A couple years ago, the old jukebox at Pinkie Masters was replaced with a new-fangled internet jukebox. While part of me believes that a jukebox should only contain music that fits the atmosphere of its surroundings, deep down I'm still torn on how I feel about this new invention.
Last night, Pat, Chris and I witnessed just how powerful this device can be. Immediately after our arrival, I head no music playing. I couldn't believe my luck, there was no queue of songs waiting to be played, so I knew my selection would be played immediately. Being the considerate bar citizen that I am, and not to mention brimming with Christmas cheer, I fed the machine a dollar and gladly spent the two credits to download and play O Tannenbaum by the Vince Guaraldi Trio from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Toes tapped, heads bobbed, and we all enjoyed the fun Christmasey selection.
Towards the end of the song, this degenerate lowlife with greasy long hair, drainpipe jeans and a general bad attitude stepped up. I peered over his shoulder and watched him make his selections. My prejudice was confirmed. The following 20 minutes were nearly unbearable as this jackass proceeded to play some obscure David Bowie song (Wow, he likes Bowie. He's so hip.), three songs by Queens of the Stone Age (Wow, he's so underground.), and then he had the nerve to play something from Outkast (Wow, he likes hip hop. He's so down with the streets.)
What the hell was this guy's problem? What made him think that anyone wanted to hear any of that?
I had to respond. I fed a few more dollars into the machine and made my picks. What followed was a torrent of love, positive energy, and all around Christmas revelry as the sounds of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Marvin Gaye and the like filled Pinkie's. People drank and danced and I was happy.
Last night taught me the most important thing about the internet jukebox. It's not good or evil, it exists on its own. The internet jukebox is like fire. When handled cautiously, it can give you light and keep you warm. When handled wrecklessly, it can kill you.