An anvil to the head

I shouldn’t tell you this – lest it come back to haunt me – but if you really want to piss me off one day, talk to me all about how Leonard Cohen is “music to slit your wrists by.”

It’s exactly the same kind of pissed off I got about five years ago when I’d been hired to play my songs at an indoor market in town.

A gaggle of middle-aged women wearing far too much make-up kept asking me to play something more cheerful. One even came right up to me and said to my face that I was bringing the mood down.

I was far too nice to her. I should have thrown my guitar in her whorish face and stormed off shouting “BUY A FUCKING RADIO THEN” but like a sap I smiled and said “Alright, I’ll see what I can do.”

I was even more disgusted with myself than I was with her.

Anyway, it’s not just that Leonard Cohen had more substance hiding in the shit under his fingernails than anybody Radio 1 has played in the last decade – but he definitely did – it’s everything that “music to slit your wrists by” line stands for. Namely, that music should have to justify its existence. Piss off.

Music doesn’t have to justify its existence to anybody – least of all somebody too simple to enjoy Leonard Cohen. If you’re so unfortunate that you need your music to be cheerful, lively, and upbeat… fine, but you don’t get to spoil the fun for the rest of us.

People who don’t appreciate Leonard Cohen don’t deserve to go through life bitching about him and getting away with it. They deserve to have an anvil dropped on them from a height.

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