Music: "Overjoyed" by Matchbox Twenty

My iPod has thrust this one forward a few times over the past couple days, and it's been growing on me. I have to say, I didn't much like it when I first heard it—or saw it, rather, since the first time I heard the song was when the band was promoting that little video for it, the one that was really just half a video played backward and then forward. I didn't like it. The video or the song, it's difficult to tell now because they were so entwined in my mind. I just walked away from the the whole experience with "Do. Not. Want."

And then I didn't hear the song again until a couple days ago because I listen to my iPod more than my satellite radio, and my iPod is on shuffle, and it sort of decides what I need to hear and when. It's actually remarkably good at this. I'm worried my iPhone and/or Siri is sentient in there . . . But I digress. The past two or three days, "Overjoyed" has been a favorite of my iPod, and without the stupid video, I find it to be a pretty good song. Is that weird?

Science has shown that we think in words and pictures. This is why we like charts and graphs and maps of the weather and such. When watching a video, our brains work to combine what we're hearing with what we're seeing. If there is some kind of dissonance, our minds either work to understand or reject it all. Which of these options our brains opt for depends largely on how important the outcome is to our survival, or whether we're motivated by anticipated rewards. "If I understand this chart, I will know how to do my work better, which means more money and a promotion." Since a Matchbox Twenty video had zero bearing on my existence, my brain rejected it and the song because, for me (and these things, as in "the arts," are very subjective) there was an internal discord. I understood the video, of course, but found it unpleasant for some reason. I'm sure it would take a psychologist to figure out why, but that's neither here nor there. The point is, later, in the absence of the visuals, when I was able to simply listen to the song—its music and lyrics—I enjoyed it. Go figure.

I'm sure this has worked in reverse, too. Some people hate a song until they see a cool video. Or love a song until they see a really awful video. Brains are funny places, and yet we all must live inside them to some extent. We are ever building them out, like some Winchester Mansion. Except some people don't, I guess. Some people's minds remain closed. I like to think I'm not one of these, and since I've found I can change my mind about a song, well, at least that's something. A tiny window thrown open. Fresh air let in.

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