Sunday, November 01, 2015

Last Week's Most Pungent Irony

My current marketing life doesn't, so far, have as many trips as the old one did -- the group I work for now does have a lot more live events and trade shows and other things, but this group is also much bigger, and has a lot of people who have been working those events for a long time.

But, still, I do find myself on the road now and then.

This last week, in fact, I was in lovely bucolic Eagan, MN for three long days. (Tuesday: up at 3:30 for a 6:05 flight and finally alone in my hotel room about 9 PM. Wednesday was about 8 to 8 with my colleagues, and Thursday was 8 to about 6 when we boarded our various planes. That's a lot of face-time for someone as introverted as I am.)

And I realized something there. The places I travel to now -- nice hotels, steakhouse restaurants, country clubs, classy joints of various kinds -- tend to have '40s big band music piped in to add to the atmosphere. Why? Because big band music sounds vaguely classy, and offends as close to absolutely no one as is humanly possible.

Before this year, that didn't register on me at all. It's old music, chosen specifically to be inoffensive, and I had no personal connection with any of it.

But this year...well, this year I've been playing Fallout games pretty intensively for the past few months. And those games are saturated in '40s songs, for related but very different reasons: to evoke both wistful nostalgia and a sense of wrongness, to make stark the contrast between jazzy standards and string-dripped ballads on the one hand and a nasty, dangerous post-apocalyptic world on the other.

So this year, those inoffensive pipped-in songs actually trigger more specific feelings: they remind me of what I'm not doing, what I'd probably rather be doing. (Who wouldn't rather be playing than working? And if you're one of those people, I'm so sorry for you, and hope you get better soon.)

This is not a deep thought, clearly. But it was an interesting irony to me, so I decided to throw it in here, as a reminder that I'm still out here, and still think of myself as blogging regularly, even when that patently isn't true.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's interesting. I do like Big Band music, even though I was born in the '60's. My dad always played it in the car on the weekends so it insinuated itself into my brain. (He was born in 1928).

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