelings, it's a very
delicate thing - you can't use songs that are too generic,
but then it's hard to find a song that is fairly specific
yet still accurately descriptive of your feelings.

So for all of you who have a song that you like to play for
your girlfriend or boyfriend, or a song that you listen to
when you miss a loved one, I may not be bashing you. Just
make sure you have your own feelings about that person and
that you're not just dramatizing your emotions just because
you like a song. As for all of you who start dating
someone, wait 3 months, then play the same damn song for
them that you played for your last love interest and claim
that it sums up exactly how you feel, why don't you try
writing something of your own? More specifically, try
writing down simple, matter-of-fact prose about the person
without using phrases that we've all heard in a million
shitty Julia Roberts movies. Maybe that way you'd get to
know yourself and your own feelings more than if you wrote
the same old confused, convoluted, ultra-romantic jargon
that most people call poetry these days.