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The veteran drinker Kingsley Amis didn’t like the advent of music in England’s pubs. I think he made some good points, especially this one:

If you dislike what is being played, you use up energy and patience in the attempt to ignore it; if you like it, you will want to listen to it and not to talk or be talked to, not to do what you came to the pub largely to do.

It kind of reminds me of my trips to the Hillcrest Lounge with my Dad when I first moved back to my hometown. I couldn’t really afford to drink at a bar, so Mel would buy far more than his fair share of rounds, but he’d ask me to make sure I won the jukebox wars: pump $5 at a time in the box, in hopes of beating the heavy metal rockers in the bar who wanted a lot of Metallica and Megadeath. For the most part, I succeeded, mostly by reckless monetary policy, but also by trying to select songs that wouldn’t force the rockers to “use up energy and patience in the attempt to ignore” my selections. If I picked Connie Francis and Beach Boys, I could try their patience and pry their quarters from their hands. If I picked Bob Seger and Lynyrd Skynyrd, they were usually placated.


  1. MikeL
  2. Eric