Do you hear what I hear?

So, last night was the Grammy Awards show — I was looking forward to seeing the performances because Mike and I had really enjoyed last year’s show and hoped for the same “wow factor” this year. Sadly, the evening was rather overshadowed by Whitney Houston’s death, which preoccupied much of the evening. (With no mention of how she had destroyed her life with drugs and alcohol — no cautionary tales or “just say no” messages, which is too bad.) But we thought some of the performances were fantastic — Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars, Jennifer Hudson, and especially Adele all stood out for me. We missed the last few acts, though, because The Walking Dead (could be a band name, but no, a series about a zombie apocalypse, which also sounds like it could be a band) reappeared and I didn’t want to miss the second showing of the new episode at 11:00.

This morning I surfed a bit to see what I had missed (turns out it was Nicki Minaj — who gave a bizarre and Catholic-offensive performance from what I read — and Paul McCartney singing Beatles tunes, which I’m SO sorry I missed). Anyway, what puzzled me most were the comments I read about the performances I had seen that left me wondering if we were watching the same show.

People hate Adele? Really? I guess not everyone likes a blues-y voice or non-rock music (or non-classical, non-jazz, or non-whatever-genre-she’s-not-that-they-like). And they thought her voice was obviously not recovered from her vocal chord surgery? Really? I don’t get what there was to criticize about her performance. Do they think live performances are supposed to sound exactly like the CD (even though hers, amazingly, pretty much did)? They thought Jennifer Hudson was “OK” in her Whitney tribute (“I will always love you”), but obviously holding back? Holding back? Good Lord, you mean she can sing even better than she did? No, she’s not Whitney Houston…but she did that song proud. (Although, I agreed with commenters who said it would have been better to have Dolly Parton sing it.)

You had people questioning the Beach Boys tribute…why Coldplay was there when they are “obviously” so unexciting and overrated…who’s Glen Campbell?…why can’t that lead singer of Foo Fighters even sing?…gosh, doesn’t that Bruno Mars get annoying?…and why the heck is there even a Grammy’s show to begin with? Why do those people need another narcissistic awards show so they can celebrate themselves?

For everything I liked, and everything I didn’t like, there were comments from those who felt completely the opposite.

And, that’s why I read comments.

Because it’s so easy to believe that your perception is the “only” perception and the “right” perception. That people must hear and see and think the same as you, because, well, it’s just so obvious. How could you not agree?

From politics to TV shows to movies to books (Amazon reviews) to climate change to fracking to music — we all have our own perceptions and preferences. I watch Fox because their spin on things generally agrees with mine; others watch CNN or MSNBC because they like that spin; others watch Colbert (and think it’s a news show) because they like his spin. It’s all got spin, even though, to fans, it’s simply and so obviously “the truth.”

More and more, I think the truth about anything more than indisputable facts (along the lines of “the earth revolves around the sun”) seems to be completely based on how you spin it.

But, I will say, to those of you who don’t like Adele or thought Jennifer Hudson gave a so-so performance: You’re just wrong.

There is no truth. There is only perception.
~ Gustave Flaubert