Monday, October 8, 2018

Nostalgic for Muzak

The other day driving home listening to the Kavanaugh hearing on the car radio I became nostalgic for Muzak. You remember, that inane background music you might hear in an elevator or dentist office. Maybe the pain of the hearing reminded me of the dentist’s office.

Actually what I was yearning for were better times. Days where we weren’t confronted with anything more challenging than “A Summer Place” by Percy Faith and his Orchestra.

As a kid I would have rather been taken out and shot than admit I liked Muzak. I mean the euphemism was “Elevator Music.” The kind of characterless, benign stuff my parents listened to. Yet, there in the car I wished to travel back fifty years. I wanted to be left alone. To not have to listen to a woman telling her story and a roomful of men dismissing her.

Now to be honest fifty years ago Christine Blasey Ford would not have been called to testify. She would have been given “Mother’s Little Helpers” (a tranquilizer) and told to go home and get dinner started. If it were fifty years ago I would be driving a station wagon instead of a minivan. Nevertheless, I imagined a sweeter time, where no one had to be made uncomfortable, where we could nod along with each other, and sleepwalk through our days—listening to Muzak.

I crossed from Evanston into Chicago and immediately woke up in this century. I kept the radio tuned to the hearing, while ranting out loud to no one.

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