When I’m in the privacy of my own home, scrolling because I’m bored:
When I’m in a class where people are behind me and can see what I’m looking at:
When I was younger I used to hear it on classic rock stations and it was a pretty good song. Then, at some point between 5th and 6th grade, I started going to events with DJs, or at least a playlist and speakers, and those DJs would invariably play it. When the first few piano notes rung out, people would lose their shit. I mean, the thousands of girls who screamed upon seeing the Beatles could have took a lesson from the people in the room when “Don’t Stop Believing” came on over the speakers. I have seen people injure themselves trying to get to the dance floor when this song comes on.
And I’m always like “why?!” The melody is simple, and constructed to sound like an epic but relatable ballad that comments on the human condition, but if you look at the lyrics they make no fucking sense. Seemingly, almost no two uses of a pronoun refer to the same person. It’s built to sound like a ballad, but there is no story. You never find out what happens to the “small-town girl” and the “city boy” referred to in the opening lines. Every verse introduces a new set of characters as if it’s the beginning of a story but you never hear the end of those stories.
The fact is, it’s not a good song. It’s not a terrible song, it’s just mediocre. It’s an okay song that would be okay to hear on the radio once in a while. I hate it because people go crazy over it as if JESUS THE CHRIST was singing a duet with THE GODDAMN BATMAN while JAMES BOND 007 played guitar. I hate it because when I say I don’t like that song, I suddenly get attacked as if I just casually mentioned that there is no better fourth of July snack than barbecued puppy face.
That’s why it drives me crazy that people use that Family Guy episode where they sing it as an example of how awesome the song is. That scene was putting into animation exactly what I’m saying in this post. People come into the bar off the streets just because they hear amateurs singing the song. A funeral group drops their father’s casket down a fight of stone stairs because the song is so “Kick-ass,” and the only person left to mourn him is his wife, who, when she stops crying long enough to hear the song, she completely forgets her husband’s recently desecrated corpse and joins everyone in listening. People are so obsessed with the song that it seems to supersede their personal relationships, and, in fact, their love of the song seems to supersede their very personality itself. Saying you don’t like a relatively mediocre song should not be fighting words.
So next time someone gets mad at me for hating that song, I’ll reply with a simple question: “What’s the song about?” If they can provide me with a satisfactory answer, then I will concede the argument and listen to the rest of the song without complaint. However, I will not accept answers that prove my point, and these include generic imagery and cliches.
I don’t find it clever when people make the connection between “Dexter” and “Dexter’s Lab.” YES THEY ARE BOTH LAB GEEKS WITH THE UNLIKELY NAME OF DEXTER. WE GET IT. IT’S THE JOKE EVERYONE MAKES WHEN I TELL THEM I WATCH DEXTER.
Yes. Dexter of “Dexter’s Lab” had the uncommon name first. However, the roots of the name are so much deeper on Dexter Morgan’s name. Dexter’s Lab uses the name because it’s stereotypically geeky (see: Poindexter). Dexter Morgan’s name is more complex than that.
Many people know the meaning of “sinister” as “evil,” but it gets its roots from biblical latin. See, it’s believed that before he fell from grace, the Devil supposedly sat at God’s left hand. This is why “sinister” has the dual meaning of “evil” and “to the left, to the left.” (The “evil” connotation came hundreds of years before the “left-handed” connotation, not the other way around, and it is almost exclusively used that way. I don’t want to get attacked for using “sinister” to mean “evil” even though that’s the original meaning, as ridiculous as that sounds). So, basically, “Sinister” is latin for “evil,” but most people don’t know that there is an opposite. Christ sat at the right hand of God in the seat “Dextera Domini.” So “Dexter” is deeply rooted in Latin Messianic imagery, playing on a level of Irony by giving a clearly sinister character a name that means the OPPOSITE of “sinister,” while also playing on the fact that Dexter is a “good” monster, killing only other killers.
Don’t get me wrong. I love “Dexter’s Lab.” It’s a part of my childhood that I will always cherish. However, making a joke (especially if it’s a visual joke which took some time to make) where the entire punchline is that they are both named “Dexter” is like that episode of the Office where Kevin tries to make fun of Oscar by dubbing his voice over video of the Count from Sesame Street because Oscar’s an accountant and the Count loves numbers. There are so many jokes you COULD have spent that time and energy making, but instead you went with the most obvious one. It’s like, way to go, Bart, you FINALLY noticed that Ms. Crabapple’s name is spelled like “Ms. Crab-Apple.”
tl;dr, I’m not impressed by the dozens of images I’ve seen that mash up Dexter Morgan and Dexter’s Lab. I wasn’t impressed with them when I saw them five years ago and I’m still not impressed with the new ones I keep seeing today.