Although I’ve always had only relatively few restricti0ns on the things I consider permissible, these things tend to be quite seriously non-negotiable. Music is the most notorious example of where this snobbery comes into play. Ever since I was only a kid, I’ve always been fanatically obsessed with the Beatles and their era. Of course I can very easily be counted on to enjoy practically all kinds of music from all other time frames too. There are, however, certain very definite exceptions to this rule. I’ve never been able to stand either disco or rap. In the world of pop music in general, I have yet to find a recent style in general, or specific song, that strikes me as worth bothering with. My nephews Michael and Sam, and niece Bridget, are constantly reminding me, as people always have, of how important it supposedly is to keep an open mind. I honestly don’t care though. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve always lived in my own private exclusive little world, and always shall, and I’ve learned to make my peace with it. Somehow when it comes to musical styles other than pop, I’ve never had any trouble adjusting to new experiences. Genres such as jazz, blues, classical, among many others, have always struck me as quite interesting and enjoyable, and I’m capable of being exceptionally flexible about my listening habits. My problem only seems to exist with the kind of style which kids on a school bus are expected to enjoy. The music of the 1960’s has always been my very favorite, and I’ve always enjoyed 1970’s and 1980’s styles too. Later eras’ popular music styles, ever since sometime during the course of the 1990’s, besides disco and rap, have been the veritable bane of my existence. By now it’s even become a part of my legend. Another snobby obsession of mine is names. I grew up in, and can only handle, a world where people have nice, plain, square names. Give me a world, please, filled with people named Peter, Andrew, James, John, Ann, Margret and Theresa, rather than Garth, Brice, Dustin, Jared, Marlee, Uma and Amber any day. People who like those invented names try to defend them by saying that the old names are entirely too predictable and commonplace. What they don’t take into account is the fact that eventually these new names will become equally trite and hackneyed anyway. That’s a problem that can’t be solved. I know I shall make many enemies with this comment but I just can’t see the point of it all. Just think about it: A woman named Chelsea will have to go through the rest of her life knowing that her parents named her after a swanky neighborhood in Manhattan. A woman named Amber will have to spend all her life knowing that her parents named her after a Crayola crayon color. I shall never get used to it.
How to walk the city streets of New York