I believe in “The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.” I love that demented song! In what other song are you going to hear about Shaq, Godzilla, Batman, Abraham Lincoln, and Gandalf? I heard it for the first time about a month ago and every time I hear it I bounce along like the world is all sunshine and sparkles regardless of how I was feeling or what I was thinking in the moment before it came on, or whether innocents are being slaughtered in Somalia, or whether I just failed my physics midterm, or whether the polar bears are facing extinction while the rainforests are feeling their own version of the Holocaust. It’s nice to be able to actually forget that I have problems for three minuets and thirty-two seconds.
That song reminded me that much of popular music these days seems to be oppressively angsty and violent, though. I know this because I listen to it. Understand, I think Adam Gontier and Chester Bennington are talented and entertaining, but I need some Louis Armstrong and Mark McGrath to keep my sanity from splintering because I tend to be easily susceptible to the emotions in both music and books. Have you ever heard the song “Get Up?” I must admit that I hope not, because it is so embarrassing to admit that I sing along to that pink and purple caramelized puerility that I don’t expect to live that confession down. That song was obviously written for an audience half my age, which isn’t a significant number to begin with (me being 17 and all). That song does, however, slap a stupid-looking grin on my face and I’m sure I look, honest to God, like a five year old discovering finger paint. It is about not giving up when you feel like all your effort has gone down the gutter. “Bicycle Race” is another one I’m fond of. It lacks a generalized feel-good message, but it makes up for that in pointlessness.
I don’t mean to say that Nickleback and Breaking Benjamin aren’t worth listening to just because they aren’t sugar cubes, but it’s nice to get lost in some music that doesn’t involve dysfunctional relationships and/or death.
No song can beat “The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny,” though. It is possibly the most pointless and distracting piece of music I have ever had the privilege of listening to in my whole life. Barney doesn’t even come close. It’s only true rival is “I’m too sexy,” the version by Right Said Fred. Like Mario and Bowser, Cloud and Sephiroth, Harry and Voldemort, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., the University of Texas and A&M, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, Caesar and Pompey, they are in the throws of passionate mortal rivalry for the ultimate victory, but then the angels sing out in immaculate chorus and the rest see their better as the champion stands. All hail Mr. Rogers!
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