The Soapbox

Daily Diatribe 9/24/97:"Sweep this!"

I am patently against anything and everything that is currently "sweeping the nation." Frankly, if the nation is involved, I don't want to be included. I know that sounds bad. You know -- asocial, anti-establishment, unfriendly toward my fellow man. But I'm being straight with you when I say that popularity ruins every good thing. And who cares about my fellow man anyway? Especially if I'm going to keep running into him wearing the same outfit as me when I go out to buy some doughnuts. The only conceivable advantage to having something cool become popular is that there will be more of it and you'll be able to get it in a store near your house. But so will everyone else. And where's the fun in that?

I like the fact that I like songs no one listens to and movies no one's heard of. I like the fact that I don't adhere to societal standards. You want proof? When Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett, I thought HE was too good for HER. David Letterman is still the King of Late Night in my book. I'm not interested in being rich. I took my beau to a No Doubt concert JUST to see the opening act (Weezer rules). We left before Gwen Stefani's annoying ass ever hit the stage. And good for us. I think that's what makes us altogether more interesting to know. Don't you? Am I elitist? Hell, yes! Do I go out of my way to alienate people and find secret joy in their bewilderment? And how! Am I a monstrously self-important bitch? Very likely. What of it?

I know I hate what's popular because the number one radio station here in town (the vile Star 100.7 -- and if you ever say "Hi, Star!" to me, I'll claw your eyes out and have them for tea), priding itself in its friendly rapport with its listening audience, sets my very intestines in knots. It's not the music -- although it is in a way. It's the freaking "on air personalities" and their irrepressible dumbness. And the fact that anyone in this city gives half a rat's ass whether Jagger's marrying his dimwitted sidekick. And the fact that anyone who doesn't have a gun pointed to his head -- or a very uncooperative tuner dial -- would voluntarily listen to Jeff and Jer's godforsaken morning show, maddeningly called a "show-gram." The sad fact is that I can pick up very few stations in my office, so I listen to 100.7 far more than I would like and have even won several prizes from them. I am, however, proud to say that I never collected any of them, including the Counting Crows concert tickets I won in a particularly humiliating fashion. Don't ask.

Bottom line: I don't want Conan O'Brien to ever become so popular that everyone knows what I'm laughing about when something reminds me of him. And I'm pleased as punch that most of my neighbors don't bother to watch Comedy Central as often as they possibly can. Screw them. I eat Scrapple and I like it. What have you done to set yourself apart from the pack today?

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