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Dull days of summer

May 25, 2012
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

According to professional calenderologists the upcoming Memorial Day weekend is heralded as the beginning of summer.

I don't know if that means the Earth is in the proper place in its orbit to be called summer or if advertisers just decided to unleash their new, brilliant methods to try and get me to buy a bigger grill.

The one I?have right now can cook half a side of beef at once; just how many friends do they think I have?

I think summer doesn't begin with a calender date; rather summer starts after all of the signs have been met.

Superfluous road construction: Check.

Kids riding bikes everywhere, all the time, no matter what day of the week it is: check.

Spontaneous, seemingly endless garage sales dotting the cityscape: double check.

If you didn't sell everything in the first two days why are you still holding the sale? What could possibly be left that is pushing this piece of neighborhood commerce into a third day? Did you not accept any of the initial offers for the Van Gogh? Did that Bugatti not sell on day one?

But the key to the summer festivities is still missing; the ubiquitous and often grating song that will soon be dubbed "the summer anthem."

Fantastic. Now we can all get together and agree on which droning pop song we will christen with the official chant of summer "Yeah, it was good when it came out, but now it's overplayed."

No, it wasn't good when it came out. Overplaying something bad until people begrudgingly agree it's good isn't marketing, it's brainwashing.

Past holders of this most coveted title include "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry, "I Gotta Feeling"? by the Black Eyed Pees and "Confession Part II" by Usher.

Does it have to be like this? Are we so conditioned as to inexorably link bad music with high humidity? Isn't there another way?

If you've read the news lately you may be familiar with this new concept of other countries existing in the world. Maybe one of these foreign powers has something we can import, since the quality of American music seems to be approaching terminal velocity.

With a little help from our good friends at Google I found a list of top 40 songs from around the world. Oh, the chance to explore the musical efforts from distant lands; what must our ancestors think? To listen to the rhythms of peoples we will never know, their musicians born on soil our feet will never touch. What an age we live in!

And the number one song from the ancient land of India is ... "I Know You Want Me" by Pitbull.

You guys make 700 movies a year but your music industry is topped by a third rate rapper that spends the majority of the time reciting an elementary bilingual counting lesson in a song with all the depth and meaning of an episode of "The Jerry Springer Show."

Think its just India? The number one song in Bulgaria: "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye.

Argentina: "I Can Only Imagine" by David Guetta and Chris Brown.

And from our friends in Germany: "Too Close" by Alex Clare, also known as "The Song From Those New Internet Explorer Commercials."

If more of this is what I have to look forward to in a summer anthem then count me out; somebody wake me in the fall.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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