When I have a deadline, I need music. As far as my own work ethic is concerned, nothing is more distracting than silence. When the room is quiet, my ears feel as if they are just straining and waiting to pounce on any little sound to prove that I am not deaf. Just like our eyes respond to the pitch dark–when you feel your eyes constantly scanning for some source of light in an effort to prove that you haven’t gone blind. My ears work the same way, so I silence this neurosis with music.
But, this is no easy task. In college, I made “mellow” play lists, with more instrumentals or softer lyrics so that the music wouldn’t compete with my own thoughts. As I’ve gotten older, I have found that my music personalities have gotten more bipolar. I never know what kind of music I am in the mood for when I begin to write. Mid-sentence, if a song comes on that does not jibe with my writing mood, as if I bit into a sour grape, my nose crinkles and my gut reaction is to immediately flip to another song. Playlists are even pointless because I can’t even define the genre my mind craves. I become manic and itchy to find just the right sound.
Today, my mind has responded well, so far, with the sounds of Elvis Costello and the O’Jays, but reacted violently to The Strokes and The Counting Crows (the banjo jilted it). Al Green is streaming now, and that also seems to have taken.
Of course, this is all good and well until Pandora slaps me in the face with: Unfortunately, our music licenses force us to limit the number of songs you may skip each hour. Usually I get frustrated and then just punch in a different song or artist to generate a new station, but it was at this moment when I saw the button for “Snack Rap Radio.”
Every few minutes or so, Pandora will refresh the page with a new ad. The ad for McDonald’s new, disgusting Mac Snack Wrap, for the person too lazy to open their mouth big enough to eat the classic Big Mac, featured a friendly yellow button labeled “Snack Rap Radio.” Intrigued, I had to take a listen. Assuming it would be food-related songs, I was incorrect. Apparently, snack wrap eaters like the sounds of T.I, Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, and Outkast.
Immediately, I saw this as some sort of twisted marketing scheme, and that this station was somehow a socioeconomic commentary on the McDonald’s consumer. Fired up to find the meaning of what McDonald’s was trying to say with this Snack Rap station, I did an instant Google search, in which the first entry to pop up was:
“Did you mean snack wrap?”
With that same sour-grape crinkled face, I looked at the search bar to see that I had in fact typed in “Snack Rap” instead of “Snack Wrap.” Oh. Ha. Ahem…Good one…I was the last to get the play on words. Oh, how nothing gets by you, Google.
And this is why Pandora also feeds my chronic procrastination–not only did I waste about 15 minutes with Snack Rap Radio, but I also wasted more time writing this post.
I’m switching to my Nano for the rest of the day now.