Never quite got around to finishing these, so some choice heds and grafs. Enjoy.
Bob Dylan’s Top 10 Spotify Streams are a Disservice
“There is a lot to unpack here. Where to start? How about the lights-out composite of favorite songs from Burning Man attendees. Or that it includes every tab found in the backpack of “white, aging DNC protestor with guitar.” Terrible. Then strip away the cut from an album that isn’t canon with any of the other 36 that Dylan’s put out, ditch another from a soundtrack, and everything left still has enough finger-picking to sound like a 50 year old folk festival. This is incredible! We gotta work through this and fix it.
[on “Like a Rolling Stone”]
...I mean, of course. That rimshot alone is like the Bat Signal for retired music critics. That it’s high time to dust off the ol’ Olivettis and get to work on something Very Important but no one should read. I.e., here’s Springsteen: “…sounded like somebody’d kicked open the door to your mind.” Jesus Bruce, it’s a fucking drum. Whenever these types are right it’s a drag, but “Like a Rolling Stone” is absolutely a can’t-miss. It’s vague yet eminently relatable, and completely, well, electric (sorry, sorry, I’m trying to remove it).”
Stop Paying College Coaches
“Brick by fastidious brick, those profiting from the shrine of amateurism are building it up taller and taller when they say stupid shit like UGA coach Mike Richt:
I don’t think we can get into pay for play because if we do then they’re not amateur athletes anymore.
Yeah, that’s a great reason. “If we take people who are treated one way and treat them a different way, then they won’t get treated like the first way anymore.” Got it. Here’s Jim “Early-Onset Alzheimer’s” Boeheim:
I don’t believe players should be paid. I think they’re getting a tremendous opportunity. If they’re really good, they get to develop. They get the opportunity to play in the NBA. They make a lot of money or they play in Europe and make a good amount of money.
He’s right. As a value proposition, athletes do get a fantastic opportunity. 256 guys a year are drafted to the NFL from the NCAA, a sport that, by the way, “employs” nearly twenty eight thousand in Division 1 alone. Put differently, 27,744 players do not make it to the NFL – yet apparently had all of the same opportunities as the guys who did. Sure Jim, whatever helps you sleep at night. And since this part is where he would chime in on those 27,744 with some stupid garbage like “love of the game,” then pardon me for interrupting, but if this bullshit sanctimony is so important he needs to give up his salary or shut the fuck up.”
(OK, I might finish this one at some point.)
Stop Submitting Your Music for Grammy Consideration
“How can the Grammys rectify this? Start simple: provide a full list of voters and fully transparent voting for all four of the major categories. A tiny shred of accountability is a good start. If a voter is afraid of populist backlash, then congratulations, you are part of the problem. Immediately surrender your vote. For those sanctimoniously clamoring at the integrity of the voting, let me ask you: WHAT INTEGRITY OF THE VOTING?!?! Whatever arcane process this is gets nothing right, and is either poorly reflective of the music-consuming public, or is built on a cross-section of “peers” that’s worse than the makeup of a 1950’s jury in the Deep South. The sooner people understand that zero fucking percent of the Grammys is worth saving, the better. Burn it all down.
I wanted to find the right thing to convince apologists of such blatant racism of how far absolutely none of this has progressed, so I stumbled on this quote about 30 seconds of digging:
...the filthy scum of white society, who have stolen from us a complexion denied them by nature, in which to make money, and pander to the corrupt taste of their white fellow citizens.
- Frederick Douglass, on minstrel shows.”
(OK, I’ll probably get a chance to finish this one next year.)
“Intersectionality” is Bullshit
“There’s no need to digest “All Lives Matter,” the aped retort to “Black Lives Matter” that does nothing but strip autonomy from a group of people merely asking to not be shot. As a philosophical construct, “ALM” is a form of humanism: all people have the agency and ability to overcome adversity. Humanism is thoroughly refuted as a political notion – poor people don’t want to be poor, practitioners of the Muslim faith don’t want to be kicked down the stairs, etc. – but “ALM” is particularly nauseating because it attempts to distill humanity to unity. We are all people, therefore we are all the same, and all problems are human problems. There is no sense of magnitude or impact. Which is, of course, is utter bullshit.
On the other end of the political spectrum is intersectionality. The tl;dr tenets of intersectionality amount to: hierarchies of power and privilege apply to a composite of identities from non-binary spectrums in gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, etc., and not to the identities on each spectrum individually. I.e., if you look at cisgender white women, black women, and black men, in addition to the inequalities of being black and women, there’s a whole different set of inequalities that affect only black women. The composite identities of two individuals will never be the same. But if extant power structures are to be eradicated at the roots, identification and uniform solidarity in addressing all sources of injustice is more important than establishing their magnitude and impact. There is no agency or priority in solidarity, inequality is a systemic human problem, and so long as it exists, we are all affected. And now – somehow – we’re now right back where we started.”
That was fun.