Never fear, dear readers. It’s not what you think. I may be a little late posting this week, but I enjoy working on my blog too much to quit after just 1 year. This is fun.
What is no longer fun is my listening experience with a specific song. In this case, that song is We Are Young by the up until recently (for me, anyway) purely enjoyable band called Fun. As far as idealistic teenage indie pop anthems with clever drug and subtle domestic violence references go, this was pretty much the tops. I’ll admit that at the ripe old age of 31, I felt just a tad self-conscious singing along with Nate Ruess’s power ballad. But I’m not exactly ready to hang up my headphones yet and most days I still feel reasonably capable of setting the world on fire, so most of the time I just made sure my car windows were rolled up and tried not to make a spectacle of myself. It’s a good song. Why shouldn’t I enjoy it?
Well, it turns out that my enjoyment was not meant to last. Despite being a well-produced song from a talented band, I’m now finding myself reaching for that dial every time the opening lines come over the speakers. You may ask how this could be? What could sour me so towards a previously appreciated tune? Two words: viral video.
I’m sure you must have caught this about a week or so ago. The wise-acres over at Yahoo’s Sketchy Comedy took a nice song with an aesthetic video featuring the gratuitous use of slow-motion cinematography and people beating the crap out of each other and turned it into a parody that–let’s be honest here, folks–hits just a little to close to home for this 30 something. Wittily called We’re Not Young (gee, I wonder how they ever managed to come up with that creative leap?) they poke fun at the pre-mid-life existential crisis that is faced by those of us who are too old to be called teenagers but are still too young to claim the dreaded title of middle-aged. The video is filled with images of youngish people looking at their lives, wondering what the hell happened to their dreams and goals, and trying desperately to find ways to be “young” again. And well… I hate to say it, but I found myself relating to them.
Okay, you can stop snickering! I mean it! Okay… I’ll wait.
I realize this is literally the definition of a First World Problem. Where else but the Western World can a 30-year-old with a steady job and a guaranteed paycheck feel the desperate need to seek self-worth and fulfillment in an adult improv class after work? But come on and admit it. Since college ended and you took that soul-crushing job to keep Sallie Mae from collecting your student loan debt in broken kneecaps and tears, you’ve probably felt the same disillusionment. The truth can be hard to take, especially when it turns out that you’re the butt of the joke. But I have to say that it didn’t really bother me until I realized that one of their crazy ideas to reclaim their lost youth was to start a blog… Well, let’s just say that I can no longer listen to the original song without cringing just a little. Considering that front man Ruess is 30-years-old, he may be cringing a bit these days, too. Although he is a bone fide rock star, so may be not.
Anyway, here now for you listening enjoyment (or possibly to exercise your flinching reflex) are both versions of the song:
We Are Young by Fun
We’re Not Young by Yahoo’s Sketchy Comedy