People who are hyper-critical, narrow-minded and over-judgemental really, really drive me crazy. As I sat watching the Grammy awards a few weeks ago, I barely recognized myself, brow furrowed and lip curled, hurling criticisms and insults at the TV.
I don’t usually watch awards shows partly because most of whom I’m interested in seeing aren’t usually included. But I thought I had heard that my all-time favourite artist would be performing and announced my plan to watch, much to the amusement of my husband and kids.
Soon after the show began, my armchair became a soapbox from which I heckled and disparaged.
I had been looking forward to Neil Young, but instead, fell victim to an assault on my senses by… Lady Gaga. In an understatement of unbelievably huge proportion, it could be suggested that these two performers’ styles are different. Although, I’m not sure Neil Young even has a style….which is part of what makes him great. His song writing, singing and guitar playing lack nothing, and leave his audience wanting more of the same, but not more theatrics.
I have seen the odd (yes, pun intended) picture of Lady Gaga and was still taken aback by what she was wearing and her strange performance. (As a talented piano player and singer, she did, however, redeem herself somewhat during her duet with Elton John.)
My 14-year-old son had joined me to watch and I suspected he would be as shocked as I was by this performance. Attempting to gauge his reaction, I nonchalantly remarked that the peculiar design of her costume made her look like a Jetson. Judging by his non-reaction, my comparison went over like a rock at Fred Flintstone’s place of employment, Mr. Slate’s quarry.
Next, a singer named Pink wowed the audience as she was dunked into what I assume was a pool of water, emerged soaking wet and was then suspended, spinning above the stage. It did look kind of cool – for a circus performance. But as the speed with which she spun increased, and the water splattered from her, I thought of the centrifugal force of my salad spinner. That, and how she could possibly keep her voice steady and not throw up.
Both these women have amazing voices, and I was puzzled about why, as “singers,” that didn’t seem to be enough.
It became a bit clearer when my thoughts were interrupted by the buzzing of my son’s cell phone and he began a text-conversation.
I think it’s possible that I was downright over-stimulated by the performances at the Grammy awards. Like a baby with too much going on, I became cranky and irritable. My son, equipped with iPod, cell phone and computer rarely out of reach, was not fazed at all.
Perhaps my middle age brain, having not developed with constant connections to these sources of texting, surfing and chatting, simply does not allow all of those simultaneous stimuli to register. I do, however, take pride in my reasonably proficient multi- tasking skills; I can watch TV, fold laundry and apparently, hurl insults at the TV.
A friend once gently suggested that it might be time to expand my musical tastes, given that my iPod is filled with much of the same music my cassette player screeched out 20 years ago. I briefly thought that there might be some value in those words. Then I remembered that I’ve also been married to the same man for 20 years, and nobody seems to think that’s a bad thing. After watching the Grammies, I know, without a doubt, I’ll stick with both!