Monday, September 26, 2011

Shiny, happy. People.

Last week one of my favorite all time groups announced a break-up.

REM's music is the soundtrack to the movie montage of the teenage me, the early twenties me. I was part of a group of students that lobbied to have "The End of the World as We Know It" as our senior song. It didn't fly, but we did learn all of the lyrics.

Years back Michael Stipe said his only regret musically was the song "Shiny Happy People". It was a huge hit and he felt like it didn't reflect the real sound of the group. I have to agree, not so much shiny happy in their music. At the time, I wasn't crazy about the song either.

It is hard to imagine that the members of REM aren't a group anymore. Couldn't they have just gone on without the announcement? No pressure to produce, guys, just keep existing. Because the announcement changes things for me, as if somehow when the possibility of REM still existed, the possibility of a younger me did too.

And now.

Though I will say this for middle age (gah), I do find it easier to relate to the shiny happy. It used to be hard to be an optimist, and now I find that the more I've been through, the less I think any of it is really a big deal. There is always something to look forward to. I've been asking around and it turns out that I am not alone in this being happier as you get older thing.

I wonder how Stipe feels about the song now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, me likes getting older. Perspective. :) e