I made a mistake. I should have continued on forever with my Psych degree, because then I could have spent all my time devising, designing, implementing, and synthesizing silly research projects based on regular old common knowledge and/or sense. I could have received a paycheck and the respect of similarly-lazy and useless people such as myself, while feeding the world more Captain Obvious moments, branded by the glittery, sexy, and trusted iron of SCIENCE. I could have been sitting at a table at the commons of a large public university, drinking coffee, absently thumbing through a copy of Scientific American, while conversing with my Psychology Department research team pal, Walter:

Me: So.

Walter: Yeah.

Me: We could run the “sugar makes you hyper” study again.

Walter: No way, Professor Lumpenass disproved that in her study two years ago, and you still have a class to take from her yet.

Me: Damn. Just look at this stuff here: “Is Bad Judgment the Cause and Effect of Adolescent Binge Drinking?” “Why Are We Annoyed by the Sound of Nails on a Chalkboard?” “Severe Sleep Apnea May Bring Greater Risk of Death for Some.” Jesus Christ, I just am having trouble thinking this stupidly, Walter. Help me.

Walter: Is that some kind of insult?

Me: Yes. How about this: “Sarcasm Often Has Truth, Aggression Behind It.”

Walter: Ooh, I like that!

Me: Great. Buy me another coffee.

Walter: ‘K. Sugar?

Me: Depends on what study to believe, Walter.

Walter: Heh heh, yeah.

I got to thinking about dim studies via this article from that bastion of solid journalism, Not that I disagree with what it says: music can make you feel better and has protective benefits to your physical and mental health. DEHHHH! Did someone not know this? Did we really need to hook up a dude to an MRI or something to watch his heart vessels expand while listening to Foghat? No, the entire world has long known that music is one of the best medicines on earth; these guys could have saved the time, effort, and money and run a study on, oh, say, why Republicans are such meanies.

Look at what these interesting and unlazy folks have said over the years about music:

Albert Schweitzer:

Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter -- to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way, as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.

Henry David Thoreau:

When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

A person does not hear sound only through the ears; he hears sound through every pore of his body. It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation; it either wakens or soothes the nervous system. It arouses a person to greater passions or it calms him by bringing him peace. According to the sound and its influence a certain effect is produced. Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance. This shows that the same energy which goes into the form of sound before being visible is absorbed by the physical body. In that way the physical body recuperates and becomes charged with new magnetism.

Berthold Auerbach:

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

William Cowper

There is in souls a sympathy with sounds:
And as the mind is pitch'd the ear is pleased
With melting airs, or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.
How soft the music of those village bells
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet!

Victor Hugo:

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

So, we know. A thousand more studies would only just underline it for us again: MUSIC IS GOOD, AND GOOD FOR YOU. Not all music, however; you have to like it for it to be good for you. This again seems terrifically obvious to me. I can literally feel my blood pressure going up and my stomach clenching and my brain rotting if I am forced to listen to more than a few seconds of some rambling, aimless, detuned jam from the Grateful Dead. Yet there are millions of folks that find the Dead the most pleasant and relaxing musical experience ever, albeit usually enjoyed with a massive bong on the side.

So here I am, unstudied and unpaid, scientifically intuitive and splendidly slothful, enjoying me some seriously open blood vessels. Aaahhh. I think I will see if Victor Hugo wants to grab a coffee.