Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wontcha be mine, wontcha be mine, Won't you be my neighbor (hello, neighbor!)

The term "bandwagon" comes from one of the worst disasters of the early twentieth century. Little is know exactly what happened, but it involved a marching band and being that they were a marching band, they were all extremely cool and everyone loved them. Word of the band, and how amazing it was to be in a marching band, began to circle like the plague. Everyone wanted to be part of the marching band simply because everyone else did. The band would travel from town to town with the percussion section and the tubas in a large wagon pulled by a team of sixteen, pure white draft mules. Usually the percussionists would have to beat people off the wagon with their mallets, but one hot summer night in Allenville, Ohio a large group of people jumped on the band's wagon. More people jumped simply because they saw everyone else jump until the entire wagon collapsed in a heap of drum sticks, cymbals, broken legs and shattered dreams. 14 of the 16 mules had to be put down, 76 people died and the small Ohio town soon went bankrupt. Since that time, when people join a fad based strictly on word of mouth and desire to be "cool" it's called "jumping on the bandwagon." (And, since that time, marching bands have extreme fail-safes in place to ensure that only the really awesome people are allowed in.)

Unfortunately, people haven't learned the lesson of the bandwagon and, while most bandwagon jumpers don't kill themselves or a mule, it's still not a good idea to consistently jump on a bandwagon.

But don't tell that to ESPN. They are betting you will. And I know you won't disappoint them.

It's already started - the bandwagon jumping. Thousands of people, who ordinarily don't give a damn about anything outside Taco Bell, the latest color of Mountain Dew (the blue stuff rocks!) and when the NASCAR Sprint Series is going to have its own reality show, are now suddenly SOCCER HOOLLIGANS.

These are, of course, same people that REALLY GOT INTO CURLING about four months ago.

Who are the same that really LOVED POKER about 6 years ago.

The same people that embraced the Atkins diet.

Oxygen bars.

Kenny G

The list goes on.

Thousands of young and old American men and women are suddenly SOCCER fans. Never mind that most of the rest of the world has been patiently waiting for the last 4 years for this summer to come, most Americans only found out about it between reruns of the World Series of Lumberjack Dog Tricks and the Toddler Softball Superbowl. But to these newly minted soccer fans it's like they've been waiting all their life for this one particular moment.

I don't care if you actually do like soccer. As much as I'm indifferent to it, I can't help but note that about 80 billion people love it, but that's not my point. My point is that (and this is where I start to sound like an angry version of Fred Rogers) like something for its intrinsic qualities and not because ESPN or Oprah told you it's super cool. There's a team of pure-white mules somewhere, looking down, begging you to do the same.


Anonymous said...

This blog says nothing to me of soccer, but really puts forth the importance of percussionists.

Tronner said...

Of course percussionists are important. They help real musicians do a lot of things!

Andrew said...

Thank you. I couldn't agree with this post more (I generally agree with you when you post on MVWR & the like).

When I found out the World Cup lasted a month, I almost cried. Facebook is more insufferable than usual with the status updates & such as, all by people who generally don't give a shit about this stuff.

Stupid band wagon jumpers.