OMG to meh is a winding, wandering and well-traveled one, but woefully lacking in directional markers.
Not so with the road from love to hate. To generate actual dislike from like requires some extra activating element-- a wrongdoing, a harm, a perjury or the introduction of some other perspective-refracting agent-- such that the lover is given cause to look on the formerly-beloved as alien, strange and therefore no longer deserving of his or her amorous affection. I loved you, I thought I knew you, but I was wrong about you. When this happens between two people, it's a terribly unpleasant experience for both sides. But, then again, anything that generates hatred between people is a terrible experience.
Mercifully, we're not talking about people today.
My pick for today is the Indigo Girls' "Closer to Fine," a song that (like the Indigo Girls themselves) was very dear to me during some of the most significant developmental years of my youth. To say that I hate it now might be overselling the case a bit, but I'm not just "meh" about it. I very definitely strongly dislike it now. Here it is:
It's actually pretty easy for me to explain the agents of my affective reversal with regard to this song. The primary and most damaging is (1) I play guitar, I like girls, and so I've been asked to play this song soooo many times over the years that I honestly feel like I've been bludgeoned to death with it. Now, whenever I crack open a guitar case, I tend to begrudgingly play it first, just to get it over and done with, but when I do that it makes me really resent guitars and women singer-songwriters and folk music and sunshine and kittens and everything good in this world that humans just can't help themselves but to f*ck up. (2) When I first fell in love with this song (and the Indigo Girls), I was in my 20s, I was young woman in Philosophy, and it gave voice to a sort of outsider-on-the-inside narrative that felt empowering, if not also potentially liberating. Now, it just sounds whiny and trite to me. (3) Back when I loved this song, I loved its valorization of aiming to be "closer to fine," rather than right or good, because I hadn't yet figured out what "right" and "good" meant for me and I was struggling quite a bit to satisfy what they meant to those around me... because 20s. Now, that aim just sounds like a door prize for lazy relativists or people in their 20s, which often amounts to one and the same thing. Finally, (4) after more than two decades with this song, I find that there are few things more painful to my ears that hearing other people sing along to it, especially when they "authentically" wail that closer I am to fiii-IIIIIII-iiii-nnne-yeah part at the end of this song. Puh-lease, make it stop.
It's not fine anymore. Not even close to it.
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