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Satire | Pitt student distraught after realizing his music taste is terrible

After a long week of classes and extracurriculars, many Pitt students find great enjoyment in partying over the weekend. Everyone has their own reason for going out, but most agree that no party is complete without good music. 

Unfortunately for one Pitt student, the last house party he attended in South Oakland revealed that his music taste is really awful.

Jackson Miller, a junior liberal arts major, never understood just how repulsive his taste in music was until the host of the party he attended offered him the aux cord. Just halfway into the first song, the other partygoers collectively swarmed Miller and forcefully ejected him from the house, locking the door behind them. Miller has not attended a party since, mainly out of fear that his phone might accidentally connect to a Bluetooth speaker.

After spending a few months under the radar, Miller responded to my email asking to conduct an interview. He claims the time away has given him a chance to reflect, and he is now finally ready to share his story. 

A transcript of the interview follows.

Thomas Riley: What led you to play the music in the first place? Was it peer pressure? Too much alcohol?

Jackson Miller: Neither. I was simply blinded by my own hubris. I thought, “I enjoy these songs. I’m sure everyone else here will love them.” How foolish — how naive. Looking back, it’s almost laughable to remember how I once thought I had good music taste.

But, to answer your question, I genuinely wanted to share my music with the other people at the party. I wish I could blame it on the alcohol or my friends, but I have to take responsibility for this one. 

TR: That’s very mature of you. Would you be willing to share how that night went down? All the information we have is from rumors and conjecture.

JM: I’ll do my best. The people deserve to know the truth.

A guy in one of my classes was the host of the party. We don’t know each other that well, but I suppose he trusted me enough to let me play something. I queued one of the songs I was really jamming to and eagerly waited for it to start. When it did, the whole world slowed down.

They seemed into it at first. But then again, they always seem into it at first. People nodded their heads with an almost intrigued look on their faces… until the vocals came in, and I knew all was lost. 

I heard someone from another room say, “Oh, nah,” and right then the floodgates opened. I tried my best to stay calm. One guy yelled, “Yo, what the f—k is this?” The girl he was with must have seen me sweating because she pointed in my direction and, through a stifled laugh, said, “Did you put this on?”

TR: Man, no coming back from that.

JM: They were like vultures. Suddenly, 30 pairs of eyes stared me down, their rageful silence only broken by the poorly mixed bridge of the song I had queued. 

Still, I tried to play it off. “Yeah, what? Whose song is this?” I asked, searching for an easy target. Before I could identify some nerd to throw under the bus, the host — the one who originally gave me the aux — outed me to everyone.

TR: Oh my god. That’s some Judas level betrayal.

JM: Well, I guess it’s no wonder his name was Benedict Arnold.

TR: Really?

JM: I don’t know. Probably not. That would be weird.

Anyway, after that, they all turned on me. I tried every trick in the book to plead my case. I told them that it was a misclick; that it was a different song with the same name; that the host doesn’t have Spotify Premium, so when I tried to play the right song, it just shuffled some stupid playlist.

None of them bought it. They all surrounded me and threw me into the street. Behind the locked door, I heard them immediately switch the music back to Kanye West. Admittedly, it was much better than my song.

TR: Would you be willing to share what your song was?

JM: Honestly, I would rather keep that to myself. It’s still a touchy subject, and besides, I’ve learned that it’s best to keep my music taste private now. 

Every day on my way to class, I walk in perpetual fear that someone might stop me and ask what I’m listening to. Even with my closest friends, I get flashbacks whenever somebody asks about song recommendations. 

TR: That seems very stressful. How have you come to terms with realizing just how reprehensible your taste in music is?

JM: It’s all about acceptance. Humility and shame are key components of living life when you enjoy such lousy music. I understand that I can still listen to the songs I like as long as I avoid any and all conversations centered around music. Spotify Wrapped season is fast approaching, and I’ve already begun practicing ways to omit myself from the conversation. Worst comes to worst, I’ll just tell them I use Apple Music.

The last few months have not been easy. That party in South O was my rock bottom, but day by day, I’m learning to accept the depravity of the music I listen to. If I could give words of advice to anyone else who has been ostracized for their bad taste in music, it would be that it does get better. 

Not the music taste, though. That just keeps getting worse.

Thomas Riley primarily writes social satire and stories about politics and philosophy. Write to them at tjr83@pitt.edu  

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