The Cranberries


That’s my old apartment on Ponce De Leon in the first panel, just like in The Day Pekar Died. That’s the place I fought the crazy man; you can see the scar on my face in the punch panel, where my glasses sank into my cheek. That’s why you’re not supposed to hit a guy with glasses. I have a “disfiguring injury” to remember my assailant by, and the right side of my face droops slightly more than the left. That’s what I get for “foighting”.

“Linger” played often in the shopping mall where I worked. OFTEN. Dolores O’Riordan’s vocal harmonies were airy and pretty, and the song was overall light and harmless. It wasn’t rigid and awful, like “Sail Away” and “Orinoco Flow” by the abysmal Enya, which were federally mandated to be played thrice an hour in places of meeting until 1997. Enya abused reverb so flagrantly on her voice, her music sounded like the droning hum of a jet engine in the cavernous shopping center.

Even worse than Enya, but considered the same loose “genre”, was a “band” called “Enigma”. Again, two monstrously shitty songs were in heavy rotation on the mall P.A.: the awkward and pretentious “Sadeness Pt. 1”, and the truly awful “Return To Innocence”. The latter used a sample of two Ami tribesmen from Taiwan, without credit, and Enigma was sued. Considering that “Return To Innocence” is nothing but Michael Cretu’s wife dully reciting vocals without that Ami chant, Enigma sure seems like a big bunch of assholes.

All this, plus “Celtic Woman” and the pygmy samples of Deep Forest, is indicative of the “safe ethnicity” trend of the mid-90s. Audiences loved Dolores on “Linger”, but when she got angry and Oirish on “Zombie”, they turned on her. White frat boys loved Hootie & The Blowfish, because it had a black man singing about racism, thereby granting extra sensitivity points in the pursuit of white pussy. Everclear made it okay to “walk with pride with a black girlfriend”. Safe ethnicity, otherwise known as “tokenism”.

Here’s the deal. If you like music for reasons outside of the music itself; to impress a mate, to appear politically superior, to affect a posture; you risk totally resenting that music. Frank Zappa hated love songs, because he believed they caused mental illness, by creating a situation in the listener’s mind that will never exist for them in reality. He felt that people who grew up listening to “love songs” will go through life feeling as though they’ve been cheated out of something.

He was right. They do. Haven’t you felt that way?

Music is universal and can be appreciated without understanding language. That’s why it’s written in “Standard Musical Notation”. Countless singers have recorded material in which they didn’t truly believe, and if you look, they’re the ones who fade away rather than burn out. They put on dark glasses and sink into the background, never grasping why they were forsaken. They play the victim in tabloids to stay remembered. They never get the fact that they’re supposed to be creating, until it’s too late, and they’ve become a performing monkey behind a microphone. They look at their audience like a beggar looks at a millionaire, not the reverse.

In 2014, Dolores O’Riordan was arrested for assaulting a female crew member (we used to say “stewardess”) on an Aer Lingus (hee hee) flight from New York to Ireland. She head-butted the arresting officer and was removed from the plane at Shannon Airport, in mid-west Ireland.

That is legitimately the most Irish thing I’ve ever written on this site. The only possible way it could be more Irish was if O’Riordan used a shillelagh or a leprechaun as a weapon. On St. Patrick’s Day.

I might have faked liking The Cranberries to appease a former wife, but The Cranberries never faked their Irish.

I'm betting even more attractive when angry and head-butting.

I’m betting even more attractive when angry and head-butting.

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