Post Malone came on the radio today. Not exactly breaking news. My friend shared her unpopular opinion with me. She finds him very entertaining. I followed with an unpopular opinion of my own. Not a fan. This was the point where the conversation went to a place I don't quite understand, and hasn't quite settled right with me in the hours following.
Something about the Post Malone experience bothers me. I can't put my finger on it, I just get uncomfortable when I hear his music or see his face. Let me be the first to say, Post, I'm sure you're a swell man. Congratulations...see what I did there?
I think we can agree that a something she had previously read got projected onto me, even if slightly. She conveyed the sentiment of a snarky Facebook post that took aim and exception with fan of pop culture. The masses of social media captivated by the likes of The Tiger King, Tik Tok dances, and whatever the latest Top 40 hits are. She wondered, what's so wrong with conforming and liking what's popular? The simple answer? Absolutley nothing.
Here's where I remain unsettled. I struggled to be sympathetic with my friend's disillusionment. She wasn't asking for sympathy in the first place. I spent most of my life on the fringes, in the margins of what's popular and accepted, in one way or another. The ultimate irony is I find myself in the margins of the marginalized at times. Allow me to explain.
My favorite band, Brand New, has been "cancelled." I still proudly declare my love for the group and their music. It's no secret that, to this day, I am a regular listener. Honestly, let this be a public plee for them to make another album. In an effort to morally grandstand, former fans will tell you that the lead singer is a piece of shit. Maybe he is, maybe he's not. Know who else is a piece of shit at times? ME...and probably you too.
What's the point? No one ever shyed away from telling me that I was weird or my taste was less than fitting. I understand how invalidating that feeling is, all too well. As petty as it sounds, the thought of the popular kids getting a little taste of their own medicine delighted me in ways I couldn't define. From my perspective, winning the popularity contest should be enough. Society has voted you onto the overpopulated island. Sure, there'll be something new you're obligated to watch, listen to, or oversaturate social media within a few weeks. But, you'll never be alone.