Tomato Seeds & The Wicker Man

Ok, so I’m cleaning out my emails and I notice that I have missed the following post submission from our friend and frequent contributor Nick Haines. It’s a good ‘un, folks! He’s a bitter, bitter man and is all the better for it! Enjoy!–Uncle E

You know those science fiction films where aliens take over human bodies and roam some small town looking and acting for the entire world like regular people?

It’s only when they encounter some uninfected human that that it becomes apparent that something isn’t quite right. Sure, they look and sound normal but there’s a vital spark of humanity missing somehow.

I was going to compare them to religious fundamentalists and how, no matter how hard you try to reason with them, they maintain a glassy-eyed certainty that they are completely normal. But no, that’s unfair because even the loopiest of Creationist believes in something, even if it is as mad as a box of frogs.

The people I’m talking about are even more worrying…

They’re the people who just aren’t into music.

At…all.

Let me elucidate.

Have you ever chatted with someone, maybe a new work colleague or perhaps on a first date, and in an attempt to ‘get to know them a bit better’ you ask;

“So, what kinda stuff are you into?”

Has this innocent inquiry been met with a slightly blank or uncomprehending look? You try to rephrase the question; “you know, what kinda music are you into?”

This clarification only seems to add to the others puzzlement.

They gaze back at you with a look of bovine incomprehension and reply;
“Well, a bit of this, a bit of that, you know.”

You feel your brow furrow and decide to press them for a slightly more illuminating answer; “Yeah but you must have a fave band, or song or something?”

Their mouth hangs open and their eyes take on an even more vacant aspect; “Not really, I like most stuff,” they blandly reply.

You wonder if they’re holding back because they’re hiding some dreadful secret, and know deep down that there’s probably no point in continuing this line of questioning, yet something within makes you carry on.

“So,” you say after a pause, “what was the last album you bought?”
A far away look comes over them, “I can’t remember,” they say, finally. “I don’t really buy albums.”

You know that getting angry or showing frustration will be counter-productive, but somehow you can’t help yourself; “Oh come on!” you hear yourself say, “You must remember the last album you bought, surely?”
They look hurt and you feel bad but still you await a more satisfactory response.
After a protracted silence they finally announce; “I guess it must have been Duran Duran’s Greatest Hits,” they say without shame.

You ponder their response and ask when they bought it. “Oh,” they say, their expression brightening; “when it first came out. I was a big Duran Duran fan.” You hesitantly point out that the album had been released some 25 years ago. “I know,” they say, “like I said, I don’t really buy records.”

Doing your best to restrain yourself you ask them what they listen to nowadays. “Oh, this and that you know, I mean the radio’s always on at work.”

It’s at this point you look into their eyes and realize with a shock that something fundamental is missing. Where there should be a soul, there is just a void.

Now look, I acknowledge that not everyone is as passionate about the subject as me (or anyone else who reads or contributes to this site for that matter.) I’m perfectly happy to accept that my passion borders on obsession and that it may well be borderline unhealthy, yet to meet someone from the opposite extreme is deeply disturbing somehow.

How can they live without a favorite song?

How can they show their face in public when they are unable to name all four members of The Beatles? (They’ll usually get Paul McCartney and maybe after a pause some will mention Lennon but watch the ‘vacant lot’ sign above their heads appear as they try to think of the other two.)

Am I being too harsh? After all there are many millions of folk out there whose lives are not dominated by their local soccer/football team’s results; they can be classed as members of the human race (just!). There are people who commit the most heinous acts, some have even been executed for their crimes, and yet can still be recognized as being of the same species as me, if only because it’s revealed they happen to be big Rage against the Machine fans. Even Hitler liked Wagner for heaven’s sake!

But these “I’m not really into music” types really worry me.

Take my wife…please (old gag!) In the 18 years we were manacled together I don’t think she bought a single record. Sure there was the occasional track she would ‘take a shine to, but on the whole music passed through her body and soul in much the same way as a tomato seed passes through the human body. Entering through the mouth, it journeys through the digestive tract and emerges some time later from the other end without having made any impact on its temporary host, nor undergone any changes to itself.

I was heavily into rap and hip-hop in the couple of years we lived together prior to getting married. My ex claimed to have a similar liking, right up until the day we came back from our honeymoon and I slapped Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Renegades of Funk’ on the turntable. Her face contorted and she asked if we couldn’t have Sinatra on instead. I looked confused; “I thought you liked this shit?” I said. She gave me a bland look and replied; “Yeah well, I didn’t want to be rude, did I?”
A call to the lawyer to see if an annulment was possible would, in retrospect, have been a good idea. Alarm bells should have started to ring at the very least. You’ve heard about this kinda thing happening to other folk, but you never dream it’s going to happen to you!

Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t music kinda ‘hard-wired’ into the human psyche?

I’m no anthropologist but I’m pretty sure that music preceded speech as a form of communication amongst humankind. It warned of danger, painted pictures and told stories that there weren’t yet words for. Music across the globe assumed myriad forms and encompassed the gamut of human experience.

So just how did these fuckwits manage to survive? Surely, and getting back briefly to the Creation/Evolution strand, if evolution is as credible and viable as it’s supposed to be, then surely these “I’m not really into music/I like most stuff” morons would have been weeded out of the human gene-pool long ago?

Wouldn’t they have been kicked out of the village? Wouldn’t they have been told to “fuck off and find your own food”, looking out for lions etc without the aid of fellow villagers drumming, whooping and whatever?

I put it to you Mr or Mrs “Can’t remember the last record I bought but the radio’s always on”. You are anti-social in the darkest, deepest and most pernicious way possible.

I put it to you that in fact, you are a threat to our well ordered community.

In fact I put it to you, that you are the personification of evil.

Villagers across the world, fetch your pitchforks, build the Wicker Men……in short…burn the heretics!

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