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February 06, 2007
On Waiting and Whining

Recently I came across this quote from Voltaire: "Anything too stupid to be said is sung." It puts me in mind of the insipid John Mayer song, "Waiting on the World to Change," which has been nominated (naturally) for a Grammy. The song begins:

"me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it"

So the essence of the song is that Mayer and his pals will sit on their overindulged fannies and wait for the world to change, in between stanzas asserting their superior moral sense and keen twenty-something ability to see through the obfuscation into how things really are.

One widely cited reviewer claims that none of Mayer's contemporaries "has come up with anything resembling a worthwhile anti-war anthem that is as good and speaks for their generation as much," which seems tantamount to calling Joe Biden the most honorable member of the Senate Judiciary Committee — an occasion more for weeping than praise.

Aside from being a hack writer, John Mayer is a big flaming wuss. This is his idea of a protest anthem? "Ooh, nobody will listen to us, so we're going to sit here and whine about it." It's a pathetic comparison to songs like "Four Dead in Ohio" (Gotta get down to it/Soldiers are cutting us down...How can you run when you know?), "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore," and "We Shall Overcome." Heck, even The Clash's "The Call Up" (It's up to you not to heed the call up/ I don't wanna die!) has more gravitas.

I suppose we should be thankful that people with bad ideas feel compelled to wallow in their impotence. The only thing more nauseating, after all, than the thought of millions of whelps grooving along to this claptrap would be to watch Mayer lead them in a protest march, cell phones and chai lattes tightly gripped in angry little fists of pique, a sea of fashionistas indignantly stamping their feet and agitating for some vague change that hopefully includes low-cost student loans and free music downloads.

So yes, John boy, keep waiting for the world to change. Play your self-indulgent ditties and leave the changing of things to the real men and women. It makes one long for the days when instrumentals were popular, and musicians were viewed more like servants than prophets.

Posted by Woodlief on February 06, 2007 at 10:13 PM