Discover more from Slouching Towards Blok M
#1: Airpods, a Hypothetical Sabbatical, a Power Ballad
Hi! This is the first issue of Party of Three, where I drop three pretty random thoughts or share a list of three things, (possibly) every week. Thank you for being here.
What have I become
I couldn’t have been a bigger skeptic. The AirPods look tacky dangling out of someone’s ears, they look asshole-y, they don’t sound good, they’re painful to wear on my ear — not a fan, no thank you. But when P ended up with a spare pair recently, I used them for a full week and emerged out of that experience a changed person.
What do you mean I get to walk around, do the dishes, clean my room with music in my ears without having to be tethered to my phone? What do you mean I get to log on to a meeting from my laptop and proceed lie in bed facing the ceiling, with clear audio blasting in my ears making sure I don’t zone out? (I’m going to miss taking meetings while lying down when this is all over). These things are so tiny that having them on doesn’t seem to offend or alarm others around you the way having wired earphones typically would. They simply do not take up enough space on your face to matter, which also kind of means people are more inclined to talk to you when you want to be left alone, but, I’ll take it. Here’s a device that allows me to space out without really appearing to have spaced out. Here’s me socially distancing without actually disconnecting.
P.S. The noise cancelling feature on the Pro line isn’t half bad either. 🙃
If you could take three months off work and still get paid your current monthly pay check, what would you do?
This question came up in a meeting earlier today and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. My answer: I’d probably take up an internship someplace, remind myself what it’s like to “work” — to be interested and to be useful — without the pressure of excelling, climbing up a career path, or making money.
What would you do?
I can’t talk right now, I’m still listening to “Driver’s License”
My favorite thing about Driver’s License’s record-breaking popularity is that no one saw it coming. I don’t know much about music but a ballad by an artist no one has heard of arriving merely eight days into the new year hardly seems like the formula to a year-defining hit song, yet here we are. The beeping of the car transitioning into that repetitive note on the piano lives rent free in my head. I guess what I find most fascinating is that while the song has broken every record possible to merit “phenomenon” status, it is popular in a way that other hits of recent years aren’t. Popular without inducing eye rolls (I’m thinking Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”, maybe even Carly’s “Call Me Maybe”, or most recently Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”). Ubiquitous without crossing over to “overplayed” territory (dare I say “Rolling in the Deep”?). And maybe I’ve just been hanging out in great corners of the internet but even its memes seem to serve the purpose of paying it tribute rather than to mock or protest. I’m a sucker for a good underdog victory and that a track as unassuming and earnest as “Driver’s License” gets to have its moment feels like a sweet little win. Maybe 2021 will be different after all.
Links related to this song that I loved:
Read how Gen-Z reinvented the power ballad.
Listen to this thorough breakdown of the song’s parts.
Watch how Olivia Rodrigo wrote the song.
This post was first sent via email on March 16, 2021. Subscribe to get fresh letters in your inbox!