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Is This Music My Friend?
We are the tastemakers, now and forever. The post-liberal order has deified all us consumers, gods of our own making, in every aspect. How often do you examine your taste? Is it right? Is it just? That is the question we are asking whenever we broadcast any sort of media in our spheres, a cacophony of signals and memetics desperately flailing into each other in order to be heard, seen. The rapid ramifications of posting spread far and wide.
Consider Roisin Murphy. She is a TERF, that much is clear even when trying to hamfistedly deny any sort of blatant transphobia that she posted on her Facebook. This all coming in the wake of her new album. Now, I find Hit Parade a pretty banal Starbucks-core nu-disco record, but sure, we can evaluate it on its own merits. Yet the Guardian gave it 5 stars while decrying Murphy’s comments, oh so disgusting and horrific. I mean if Laura Snapes was so aghast, why the fuck did she cover it? And 5 stars too? Are you fucking kidding me? The lack of any sort of spine is appalling, you don’t give a fuck about your name unless there’s an invoice attached.
Pitchfork’s review was even worse though. Not knocking the writing but rather the 8.2 rating attached to it. They wanted to give it Best New Music so bad but after that transphobia, lord knows they couldn’t. So the funniest possible concession was made in order to not look like bigots. “Oh it’s a great record but also don’t support this evil woman!” Pay no fucking attention to the people behind the curtain, we are not paid to have any substantial opinions or takes on someone who certifiably fucking sucks. To the editors: you are cowards.
This gets into a more salient topic: cancellations of live shows based on perceived negative feedback. There have been weird nixes before (see: John Hinckley’s comeback tour and subsequent apologia for booking him, like you weren’t aware of who he is lol?) But it’s been particularly bad recently. Berlin venues removing DJ Assault from their lineups for “political and social views [that] may not coincide in the way we find important” is just hilarious for a man whose most famous track is “Ass N Titties”. Like what did they expect, family-friendly ghettotech? It’s just so inane, management absolutely petrified of any sort of pushback to the point they’ll cancel a show for a perceived outcry. People eager to punch themselves in the face to prove a point.
I’m not a “cancel culture” person at all but there is something so insidious about this gutless trend. Just the other day, Brooklyn venue The Broadway axed a noise cover show over “concerns” about covering Vatican Shadow and Whitehouse. Whose concerns? Did the NYPD step in and warn them about potential fascism occurring in their DIY noise scene? Anything remotely interesting transgressive art is being stifled because the prevailing culture has produced so many corny Bill Maher/Russell Brand “free speech” types that anyone speaking out against this type of cowardice is just seen as an annoying edgelord. Just let the shit stand for itself!
These gestures are simply anti-art, more concerned with appearing correct than actually fostering a good environment for call and response. Everyone is so infantilized, never getting to make any decisions for themselves. GOD I feel like such a scold for this shit but fucking look inward for once!! What the hell do we want as patrons of art and culture?? Every decision-maker just picks the easy way out instead of any sort of hard truth, shielding themselves from criticism like an obstinate feudal lord. Give me the real shit, please.