This made me think of what it would be like if Amanda Marcotte from Pandagon had a slightly better sense of humor. I stole the post title from a thread I saw some months back where someone called her that – the only other part I remember was one of her own comments, where she (apparently in complete earnest) argued that schlocky art corroded the mind, spirit, whatever, in the same way that junk food affects the body. Spoken like a true straight-edge militant. She has the kind of grim Puritan zeal about attacking artists she considers impure that most people outgrow once they leave high school, but since she refers to herself in an ironic, self-aware way as an “Insufferable Music Snob”, I guess that makes it okay. Or something.
Shit-talking is fine if done with a sly wink and a smile; with the understanding that ultimately, whatever moves you for whatever reason is fine with me. I good-naturedly tease friends about music taste sometimes, but I’d have to have a major thorny stick up my ass to make a sustained effort to try and convince them to stop listening to an artist I hate or to start looking down on them for musical incorrectness. When you find yourself seriously trying to argue that some artist is harmful to impressionable minds, it’s time to calm the fuck down, shut the fuck up and stop taking yourself so seriously. What makes the music snobs so tiresome is their myopic inability to understand that other people approach from different vantage points and take different things away from a song (or any work of art, for that matter). I don’t listen to bands to receive philosophical or moral instruction; I listen to them because I like the way their music makes me feel. If the lyricist happens to be really inventive and thought-provoking (Beck, Neil Fallon from Clutch, Andrew Wood from Mother Love Bone), so much the better. Mark Sandman of Morphine was a goddamned genius and created some of the most original, hauntingly beautiful music ever, but his lyrics were pretty ordinary; I don’t think I can come up with any that I would bother quoting. I also listen to some cheesy pop because the melody is pretty and prompts me to daydreaming. It doesn’t suddenly make my IQ drop fifteen points and inspire me to go buy framed pictures by Thomas Kinkade.
Rosenbaum said it in a funny way, but really – he hates the guy’s music so much he went out and bought a greatest hits compilation (rather than, say, downloading songs off of LimeWire) just to, um, figure out why he hates it so much? Riiiight. And Ted Haggard was just delving deep into the sordid homosexual lifestyle in order to better understand how Satan could tempt people away from God. Sounds like someone has himself so indoctrinated with ideas of what he is allowed to like as an intelligent, culturally educated man that he can’t just enjoy a melody even if the lyrics are insipid. This kind of rigid insecurity is really fucking sad, that people like this are so fragile they fear being changed for the worse by a song, movie or a painting.