“I Can Hear a Rapist”

I used to work in this dance club, for a while, cooking in the kitchen. It was a Brothers, actually, a chain with which some of you Midwesterners might be familiar. 

So I’d have to work the closing shift, usually, which meant hanging out there until after two in the morning, catering to any drunken muncher and their nonsensical cravings. And I’d hear and see a lot, in the process, which, even for how annoying the music usually was, could make it kind of entertaining. One time I was way back in the dish pit, so I couldn’t even see out in the dining room, and I heard this dude yell “Fu**!” as loud as he could. And I figured it was just another fight. So then I go back up on the line and I hear the same dude, and he’s over there playing the Golden Tee golf arcade game. 

People in my town can be kind of hard so I liked when Thanksgiving rolled around and there were a few more friendly, affable smiles when I’d be waiting to get into the bathroom. Sometimes I could just tell the people who didn’t live in South Bend permanently. 

This one utterance, though, one time, definitely wasn’t from one of these types. So the typical song in Brothers would have a techno beat but would fuse with a pop element of singing about drunk driving and/or screwing. We’d hear Taylor Swift a little bit by day but by nighttime it was like fu**ing music, like DJ Snake and more intense stuff. Once in a while, though, their music interface had the tendency to lighten up and play something like a pop song. One time it was “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker, which was certainly quirky enough. 

And another song they’d play occasionally, which differed from the median in that it didn’t sound it was meant for doing coke and playing human bumper cars to, was “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus. I actually hadn’t heard this song until I started at Brothers and immediately I noticed it to kind of go against the grain by actually being uplifting and denoting a legitimate human predicament that average, guileless or interoverted people could relate to. Basically, the song entails a mental struggle Cyrus was having which involved anxiety of having to return to America and do a show. She eventually comes to the denouement of “And a Jay-Z song was on… You know it’s gonna be ok / Yeah / There’s a party in the U.S.A.”. And I imagine most of you are familiar with this song by now but it’s really a pretty passable tune — her voice sounds really gorgeous and it’s really original and catchy. 

Like I said, it’s impossible to overstate how much it stood out in that Brothers zeitgeist for actually being digestible and relatable. So my faith in humanity plunged a little deeper than ever, I guess, when I heard this one dude say, “This is the worst song POSSIBLE.” He was with a buddy or two and they were going to the bathroom, dressed in really nondescript clothing, really blending in, not really standing out in any way. And this is the way of wolves in sheep’s clothing. They don’t express themselves and they object to instances of other people expressing themselves, particularly women. They don’t want women to have structure. They don’t want women to respect anything in society because such an antidote will make it that much less likely that they’ll drink too much and get on the dance floor, hawking on to the nearest guy who’s not displaying any quirks or unique characteristics. If life gets blind and brutal enough, then even the escapes can be of clearly degraded moral quality, and will be accepted just for the sheer fact of them being escapes from everyday life. “Party in the U.S.A.” actually represented something real, an authentic human narrative, the type of thing that people can relate to and that can give them hope, a way out of the downward spiral of overworked lifestyle and blurring toxins. And puerile, slimy men will always resent this type of thing because it deprives them of their carnal, repugnant and criminal objectives.