'in you're opinion', he replied.
oh, it was my opinion, was it?
he's tries to be a Good Guy. in doing so, as he told me, he insists on always adding 'in my opinion' having expressed one.
you'll have seen 'IMO' crop up in online discussions. some people feel the need...as if to clarify that they're not speaking on behalf of their mother...or David Cameron...
so we talked about Taste, what's Good & Bad and more to the point, what it means to express an opinion about Art & Music, specifically.
in his quest to always be Good he explained that he sees one side, then the other, and always reminds himself of the Third Way, the liberal recognition that there must be some middle ground and that there is always another view. and that one should recognise the validity of the other view. he said my kind of attitude was dangerous and lead to wars. I reminded him that I'm incapable of actually starting a war. I went on to say one has to have beliefs, to be passionate about something, even though I'm not sure that being passionate about Music is worthwhile at the end of the day. come sundown, the idiots will still be buying Miley Cyrus' music.
to say that most people like shit music isn't true, of course. who are 'most people' anyway? the majority? what does The Majority buy?
the best-selling albums of 2013:
1 OUR VERSION OF EVENTS - EMELI SANDE
2 TO BE LOVED - MICHAEL BUBLE
3 LES MISERABLES MOTION PICTURE CAST RECORDING
4 UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX - BRUNO MARS
5 TIME - ROD STEWART
6 JAKE BUGG - JAKE BUGG
7 AM - ARCTIC MONKEYS
8 BAD BLOOD - BASTILLE
9 RANDOM ACCESS MEMORIES - DAFT PUNK
10 BABEL - MUMFORD & SONS
if I listened to them all, would I conclude that 'shit' is a proper description? if so, why? just because none of them sound remotely like my selection of the year?
I'm currently listening to The Hafler Trio. almost everyone who bought one or more of the above albums would think The Hafler Trio makes shit music.
where does that leave us?
old saying: you're either part of the problem or part of the solution.
I don't waste time getting angry about what Mr & Mrs People like, music-wise. it's not as if you could join a party to fight against it.
LJ's brother cites the Net and all the wonders it contains. in reply, I say that people are still drawn to shit like flies. it doesn't matter what's theoretically on offer. people are still cloth-eared. still programmed by mainstream media to gleefully ingest utter shit. and enjoy it. what do all those online avenues do to change that? nothing. except, occasionally, someone will discover life beyond the mainstream, by chance. more often than not, an idiot will pipe up in YouTube Comments to voice their incomprehension when chancing across music which doesn't conform to The Rules.
yes, most of us enjoy aspects of The Rules, such as rhythm, melody, harmony. would you trust someone who only listened to the likes of The Hafler Trio? I'd steer clear, if only because I don't approve of such limitations. and they'd laugh at my Disco records.
less is more. less radio channels meant John Peel was essential. it also meant that good things got played in the daytime on Radio One. sometimes. less TV meant that BBC2 would show foreign films. there were intelligent documentaries and important plays. even the idiots would watch some of them, having so little choice. perhaps a few had their heads turned, their minds opened up a little.
today, look at all the channels! wonderful! we can choose to watch a greater variety of shit than ever before! wall-to-wall shit with no fear of accidentally coming across a programme that requires a little intelligence. hurrah! it's cosy and secure in the self-made ghetto. there are real people doing stupid things...ordinary people, glamorous people, famous people! thank the god of entertainment for creating the technology that enables us to fill our evenings with Easy Viewing. tv can't get dumb enough for me. why? because it makes me feel smart. that's how bad things have got.
'your view of the world isn't the world,' says LJ's brother. no. it's my world. and how else do we live if not through our own ears and eyes? which is not to advocate total selfishness, of course. coming from the side of the tracks that I do I can understand prole behaviour, for instance. I'll never understand what its like to be born middle-class, though, despite having known a few of their number. well, I've wanted to discuss Sartre or Sun Ra occasionally, so give me a break. it's not going to happen on one of the local housing estates. I tried once. I put leaflets in the entrances of the tower blocks saying 'Join my discussion group down the -------- -------- pub. All classes accepted, even yours. Subjects will range from the ongoing influence of Dada in Art to the significance of file-sharing in post-modernist electronic music. See you there!' no takers.
we all believe we're right in our judgements. the point is that I know I am. except when, as as happened just once in a while, I say something's shit then enjoy it years later.
I jest. I am deadly serious. like Duchamp, I may contradict myself 'in order to avoid conforming to my own taste'. so excuse me whilst I go play a Mantovani album...