There's a great song called "Spilt Needles" on The Shins' latest album, "Wincing The Night Away." I'd never really listened to The Shins before, but I really like the album and that song, which says this in a couple places:
"It's like I'm perched on the handlebars/of a blind man's bike"
That section of the song always kind of gave me the stomach, if you know what I mean. I felt something emotional and deep when it got that part--the song just sound cool, the melody for those lyrics is moving yet controlled, etc.
But as I walked around singing it to myself, it occurred to me--this lyric doesn't really make much literal sense, yet I like it very much. I mean, why would a blind person have a bike?
I suppose in general, blind people don't have bikes just like they don't have cars. I tried to think of situations in which blind people might have bikes and came up with the following (hat tip to my man Mik Davis for a couple of these):
1. Someone blinded later in life
2. An exercise, or stationary bike
3. A blind person who uses echolocation to get around
Anyway, while any of those is a likely explanation for why a blind person might have a bike, I think most people would agree that blind people, while possibly owning bikes, don't generally ride them.
The hypocrisy of personal taste
And that's what struck me about The Shins' lyrics--they don't really make any sense.
In fact, if those same lyrics were in a song I didn't like, I would use them as an argument against the song. I'd say something like, "Yeah, that song sucks--I mean, even the lyrics have something about a 'blind man's bike' or some nonsense--it's just weak writing, man. Blind people don't have bikes."
But since I like the song a lot, I not only excuse what common sense tells me are not great lyrics, I try to make them make sense. You know, like write an entire blog entry about them citing certain conditions under which blind people might have bikes. Now why someone might get on the handlebars, I have no idea.
I guess it's just the hypocrisy of personal taste.