The Best We Have to Offer

By Devin Morse, Esteemed Satirist

After a hard day’s work, it’s only fair that I treat myself to the best our great nation has to offer. So tonight, I’m going to pick up a six-pack of Bud Light, eat a big bag of McDonald’s, and listen to Katy Perry’s hit song “E.T.” until my face bleeds.
That Katy Perry is just so hot right now, isn’t she?
In case you haven’t heard her newest track, I’ll give you a quick rundown. I’ll admit I’m not completely sure I grasp the meaning, but I’ve got a pretty good handle. The premise seems to be Katy Perry (intergalactic prostitute with a heart of gold) and Kanye West (universal douche) trying to drug and date rape an alien investment broker in a complicated scheme to win back the naming rights to a dog-racing track on their home planet of Beta Nine. At least, that’s what I seem to get out of it…The video really fills in a lot of these details.
Either way, the content is surely top-notch. It’s Katy Perry’s sound, however – that synthetic, regurgitated, greasy rhythm – that just can’t keep me away. She might be my new favorite star. I like her music almost as much, if not more, than I like my favorite food and beverage. Come to think of it, if a person were to ask me what Katy Perry’s music sounds like, I would tell them to imagine the taste of a McDonald’s hamburger being washed down with a Bud Light.
How could life get any better? I’ve got my watery beer, my flavorless food, and my inert music. Ah…the wonders of modern America.
But there are always haters.
Apparently, there is a rather large group of Americans that view brewing beer, cooking food, and especially writing music, as an art (apparently pronounced:“ärt”).     These stupid hippies are stuck on the idea that, if you use skill and imagination, the things you create can have a meaning beyond basic superficial sensory stimulation.
Yeah… okay… sure… I think you’ve had enough, Starglow Dayflower. Put down the pipe dream, and watch capitalism in action.
Who are these people trying to kid? Americans don’t want art, we want products. We want beer that gets us drunk. We want food that makes us full. We want music that will make us cool and trendy – that will somehow get us laid. Why buy a fancy-schmantzy burger, when the cheaper, tasteless version gets you just as full?
I find that I look for the same qualities in my music that I look for in my food. I just love it when songs come packaged the way Katy Perry’s do: hermetically-sealed, “fun-sized” little bits – complete with twist-off caps, easy-tear corners, and a disposable pretense. Her personal trainer hasn’t hurt things, either. Obviously, I’m not alone in this thought.
Just take a look at the Billboard Top 100 list and tell me it doesn’t read an awful lot like the McDonald’s value menu. To name the top three artists: Katy Perry (featuring Kanye West), Rihanna, and The Black Eyed Peas. Why, yes, I suppose the Black Eyed Peas are the Big N’ Tasties of the music industry (although the cases of uncontrollable diarrhea have yet to surface).
The point is that regarding music as art just takes so much listening and appreciation. These activities are an affront to our basic American sensibilities. Musical complexity and sophistication are foreign flavors, and we hate them in the same way we hate blue cheese, liver pâté, and olive tapenade. We don’t want to understand the intricacies of jazz, soul, or classical music. We don’t want meaning; we just want to grab whatever is convenient at the drive-through window.
You’ve surely already guessed that the whole bit I started off with – the bit about Katy Perry and Kanye West date-raping an alien ­– was untrue. In reality, I’m pretty sure that song has little meaning, and probably even less musical value. Who cares? The fact is that, much like my six pack of Bud Light, and my bag of McDonald’s, a marketing team somewhere was kind enough to put Katy Perry on my plate before I ever got hungry for anything else; thus, saving me the task of choosing what type of music to consume.
This, my friend, is our glorious American heritage – the summation of our capitalism. Our era’s greatest legacy will be the embrace of mediocrity across the board. History will remember the Greeks for philosophy, the Romans for government and science, and American marketing executives for figuring out how to water down art until it appeals to the greatest market share.
With this in mind, it seems that Bud Light, McDonald’s hamburgers, and Katy Perry are the greatest achievements of our time – simply the best America has to offer.