Okay, we’re going to file this one under “secret heresy.” I was torn about whether it qualified as heretical or not—I mean, I certainly don’t consider it heretical. But it occurs to me that most heretics probably thought their beliefs were perfectly reasonable. The “secret” part is a little trickier, because I wouldn’t consider this an active secret. But to be honest, it’s not something I advertise either. Not because I’m ashamed, but because I’m tired of having that argument.
So what is this thing I’m not properly ashamed of?
I don’t like The Beatles.
Pick up your jaw. I know, I know. They’re the greatest musical group of all time. They revolutionized rock music. Blah, blah, blah. I’m not disputing that. Music is the one artistic medium I have never studied formally (okay, I had five years of piano lessons, but they were from my mother and they were a long time ago). So I’m willing to take all the expert opinions at face value and believe that The Beatles are fabulous and wonderful and all that. I just don’t like them. I don’t actively hate them. There’s a song or two here or there that I kind of enjoy. But over all… I just don’t get the appeal.
And in my view, that should be the end of it. I don’t dispute their merit; they’re just not my cup of tea. But as previously mentioned, a lot of people treat my lack of love for them as heresy. Not so long ago I was at a party where someone asked the question, “What’s your favorite Beatles song?” I didn’t answer, but we went around the room and everyone else named a song while the others gushed with delight at each title that was thrown out. When they were done the guy who had asked the question made a dreamy smile and said, “Isn’t it amazing how all these years later we all still know all those songs? We all still love them.” I mumbled something about how I hadn’t even known all the songs and wasn’t really that into the group. Everyone looked at me in shocked disgust and got another drink.
That’s what drives me nuts. Sometimes I think that I hate The Beatles, but what I really hate is being told that I have to love them. There are other great composers I don’t care for—Bach, for example. And when I say that people shrug and either murmur their agreement or dissent. But people attribute a sort of messianic power to The Beatles and somehow not liking them means there’s something wrong with you. And this is from people in my generation, who weren’t around when The Beatles were bigger than Jesus.
Ah well. I figure throughout history, heretics were probably the ones who had the most fun. But if they ever start some sort of musical inquisition I will totally deny writing this blog.