Lauren Rabaino

After persistent badgering from a friend, which resulted in me insulting her intelligence, I attended Cal Poly’s barn dance this past Friday as an apology. I decided I’d come with an open mind, because a major personality flaw of mine is that I hate everything by default. You see, I have that hard, chitinous exterior shell that every teenage romantic comedy tells me women love to crack, except that before it gets so much as breathed upon, I insult the woman’s musical taste.

The life of being an indie music nut is a lonely life. It is a life of constant negativity. Half of the time you spend your life trying to prove your indie cred to your close friends by pretending to like bands you’ve never heard of and wearing shirts with witty slogans on them, while the rest of the time you spend fortifying your elitist castle by pretending to like bands nobody else has heard of while wearing shirts with witty slogans on them.

It sounds bad, and it is, but once you get into it, it’s the greatest thing in the world. Yes, I am aware that sounds like the explanation I gave my therapist when she asked me why I started ecstasy. And yes, I am aware that it sounds like the explanation I gave my psychoanalyst when he asked me why I became a serial arsonist. But those incidents are far behind me.

And I wish, I wish I could be a member of a much more social music scene. I admire my friends who can go to The Grad every week to line dance. So when my friend offered for me to come to Cal Poly’s barn dance, I refused, because I knew I’d be obligated to kill myself if I heard the words “pick,” “up,” and “truck” used more than five times in one night. I just didn’t want to sour the night for the rest of the attendees. I later accepted because Christian morality forced me to come along as an act of goodwill and friendship. This led me to the conclusion that God wants me dead.

Well, if I had to go, I was going to go out the way they do in Texas. I put on my plaid shirt, rolled up the sleeves, squeezed into my tightest pair of jeans, strapped myself into my belt with the most obnoxious buckle I could find, and stuck on some leather shoes with decorative tassels for good measure.

“Maybe this won’t be that bad,” I thought. “Even if this goes against everything indie about you, the horizontally-striped shirts, the oddly-designed shoes, the general dissatisfaction with everyone’s iPod library, maybe you’ll find some cultural value in the country rock scene.”

One of the first songs they played at the Barn Dance was “Wild Wild West” by Will Frickin’ Smith. So while I tried painfully to mimic the dance steps around me, and while there wasn’t a single “truck” mentioned in the lyrics, I began to search the feet of those around me to see who was wearing the pointiest heels for me to jump under at a moment’s notice. And then, when I started to figure out what everyone was doing, I started to have fun. I was bad, mind you, so bad that if the Butterfly Effect is true, I’m sure my dance steps caused an orphanage in Eastern Europe to collapse on top of a children’s hospital on top of a Baby Animal Zoo.

The night went on, and I didn’t stay for the whole thing, because I remembered I still had to write this pointless article before my deadline. But where in my Ego Bubble of Indie Culture I had been alone, in that auditorium with all those other dancing, laughing, fun, polite people, I learned what life might have been like if I had been born with poorer musical taste, bad grammar, and lower an intelligence: utterly fantastic. However, I suppose that, except for small excursions such as this, I am doomed to a life of boredom with popular culture, and apathy toward all human beings.

So now, only feeling worse about myself for attending the Barn Dance, I suppose the only good thing that came of it was that I wasn’t struck down by God. Phew, that’s a re-

At this point, James Koman was crushed under his own roof, caused by Hillary Clinton breaking into a smile 3,000 miles away.

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