The phrase “I contain multitudes” can apply to us all. We all hold entirely contradictory beliefs and ideas. There’s nothing wrong with that; I don’t know anyone, not one single person, whose entire personality from top to bottom is one cohesive unit with all parts working towards the same goal. No, we all tend to have something of a war inside ourselves, disparate parts vying for daylight. We preach love, but we lash out at those closest to us. We preach about privilege from positions of abject privilege. We give advice, but don’t take it. It’s nothing new.
I myself am perfect, so I suppose I can end this piece here. Goodbye.
In actuality, I’m a very kind person, too kind at times. I really don’t have it in me to willfully hurt someone, and I cry at the drop of a hat – well, more like I cry over spilt bourbon. The point is, I’m nice and proud of it. But just the same, I don’t like anything. Most things bother me, this is the absolute truth. You name it, I’m sure there’s something I don’t like about it. The news, politics, movies, music, TV, social media, people, behaviors, words – there’s nothing that doesn’t bother me.
My kindness isn’t an act, it isn’t a phony voice that I put on so people think I’m nice. I am nice. That J-Lo song featuring the immortal Ja Rule, “I’m Real,” that’s about me. I do pride myself on being kind and amicable, but I also pride myself on my extremely discerning taste. There are articles that I’ll never post here because there’s no reason to post 700 words about why Lady Gaga is overrated, or why most music is bad.
I’ve struggled with such a hyper-critical attitude. I’ve wondered if I’m just an asshole. And while that may be true, I tend to think that isn’t the full picture. The reason I dislike so many things is because I know just how good things can be. I’ve seen fantastic movies, so I know when a movie is shitty. I’ve watched some of what I consider to be well-done TV shows, so I know when TV is dumb. I listen to an eclectic mix of authentic, serious, and uncompromised music, so I know when music is just plain bad. People say there is no bad art. That’s not true, there is most definitely bad art. If everything is good, nothing is good.
When it comes to music especially, I’m a hard judge of character. My friends rarely even attempt to show me new music, because the probability is high that I won’t like it. I caught hell for admitting that I didn’t like the music my old band was making, and now I’m the object of that band’s derision – but such is life. I’m nothing if not honest.
The point here is this: we do contain multitudes, and that’s wonderful. Yes, you can hold contradictory ideas – loving music and hating most of it – that’s fine. It only adds character. You don’t have to like things because everyone does, or because they’re acclaimed. My being bothered by everything informs my art, and I think it’s better for it – and so am I.