Oh, come on Tumblr, you don’t honestly think that people will uninstall Missing e because they feel sorry for your developers and support team, do you?
- me: SAD PIZZA
- John: it's like, off brand totinos
- it was all they had at the bodega
- me: i want to be Totino'd
- John: new single from the stone doughroses
- me: thinking of blogging that
- SHOULD I
- John: sure
As is the constantly reoccurring theme in my life (and I’m sure many others’), I haven’t learned my lesson from the other day. I clicked onto a blog entry on the local paper’s website about some local rapper’s new video (“I’m So Indie” is the name of the song, NO COMMENT) and, lo and behold, it got me all riled up and upset like it did two days ago. The exact same feeling. Almost the exact same complaint as well. A local music writer feels the need to: a) be condescending to hip-hop culture as if rap is a new thing that only the youngs listen to (“Speaking of which: I hear the youths love the rapping music.”), and b) play the “I’m so old and out of touch with pop culture!” card (“And having the finger on the pulse of today’s teenager popular culture (it’s racing a little from all of that Jolt Cola and Jos. Louis they so love while they’re hanging around the video arcades and playing Frogger), it behooves me to be dropping some knowledge on them (my hands are a little sweaty) about a new video that has just surfaced on the Internet YouTubes”), which, I don’t know whether he’s pretending to or not for writing tone, but at this point, I don’t give a fuck. To paraphrase something Christian once said, no one is impressed or pities you for your lack of pop culture knowledge. Especially if your writing is supposed to specialize in that very topic — so stop using that fucking angle. Please.
It brings me to the next two points. One. Are all your local papers’ music coverage this pitiful too (this is especially pointed at those of you who live in smaller cities - like not New York or Los Angeles)? Or is it just my city’s? And if yes, is it even worth complaining about? Or should we only complain about music writing when it’s in the NYT or _______ _______? I don’t know. My second point is that I hate that my only output these days is complaining rather than producing some music writing of my own if only just to counter this lazy-ass, pathetic shit that my city calls music coverage but hell, I haven’t had much desire to write about music in a long time and if reading this kind of mediocrity doesn’t get me going, I don’t know what will.
How does someone write something like the above and not instantly age 20 years? Even me, as the reader, I could feel a grey hair or two poking out of my head as I read the above. I mean, FUCK. THIS. SHIT. Why do I read music coverage in local papers anyway? When they’re not masturbatorily waxing eloquent about Adele with their non-thoughts (writing so vapid that it either makes me want to work harder or not at all when it comes to my own writing), they’re writing this old-white-dude-baiting bullshit about how rap was better back in the day because they need their music’s societal context to be spoonfed to them.
Why should I fucking trust a word you write about rap music? You otherize hip-hop culture like you’re one of those tourists who go to a third-world country to gawk at the poverty and make yourself feel better and more “worldly” (“a spotlight on the news from the street”? AHHHHH). This writer’s reference points are either dead or aren’t heard from unless they need a quote to appeal to people like the person who wrote the above, someone who probably listens to one rap album every five years, when it gets accolades from the Mercury Awards people and whose description sounds like something straight from Def Jux’s “satirical” Party Fun Action Committee album.
I’m at a Denny’s right now (don’t ask) and a transgendered person just walked in and is now seated a few tables away from me. It got me thinking about how we associate the different environments we go about in our day-to-day life with where we lie on the political/social/economic spectrum. I’m under no illusion that I’m usually sheltered and live a fairly myopic lifestyle. The places I go, whether it’s the venues I go to see shows, the bars I go to have a drink, or, hell, the community radio station where I do my show every two weeks, serve a very specific type of clientele, especially in the grand view of the many types of people there are in the first-world society that I’m in. When I step into these places, I’m more or less with like-minded people. That is, left-wing, progressive, open-minded folk. That is what I’d like to think we are.
But yet, when I think about it, in the years that I’ve been involved in these spaces, physical and otherwise, rarely do I see something so incongruent. I’d never expect to see, say, someone straight from the club with bottle service or whatever (sorry, I don’t go to these places so I’m just going off my pop culture-mediated knowledge of these places) at a rock show I’m at. And like that person straight from the club, I just realized that I’ve never seen a trans individual in these places I am a semi-regular at (it may also be because of my city’s harsh anti-progressive social climate). Which is sad, because I now realize that “indie rock” culture (whatever that entails in 2011), with its roots in punk and DIY and all that, is not and will never be as inclusive as it claims to be. It’s a fairly obvious statement, in retrospect, and I’m sorry that it took me seeing a transgendered individual in a space as unremarkable as a Denny’s restaurant for me to realize this.
Chinese food is the most preferred meal among those of you who are without family during this holiday season, which is when I get into the concept of cultural exchange, since yours truly is a Chinese guy who spent his Christmas morning alone, eating pancakes.
Yeah, one or more of you will have to explain to me Jon Caramanica’s piece about “social-minded hip-hop making a comeback”. It’s a piece in which Caramanica, a guy whose writing about rap I usually enjoy, all but brings out the “c” word (no, not Common, “conscious”), and makes me remember why I began dismissing and loathing anything that was remotely branded with that term - which is a lot of what is probably quality rap, I know. It’s not really even the condescension that the term connotes, it’s the ignorance. Even that, Caramanica’s piece is two pages of “these guys don’t rap about the bling bling, durrr!”, unless anyone convinces me otherwise. And then, funny thing, he ends it with “all politics is personal”, which leads me to believe that he “gets” it, so why did he write the goddamn thing in the first place?