Why does holiday muzak make me feel so upset inside? I like holidays, I like music, but the vile plonk oozing out of the gift shop at my place of employment fuels a growing rage that I fear I may not be able to contain until Xmas is over. Could it be some genetic flaw that doesn't allow me to appreciate the dulcet synthetic tones of the festive season? Is there some musical anti-nauseant I could be taking during this trying time to prevent my eventual psychotic break?
Aaron, this is a seasonal question, like stockings and lights and Santa washcloths, and I have ridden to your question's rescue a month too late. Poor question, already dead, even as I dismount and sprint to its lifeless body. Consider this not a proper answer but artificial respiration for your curiosity.
Okay. If music be the food of love, then muzak is the offal of love scraped from the killing-room floor, separated, reprocessed and then sold back to us, all full of pthalates and prions and the bad. That's what infects your heart when you hear it oozing through the gift shop speakers. That's what unstops the joy plug and drains all your cheer onto the floor in a sad little puddle. That's what motivates people to buy the tchotchkes and gewgaw from the gift shop: once the superstructure of your soul has collapsed, the act of acquisition is the only option to reinflate that filmy fold within. Each time you buy, the capacity of your soul diminishes a bit.
Your musical nausea is actually a good sign. It's the soul's revolt against the musical pollution. Instead of trying to quell the feeling, hold it, store it, and mold it for later use. A shaped charge blasting through emptiness, an explosive force that creates instead of destroys. An anarchism of the spirit, damnit. I hate that muzak shit.
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