Pop confession time

By the

January 18, 2001

I have a confession to make: I love pop music. For those of you who don’t know me, this may not be such a surprise. But for everyone else, this is borderline shocking, as my extreme distaste for all things MTV has normally been readily apparent. Somehow though, over the past year, my life has taken this drastic change.

I blame it all on Destiny’s Child. This may sound odd, but hear me out. They’ve had quite a few hits over the years (or year, I don’t really know how long they’ve been around), and I noticed myself humming along quite a bit. At first, I made sure not to do this in public, as I was somewhat ashamed of my selling out. Although when I was alone in my dorm room and a Destiny’s Child song came on the radio, I turned the volume up?not loud enough for anyone else to hear, but just loud enough to bask in the glory of their harmonious voices. I did what they told me: When no one was around, I did say their name, say their name. But that changed in the presence of others: Outside of my room, I made sure to turn my nose up at them, N’SYNC, Britney Spears and every other artist-of-the-week in favor of my more rock-y, and less famous, favorites Ben Folds Five, Weezer and Cake. I spoke out against these “hip” groups, arguing that they were only in it for the money and that they were simply recycled versions of New Kids on the Block and Wilson Phillips. I was even hardcore enough to demand that people listen to music that would last?the Beatles, Madonna and Pearl Jam.

But the song “Independent Women” did me in. I still haven’t quite been able to figure this out, because I am neither independent nor a woman, yet I was drawn to this song. I simply could not hear enough of it; in the car I found myself constantly scanning the pop radio stations?the same stations I had scorned less than a year before?hoping to hear it again somewhere. A few lucky times it played back-to-back on two different stations?I felt as if God was smiling on me from somewhere. I eventually bought the soundtrack to Charlie’s Angels, a movie which I hadn’t seen and don’t necessarily care to see, just so that I could hear the hook on demand. In class, I found myself wishing that professors would say, “Throw your hands up!” instead of just raising them. It was a disappointment that they didn’t, but a sign that my mental instablitiy had come very far.

The time eventually came when I had to “come out” to people I knew; this secret was becoming too big a part of my life and too much for me to deal with on my own; I just couldn’t keep it to myself any longer. My friends started to pick up on the change in me when I allowed myself to sing and dance along with their radio selections, which they previously believed were a form of torture for me. And they definitely knew what was going on when I chased my songs on the radio dial like a heroin addict looking for a quick fix. I was a different Chris Trott, and there was no turning back.

Soon I became obsessed with Christina, N’SYNC, Backstreet, all of them. I was just out of control. My poor blue Weezer CD gathered dust as I Napstered these newfound royalties of pop as quickly as possible before doing so was outlawed. I wasn’t there the first time Britney did it, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to be the one saying “Oops!” when she did it again. The strange thing is, I don’t care at all who these people are?I don’t know how many people are in Destiny’s Child (hence the picture with four women in it), I confuse J.C. and A.J. and I could not spell “Aguilera” even if my life depended on it (I looked it up for this piece)?but their music has a strange effect on me. I just enjoy it without caring about the meaning behind it.

I still haven’t quite figured out what caused this debilitating dependency on popular beats. Seeking ideas on what might have contributed to it, I heard explanations that blamed everything from my sexual orientation to the success of consumer America in corrupting my mind to a simple change in my tastes. I’m not sure about any of these?I really think it’s all because of Destiny’s Child. Somehow they turned me into a teeny-bopper without my even knowing it. Fortunately I only have six more months to be a teen, so by the time I turn 20, hopefully I’ll be cured. I’ll keep you updated …

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