By Bill Seipel

What would you say if I told you that I was okay with Nickelback? Grateful, even. No, really, I am. Without Nickelback, how would I know what I prefer? How informed would my taste be? This world needs as many different kinds of music, there is. And each one of us have the responsibility to cultivate our tastes and share our most beloved music with friends.

I’m going to borrow an old saying;

“To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish.”

In other words, if your world is one ‘thing’… then that’s all you know. You know nothing else. You have no concept of any other ‘thing’. Having even just one more ‘thing’ provides you with something did not have before: A choice. You have the freedom to choose. And with each consecutive new ‘thing’, you get even more freedom.

Or do you?

Here’s an unpopular and surprising fact to some: You are taught what to want.  Magazines, television, books, news. Marketing. Every little thing that happens in your life, combined with the things that are flashed in front of your eyes and blabbed into your ears, informs your subconscious. Whether you listen to Top 40 and watch cable news or you read Pitchfork and read blogs….you are taught what you want.

Where does this leave your freedom of choice?

Thankfully, having the knowledge that you’re being constantly ‘sold’ a lifestyle isn’t a death sentence for you. After all, most of this stuff is happening ‘under the covers’ anyway. Most of the time, ‘why’ you like something, isn’t as important as simply liking it to begin with.

I know. I know. Top 40 music is something that is just rammed down our throats all day long on the radio, television & the internet. This is the main reason why the internet is so fantastic for our choice in music. We have more informed opinions than ever before.

But an informed opinion isn’t necessarily a better one. Music is a different thing for different people. If someone honestly enjoys Nickelback and you decide to unload all the reasons why they’re nothing but mediocre…. who “wins” that interaction? You’re likely to aggravate the other person and just make yourself look bad in the process. What’s that saying? ‘Sometimes it’s better to be kind, than it is to be right’. I believe in that.

After all, how would music sound, if everyone liked the same type of music? It would probably sound terrible. Overwhelming choice is by far, a positive thing. It informs and cultivates your culture.

Does this mean I’m going to wake up tomorrow and pump some Nickelback? Probably not. But boy, I’m glad they’re around so I can appreciate Band of Gypsies.

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