Friday, September 11, 2009

Are they still called disc jockeys?

I could hear Zoe's clock radio blaring as she staggered out of her bedroom this morning. "Coming up next, ten in a row, starting with DJ Skribble, Chickenfoot and Lady Gaga." Once Zoe's radio starts playing in the morning, it doesn't stop. She could leave her bed, her room or even the house, and completely forget that something really obnoxious is emanating from her room at an obscene volume. As one song melded into the next, I heard myself say to Zoe, "How can you like that stuff? It all sounds the same."
Wow, did I really just say that? Or was my dad channeling through me this morning? I distinctly remember promising myself that when I eventually became a father, I wouldn't pass judgment on my kids' musical preferences, and here I was, doing just that.
"Dad, please. You're just old and your musical taste froze around 1993. Grunge hasn't been around for fifteen years, and you still listen to it and make Lauryn and me listen to it and it's like stale licorice. Then there's that seventies stuff that all sounds like the Brady Bunch. (It may have even been the Brady Bunch.) Music is so much better now."
At that very moment (insert swirling, spiraling graphic), I flashed back to 1976, when I was fourteen and playing my clock radio in my room really loud. It might have been Afternoon Delight or Bohemian Rhapsody or Livin' Thing, or something a little harder, from KISS or Led Zeppelin or Thin Lizzy. Either way, my dad hated it. "How can you like that stuff?" barked Lionel. "It all sounds the same. There's no melody; there's just an incessant drum beat."
"Dad, please," I retorted. "You're just old and your musical taste froze around 1953. Swing music hasn't been around for fifteen years, and you still listen to it and make Tom and Ann and me listen to it. Music is so much better now."
At that moment, the time vortex sucked me back to the present. "Okay, I need to be a little more accepting of what my daughter is listening to," I thought. "Maybe if I just listen to the words a little more intently, I'll understand what kids are going through; their challenges, their fears..."
And for a fleeting moment, a faint flicker of enlightenment switched on in my soul, as I walked into Zoe's room, turned off her radio and put on some Styx.

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