Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 year anniversary of "'My Sacrifice' Evasion"

Taking a quick break from actual work before this thought escapes me... I suddenly had an intense flashing recollection of all this stuff within the space of about 2 minutes... And just now realizing that this experiment probably concluded about 10 years ago.

The initiation and evolution of this experiment would probably be best explained through a quick timeline of events:

October 2001: "My Sacrifice" debuts on radio and MTV 10/15/01, according to Wikicreedia. Creed was ubiquitous at this point, and "My Sacrifice" was the lead single following a huge blockbuster album. (Human Clay is apparently the 8th biggest album of the past 20 years, released during the era when CD's from N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, Eminem, Britney Spears or Limp Bizkit commonly went platinum in less than a week.)

Mid-November 2001: People were talking about this song, although I still hadn't heard it. My friends were mostly into emo or indie. My sister was into dancey stuff and rap... I didn't know anyone in real life who took Creed seriously, and I considered the ubiquity of their biggest songs to be torturous, seemingly following me wherever I traveled, regardless as to whether I actually wanted to hear these songs or not.

However, "My Sacrifice" was an interesting case... It occurred to me I had seen the video on MTV many times with the sound off (because I got into the habit of leaving on MTV2 and turning down the volume while reading), but I hadn't actually heard it. Considering the odds against receiving any sincere enjoyment from the new Creed single, I decided that I didn't want to hear it, while recognizing its ubiquity, probably rendering complete evasion as somewhat difficult. Regardless, I made a decision, and I was gonna stick to it.

Early-December 2001: Things got off to a decent start. As long as I continued attending class and being a loser as usual, I had no real opportunity to bump into this monster. If it started getting played on the radio, I would quickly change the station in a panic, and then a moment later, everything would be ok. One of my friends in Hoveral warned me that it was an earworm. If it got caught, it was gonna stick.

Early-January 2002: Whatever the first Sunday of 2002 was... Laying on a couch, on the verge of dozing during Adult Swim, when suddenly they played the WWE commercial which "My Sacrifice" was licensed to appear. After about 4 seconds, I sprung up and yelled "NOOOOOOO!" grabbed a couch cushion and pressed it onto my ear as hard as I could. I instinctively hummed "Everlong" by Foo Fighters to try drowning it out completely.

25 seconds later, the commercial had ended, but the damage had been done. It wasn't like hearing the first 4 seconds of the intro on the radio... The start of the commercial jumps right into the chorus... "I am something.. i am FREEEEE.." That's the only part I could remember, but still... I wanted to remain ignorant. You can't unlearn something once it's there.

Mid-January 2002: I went to a bar with 2 friends. I didn't realize it was playing, but one of my friends was like "this is it Mike," because they knew I was trying to avoid it, so I did my best to inconspicuously put my hands over my ears and hum "Everlong" to myself without anyone noticing.

February 2002: By this point, it wasn't only getting played on K-Rock... Top 40 stations had picked it up, and to make matters worse, they shortened the song to have a different introduction. This was getting tough.

This may have been around the time radio started spinning that other Creed song that's like "hold me down, cos I'm six feet from the beer and I'm thinkin maybe six feet aint so far down." I didn't want to accidentally hear "My Sacrifice" while thinking that it was this song, so I decided to avoid both.

March 2002: My sister thought it would be funny to sing the chorus into my answering machine just to piss me off, so when I checked my messages, there it was. Now thanks to her, the entire chorus was brainlodged. "when youre with me, i am freeee, i am hairless, i belieeevve..." There's probably more to the chorus after this part.

April 2002: Another friend sang the song into my answering machine... However, it was more drunken and not as decipherable as my sister's message. I was not amused.

June 2002: My first summer working at the carnival... The mullet guy who ran one of the rides got to choose the music to play throughout the entire area through a loud PA system. And he often selected the types of classic rock stations that rotated horrible new-rock singles such as "My Sacrifice" or like 3 Doors Down or whatever. I yelled "CHANGE THE STATION" from the top of the slide several times with my hands pressed into my ears. The request was not granted.

August 2002: It played again while I was operating one of the little kid rides... This was NOT easy, but I managed to hum "Everlong" to myself loud enough with one hand over one of my ears to mostly avoid the song's main hooks.

December 2002: Creed-mania continues... There were 3 other singles from this album. I think one of them had a video where they were CGI cartoons. A 4th or 5th single was released that a friend asked me to listen to, and so I obliged cos I was told it was funny: "Children, don't stop dancing, believe you can fliiieiii, awayy, awayyyyy." All of their songs are funny when you can hear them on your own terms.

Someone sang "My Sacrifice" at karaoke. I saw the song's title on the TV screen before it started up.. I quickly left the bar and took a 5 minute walk.

By the time 2003 was over and done with, a friend made me watch the other video with the sound turned on... "six feet from the reer" .. I forget what it's called. I think he was possibly annoyed with my experiment and wanted me to enjoy it as a joke.

When we did the first Lowt Ide album, we recorded a "reer" song and I was asked to play guitar on it... I found out months later that it was a cover of "My Sacrifice," which was titled "My Sack." So I ended up becoming familiar with the verse hook, as sung by Lowt Ide. "Drinkin beer is not quite clear / drinkin beer is not quite clear / when you're passed out on the stage."

In conclusion, yes I succeeded in avoiding "My Sacrifice," but I looked like an idiot in the process, because I was mostly trying to avoid it in public. I ended up becoming familiar with at least 2 of the song's hooks... My perception is that Lowt Ide's hook is the verse, and the chorus is what my sister sang on my answering machine. I recall asking friends, "does he actually sing the words "my sacrifice" in the song?" and they responded, "yeah he sings it like 50 times." So I'm assuming there's some sort of outro where he sings this phrase over and over again. And I clearly have vivid memories of several instances of almost-hearing this song, which is the exact opposite of what I was hoping to achieve through evasion.

So ultimately, I've been defeated by Creed, instead of being de-Creed'd.


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