Why I Never Hang Out In Coffee Shops

I dislike bossa nova. It’s a personal thing – it’s just not my cup of tea.

But I dislike even more how I seem to be hearing it everywhere (and I do mean everywhere!). I once spent two hours in a coffee shop, waiting for a friend to arrive. It was one of the most terrifying things in the world for me to discover that there is a bossa nova cover for everything.

“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.” – High Fidelity, Nick Hornby

I can understand (somewhat) why people make a big fuss over rock. I mean, let’s face it, that’s some angry music right there. But isn’t that kind of the point? Music as catharsis. Better out than in, I always say.

So why is there no equivalent furor over the prevalence of bossa nova? It is a quiet, insipid little germ working its way into our collective consciousness and numbing us all from the inside. If musical genres were drugs, rock would be coke, house would be LSD, pop would be E, and bossa nova would be anesthesia. (An imperfect metaphor, I am aware, but forgive me for my lack of knowledge of medical terminology.) There is something really disturbing about all that forced calm. It’s the “relax, this won’t hurt a bit” before the needle is injected into your skin.

Bossa nova always makes me want to punch a wall – an urge which I might actually act upon, should enough caffeine be present in my bloodstream. Which is why I will never again spend more time than is necessary in a coffee shop. Let’s not take chances, shall we?


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