Hugo Schwyzer wrote back in 2006:
I go back and forth between playing music while I write. When I blog from home, I just open our Itunes account and let the party shuffle bring out a gloriously random mix. When I need to do some serious writing, I turn down the sound to minimize the noise that goes into my head. But just before I sat down to write, two songs I’ve recently downloaded came on, back to back: James Blunt’s “Goodbye My Lover” and Blue October’s “Hate Me.” Both songs have been getting quite a bit of airplay, and they were catchy enough that I paid $.99 each for ‘em.
In both songs, the male singer seems to be cataloging his own shortcomings. As popular and over-played as his music is, there’s something seductive about Blunt’s material, and his “Goodbye My Lover” ends:
Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.
I’m so hollow, baby, I’m so hollow.
I’m so, I’m so, I’m so hollow.
The “Hate Me” song concludes:
And with a sad heart I say bye to you and wave
Kicking shadows on the street for every mistake that I had made
And like a baby boy I never was a man
Until I saw your blue eyes cry and I held your face in my hand
And then I fell down yelling “Make it go away!”
Just make a smile come back and shine just like it used to be
And then she whispered “How can you do this to me?”
Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you
Hate me in ways
Yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you
And so here I was, trying to write my damned chapter, and all I could think of us how angry these two songs were making me. Mind you, I paid for ‘em, and they are fine tunes. But in our contemporary culture, the last thing we need is more celebration of male weakness!
I admit that as I age, I’ve grown less and less interested in what’s on the pop charts. I flip through radio stations from time to time, and the Blunt and Blue October songs are two that have caught my ear in recent weeks. But am I wrong in saying that in recent years, we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of what my be called “I’m such a hopeless piece of shit” music?
Read more here.