Vote ‘yes’ on music

Joe Shearer

Are you a Democrat who voted for “change” over experience? Or a Republican who crossed over and voted Hillary to stick it to the Obamania cult? Maybe you tossed your vote at Ron Paul because McCain just isn’t scratching your conservative itch.

It’s OK; I get it. We’re all feeling a little divided after Tuesday’s election. The closer November gets, the slimier it becomes. Such is the rule of politics.

There is something you can always fall back on. Ever get so fed up with your girlfriend or boyfriend you had no other choice but to either destroy each other or find common ground? Well, as it happens, we’re all human, and besides eating, sleeping and sleeping together, there is something else that binds us: our love for music.

Before you ask whether this is some kumbaya hippie rant, think about this for a second. Is there anyone you know who doesn’t at least listen to radio or old records? There are plenty of non-readers, and some who don’t go to the theater or watch TV. Nearly everyone in the world listens to music, regardless of his or her cultural background.

I was reading an article in Discover Magazine a couple months ago. Neurologist Oliver Sacks talked about how he uses music for therapy on patients who are normally not very responsive. Somehow a lot of these patients, with significant cerebral damage, react positively when exposed to classical music.

The thing that really stood out to me in the piece though was the idea that some people can’t sense music at all. This is called amusia. Sacks mentioned one otherwise-normal lady he helps who essentially hears the equivalent of a clamoring commotion of pots and pans when we hear notes and song. To her, even something light like Mozart is just noise.

So, next time your grandmother gives you grief about say, 50 Cent or Cannibal Corpse, tell her Perry Como isn’t exactly music to everyone’s ears, either.

People — admittedly, those like myself — will always try to use music as a wedge to divide the populace by saying their taste is superior.

Of course, going back to politics, politicians have used music as a divider. There was that whole ’80s campaign spearheaded by Tipper Gore, resulting in what we now know as Tipper stickers, or the dreaded parental advisory.

What’s my point in all this? Take a step back, look at the people around you and just be grateful you found one more thing in common with these strange creatures.

Don’t let music become an issue. As much as it pains me to say this, if you want to listen to the same 40 songs over and over again, we still share a common interest.

Yes, yes. I know, I know. It’s a long shot, but I have to live with you people for the next nine months counting down to Election Day, and I’d rather get this petty issue out of the way before I’m forced to attack your misinformed political ideologies.

Oh yeah, there will be blood — lots of it.

Joe Shearer is a senior magazine journalism major and an all reporter. Contact him at [email protected].