Monday, February 28, 2005

Another disturbing trend


Today I got a real cool Firefox extension called StumbleUpon. It basically gives you a new toolbar with a thumbs-up and thumbs-down icon which lets you decide whether or not you like the site you are currently looking at. Based upon your choices, combined with your predefined set of preferences and the choices of other users, you will be taken to a site that the extension thinks you will probably like by pressing the "Stumble" button. Overall, very cool. I've discovered a bunch of new stuff this way. However, while using my Stumble button today, I stumbled upon an article at Jaguaro.org entitled "One Hundred Albums you should Remove From your Collection Immediately." Let me provide for you just a few quotes from the article:
This project marks the first time Jaguaro.org is giving back to the community -- something we intend to do a lot of. We would like to offer you and the rest of the world nothing more than the gift of good taste, which some people can feel threatened by.

Hardly. Here's some more:
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Trout Mask Replica
If an untruth gets repeated enough, it takes on the appearance of fact. I'm tired of reading about this cacophonous, arrhythmic "masterpiece." Now's the time to rescind Don Van Vliet's "genius" status by eighty-sixing this.


Typical uninformed fear response - hate what you don't understand. There's more:

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
You fantasize that your friends come over and admire you for having this album don't you? Yeah, too bad you can't fucking stand this shrill, rambling, incoherent mess. Oh, and if you've got The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions, you should probably just give it up and sell your entire collection, you poser.


I've never purchased a CD for the purpose of hoping that people admire me when looking at my collection. If that were my motive, I'd own far more Sex Pistols CD's than the zero I currently own. Isn't it interesting that the writer approaches the subject of owning a CD with the implied motive that such a purchase is done for some sort of lifestyle motive, rather than an appreciation of the arts and e desire to expand the boundaries of one's own understanding? This, again, goes back to my previous post about the function of music - to plastic filler for pre-teens and nostalgia catalyst, add status enhancer.

Some of the others to make Jaguaro's list of CDs they take offense at (and yes the use the word "offended"):
#1 The Clash - Combat Rock
#5
The Beatles - Let It Be
#10
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
#21
Derek and the Dominoes - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
#34
Dave Brubeck - Time Out
#37
John Coltrane - Giant Steps
#38
Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention - We're Only In It For The Money


I could go on and on, but before I heap too much ire at this one online publication, I think it is important to realize that this is no isolated incident. I think it is a positive trend that the definition of what is mainstream continues to expand. However, the parallel trend to spew this uniformed vitriolic derision at what falls outside of the accepted norm is an unfortunate development - as it only serves for the eventual re-homoginization of our culture back into a couple of predictable, easy to formulate trends - just perfect for the "corporate media" so many of these ignorant indy-rock spitheads hate so much.


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