“we’re indoctrinating ourselves with our own views”
life truly is about the moments that make us stop what we’re doing and say whoa (shout to black rob). like witnessing a 12-year-old girl aggressively scratch her vagina on national television whilst spelling “neurotic” (i was at the live taping of spelling night in canada). the one that yielded this quote came from the philly free library podcast i was listening to this morning discussing eli pariser‘s the filter bubble. it’s all about how the specialization of the internet by google and facebook et al. is putting a cap on the learning that is possible for us because it’s only steering us towards people/robots that think and search exactly like we do. i was thinking about how i could put this into my arsenal to argue further with the customer that complains about the “freeloaders” at the library, because the physical presence of searchers and materials that you may not know you’re looking for is a valuable experience. it is because of the recent strike that my home branch put out everyone else’s dvds that had been returned there so that we could have access to some different collections and enjoy the longer return date. it is because of that that i saw the whistleblower (dir. larysa kondracki) a necessary film about the UN’s complicity in human trafficking rings that is also absolutely sensationalist for its extreme focus on rape and murder (no, i am not immune-even after all these years). it is the reason that i got back in touch with one of my old women’s studies profs on the west coast. here’s the tie to this book:
“Now it’s not a game of hearing the right records, it’s hearing the leak the fastest. Music websites report on leaks-and they still don’t cover them fast enough ‘cause Twitter people cover the leaks. When Animal Collective’s last album leaked a month ago, everyone was talking about it. So when the reviews came a month later, it was completely pointless. All that a music review does now is reinforce the opinion that somebody already has. And it’s not like music writing on the Internet is especially interesting or good or insightful or worth reading. People have this open maw, this endless abyss and they just write for 3,000 words. And if it doesn’t fit into 140 characters it’s not worth saying. We don’t need 3000 words of twaddle on a record. Sometimes it requires less and editors aren’t there copy-checking it.
So, one of the unfortunate side effects of the lack of critic culture is that people are getting more stratified and separated in their listening habits. If you read Spin or Rolling Stone in ’96, you’d get an article on Nine Inch Nails, an article on Chemical Brothers, an article on Snoop Dogg. And the internet doesn’t work that way. If you’re into rap, you go to rap twitters. If you’re into metal, you got to metal twitters. Bands build audiences for themselves, you just follow the bands you like. You don’t stumble across this stuff. And that’s a problem. It’s harder to get exposed to stuff that’s not in your comfort zone. I have friends that are so deep into indie rock that they don’t know what the fuck Katy Perry is, or Lady Gaga. And these are the most ubiquitous songs in the country. Number one on Billboard for 14 weeks: ‘I don’t know what it is.’
So guys like me, the eclectic music dorks, we’re all looking for new careers because people are going to be the hip-hop expert, the African music expert, the reggaeton expert. And that dude [BusinessWeek.com editor-in-chief] John Byrne was up here saying that Twitter makes it easy to find stuff that pertains to you. And he thinks that’s awesome. That’s the fucking problem. I can always learn about stuff that’s important to me-that’s easy. I want to learn about stuff that isn’t important to me. I want to be exposed to things.
Crowdsourcing killed punk rock. Hands down. Crowdsourcing kills art. Crowdsourcing killed indie rock. It’s bullshit. You wanna know why? Because crowds have terrible taste. People have awful taste. Once people start talking about indie rock on the Internet, it’s all this music that rises to the middle. This boring, bland, white-people guitar music. It fucking sucks! I hate it! This NPR bullshit. And NPR is forced to write about it over and over again because it’s the ‘link economy’ and people are gonna click on it if it says ‘Fleet Foxes.’ Well, Fleet Foxes fucking sucks. It’s not the music that’s the best, it’s the music that the most people can stand. The music that most people can listen to. If you let the people decide then nothing truly adventurous ever gets out, and that’s a problem.” (57, Twitter & The Death of Rock Criticism, Christopher R. Weingarten)
speaking of punk rock-george is looking rested and relaxed in my hometown. bigups to narai for opening one of the shows. the audience turnout/studio setup is quite a bit different from when i first met him all those years ago at the firehall in the downtown eastside.