Dumb talking heads

I’m curious about this. I was at a barbecue on Melbourne Cup today. We were sitting outside in the sunshine, had finished lunch and were sitting back talking, drinking and listening to music. A song came on, Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads. One of my mates immediately commented “the girls hate this song.”

I hadn’t time to be properly surprised at this when a woman next up to me piped up affirming that very point. Then her sister sitting next to her agreed.

I was astounded. As far as I’m concerned it’s  a great song by a great group. From what I can gather though, it seems that for many – and seemingly many women – this song induces a bleak existential angst. The lyrics, which at some point pronounce “this is not my life” are taken to be depressingly negative. I’ve never encountered that response before, and every bloke I know loves the song. Is this a real thing?

In hindsight I’m surprised I didn’t delve further. I was in lively conversational form and this piqued my curiosity. Perhaps I feared getting into an argument?

Driving home I thought about it. The whole conversation displeased me. I liked the women, but this reaction seemed ridiculous, even dumb, and I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I don’t find the song lyrics depressing. They’re provocative perhaps, but not in the simplistic way that some obviously see them. If anything I think they pose a worthwhile query. Perhaps that is the issue. It’s a question that makes some uncomfortable with the answer?

Me, I’d rather face the uncomfortable questions than avoid them for being too close to home. Still, I can’t believe this is an issue. Que?

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