Wednesday, August 25, 2004

So yeah, why does Jim DeRogatis get me all edgy?

Michael Daddino's excellent review of Kill Your Idols for the Seattle Weekly ends with a biggie: In spite of his intentions, for DeRogatis the rock and roll canon is a closed system, and in his attempts to escape it, the more he struggles, the more he strangles. The guy is a classic example of the loudmouthed "rebel" who doesn't realize how conservative, knee-jerk and close-minded he is. There's endless examples of him claiming that he's down for debate, that he wants to smash the system, yadda yadda, but I've rarely read someone who is more dismissive of things outside his realm of personal pleasure for the most superficial, unthoughtful, pompous reasons. There's nothing wrong with having a limited locus of interest or liking something because it reminds you the shit that moved you in high school, just be SELF-AWARE about it.

A big fault of mine is that I get resentful towards people who remind me of embarassing attitudes and ideas I had in the past (you'd think I'd be more sympathetic but no). When DeRogatis throws up straw-man arguments about the "rock critic elite" or rips on fans for not sharing his rockist values and basically does all the shit that got me branded a "music nazi" in high school, I get angry and flabbergasted that somebody who's had a decade more on this planet pulls this kind of shit. What can you say about a guy whose most hailed work is a debate with Stephan Jenkins (a debate which he only won because the 3EB frontman announced that they were "as DIY as Fugazi" - this is like winning a sprint because the other guy had a stroke two thirds of the way through, folks)? What can you say about a guy who claims to celebrate the "Dionysian" values of Lester Bangs but also writes an article in Salon about how Britney Spears should be a better role model for his daughter?

There's countless quotes I could share that give me little aneurysms, but basically if you remind me of a jealous high schooler who doesn't realize how received his "wild card" perspective is AND of the increasing number of smug older folks I encounter in life who've decided the world has nothing more to teach them (admitting ignorance good, PRIDE in ignorance bad), you're going to rank pretty high on my Shut Up Now Shut Up Now Shut Up Now list.

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