My sister posts a question of the day over at The Personal News Network. Today she asked about dream jobs. As in, "What's your dream job?" I have always maintained that working with Ira Glass in any capacity on This American Life would be my dream job.
But today as I answered her question I had an epiphany: My dream job is to manage the Celebrity Playlists on iTunes. That's what I want to do.
Perusing the lists is always informative. I can tell who I like and who I don't like based on their list. We don't have to have the same taste in music (although it helps) but they do have to have some integrity. Take John Mellencamp's list, for example: Joni Mitchell, Donovan, Rod Stewart--he's telling the truth. He doesn't care if liking Donovan makes him seem old. And when he says he likes Lou Reed, you know he really does. John Mellencamp is cool. He would be on my playlist AND I'd like to hang out with him.
Then you have Rick Springfield's playlist which is basically an apology for being a pop star in the 80s: Nina Simone? Ri-hight. And of course Radiohead! Any mention of Radiohead automatically ups your coolness factor. I'm sorry to break it to you, Rick, but guess who Thom Yorke didn't mention in his playlist? (Unsurprisingly, Yorke's playlist has a bunch of weird shiz no one has ever heard of.) Embrace your past, Rick. You were awesome and have aged remarkably well. Quit trying to impress Thom Yorke because it's never going to happen.
If you don't want to get tears in your eyes and feel amazing pity for Bob Saget then DO NOT look at his playlist. Seriously guys, it's so sad. He mentions Radiohead as #1. And he chose Creep (the only song by Radiohead that everyone knows) and, here comes the saddest part--he chose the explicit version. If that doesn't make you sad, imagine your mom saying she likes a song with swear words in it to try and fit in with teenagers and you'll have some idea. Bob Saget also likes explicit songs by Kanye West, the Beastie Boys, and Green Day whom he claims to "worship." Bob! You make lots of money being your dorky self on Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos. Everybody loves you--including Mary Kate and Ashley. You have nothing to prove. He should have been true to himself and stopped after Don Henley. I believe he really likes Don Henley. And, dudes, there's nothing wrong with Don Henley.
Jessica Simpson surprised me with her unabashed promotion of all things country. Good for her. And Tori Spelling touts her corny taste for loves songs and 80s music. Good for her too! I would buy Tori's playlist and I commend her for listing songs she really likes: Sister Christian, True Colors, Sweet Child o' Mine. I never thought I'd say this, but Bob Saget could take a page from Tori's book. We all could.
One of my favorite playlists is that of Jimmy Kimmel. I've never seen his show but I know that he and I could build a relationship based on our mutual love for Neil Diamond. His pick? Heartlight. What a gutsy choice! Gutsier still is that he leads off his playlist with Huey Lews and the News and Do You Believe in Love. Jimmie Kimmel is cool.
According to the copy that accompanies his playlist, he agonized over his choices. I would love to have been there to talk him through it. When he writes, "There are a hundred great Springsteen songs, many better and deeper than this one, but this is a personal favorite," about Man's Job I know Thunder Road was nagging at him. Because it's better. But his integrity could not be removed from him and he stuck with Man's Job. That's good. That was the right thing to do. I really love Secret Garden, too (even though I know Thunder Road is better).
I think Brad Meltzer sums up my feelings best--both for playlists in general and for Secret Garden specifically with, "Let me be honest here. Every single person who does one of these lists is trying to look cooler than they are. I'm trying as I type this (failed again). But I'm also being honest. There are some songs that get to me. And I kinda hate that this was in Jerry Maguire, therefore ruining my ability to say I loved it first. . . But I did."
I didn't even know who Brad Meltzer was before today. I sensed that we were simpatico through his playlist before I even googled him. Turns out, he's the author of Justice League of America. Zoo-Wee Mama! I told you I could tell. I'm off to his website to bid in an auction to save the house where Siegel and Shuster created Superman. It's my new pet cause! This should be my job.