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Music Savaged By The Average Beast

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for July 14, 2004

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by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Should is a dirty word. It brings us greater shame than profanity, because we’re well beyond blushing at naughty allusions. Should implies that our Inner Mommy’s on the phone to Inner Daddy, and we’re in for a whoopin’.
Should pops up all over the place in modern life, as in: “Perhaps I should choose another route before the wildly swinging construction material weighing down that crane dangling over New Street crashes through my windshield,” and, “I should park my car at Mom’s, lest some perpetrator perpetrate Grand Theft Auto.” So sometimes should drives us to action, and we don’t regret – say – writing an Altrok article when we’d rather soak in an azure bubble bath, or dragging ourselves to the office when we’d prefer to have molars pulled without anesthesia.
Most of the time, however, should is a giant dump truck that backs up across your lawn and pours fertilizer through your picture window. It serves no real purpose, and you’re anxious because that stuff explodes. You don’t know how or when, but one day, your accumulated shoulds ferment into a nasty mushroom cloud of guilt. You find yourself washing your hands three hundred times a day and quoting Eudora Welty. You didn’t see that coming, did you? If you had, maybe you would’ve quit listening to should and shoveled out the living room.
If you listen to talk radio or read the newspapers you can feel the terrible weight of should coming to bear on members of a society that used to value free-spirited individualism. You should do this or you’re a monster, you shouldn't do that or you’re a dangerous freak. Take this drivel to heart, and next thing you know you’re sitting home at night, knitting tea cozies because there’s nothing else you can do and not report yourself to some proper authority.
If you stop and think about what you’re hearing, the rhetoric sounds like high school peer pressure, the kind of thing we all can’t wait to graduate from and escape. Think about what you’re hearing or reading, and when you find a big should, blow it the Bronx Cheer it deserves. Don’t succumb to this mind-bending weirdness. You’re bent just fine.

©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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