Turn Down For What? Because We all Can’t Be “Winners”

The day Mark Foster wrote the 2010 hipster hit, Pumped Up Kicks he actually wanted to go to the beach.  He was sitting in the studio on a beautiful day struggling between what is all too familiar to many writers: Inspiration and Perspiration. “I was a block away from the beach, and it was a beautiful day. I kind of just wanted to just be lazy and go hang out at the beach or whatever. But I just forced myself to write a song… By that time the next day, the song was finished.”  Foster didn’t know at the time that by putting Columbine to a catchy beat, a song that he didn’t even feel like writing would eventually spend eight consecutive weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 and snag Foster the People a Grammy nomination for best performance by a Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

I fell in love with Pumped Up Kicks last year when Pandora randomly played it on my Neon Trees channel.  I was late as usual, long after the hipsters had moved on to the next abstract indie song.  I was uncomfortable with the idea that I was bobbing my head to a song that is virtually about popular kids dodging bullets from the kid in class who sniffs Sharpies so I decided to look up the meaning behind it.  Mark Foster’s philosophy completely changed my approach to blogging because I kept thinking that the one blog I abandoned and decided not to write because I’d rather spend my day browsing MediaTakeOut could be the blog that gets me a million hits. It could be the blog that changes my writing career.  And I always figured that’s how that moment would happen:  It wouldn’t be the blog where I talk about empowering our youth or reproductive justice . It will be the blog I write about Dwyane Wade making babies on a break that gets me noticed. The one I didn’t even want to write.


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