Monday, 10 June 2013

Non-Car Post - In Which I Complain About Complaining

Depending on who you ask, we've got a hell of a lot to forget from this era...
So I follow a music page on Facetube. To be honest, I've nearly un-followed it several times, partly because it reposts everything it does at least once in the space of 6 hours (what, because people aren't going to scroll down?), but also because it posts stuff that I'm frankly sick and tired of.

One of them pertains to this welcome image they posted, an antithesis to what they normally do: whinging on about music not being as good as it was and all music today being worse and bad and wrong. Bullshit. Utter, utter arse gravy. First of all, pop music (as a genre, which it is) isn't aimed at people over 20, so people over 20 bitching that they don't like it is neither surprising or meaningful in any way. It's perhaps fair to say that there's more manufactured pop now than there was thanks to "talent" shows and whatnot, but that phenomenon has existed since the '60s, possibly even earlier. It will also continue to exist forever.

Fair enough, you can tell when a song or band has been "designed" rather than simply written, by which I mean it's just meant to be catchy and instantly relatable rather than being created just for the love of making music, and because this is what Twilight does it's perfectly OK to hate it "on principle". It is NOT okay to hate on it out loud all the time, because it just gets tedious. Do you know what else will exist forever? Good music! Music written by people you've likely never heard of that's everything you're looking for and/or more. Just because it's had to move over for the bigger selection of pop stars we have nowadays, or it's on a different chart to the one you used to look at - if you still look to charts for music - doesn't mean it's stopped existing.

The second thing they do is closely related to the first, and that's continually bash pop stars (you know the ones, Bieber, Gaga, Minaj, 1Direction and so on). Again, because of what they represent it's reasonable to hate them. But if you hate them and their music so much, do you know what you can do? IGNORE THEM. Don't listen to their songs. Don't read stuff about them. If their songs are always on the radio, change the bloody radio station! What are you doing listening to Radio 1 or whichever popular music station if you don't like pop music? There are plenty of more appropriate ones for you out there, and if you just can't be arsed to go and look for them, then you're caught between a rock and a lazy place.

Many people transitioning from pop of their time to "proper" music as they enter their teens or 20s begin to feel alienated by the new generation of pop and start to call them plastic talentless fakers, but I bet those people listened to quite a few people in their own period who could be equally slated. I mean come on, you think boybands and pop singers from the '90s are really any different? The only true difference between pop then and now, arguably, is you. Just leave pop music behind and don't look back unless you're piss drunk at a party and your old pop jam comes on the stereo. Also, it's very easy to assume that pop singers only sound good after heavy studio editing, but you may be surprised if you ever hear them singing something a little different - sure, that time Lady Gaga sang something live and pared-back and it sounded like she'd been electrocuted halfway through was comically awful, but I stumbled across a cover of an old country song by a former pop princess and it was decidedly not-terrible IMO. Not the greatest version of it I'm guessing, but still.

Anyway, my point is that there is no point. No point in hating so relentlessly on new music and pop music. If you've got a child between 5 and 12 who's into all that then you're excused, but nobody else is. This rant has ended up much longer than I was planning, and it can mostly be summed up in three words that need to be drilled into millions of people's heads for hundreds of related and unrelated reasons:


I did. I don't watch sparkly singing/dancing contests or listen to BBC Radio 1 or really have anything much to do with pop. Actually, TBH, I do still think those things about pop music, but I've accepted it and moved on, unlike some people on and off the internet. This FB page occasionally throws up funny stuff in among all the tedious, fruitless moaning, which is why it's still in my feed. But the same is true of other things, like car design and motor racing. It isn't like it was in the 60s/70s/80s/90s because it isn't the 60s/70s/80s/90s any more. The world has moved on for both better and worse. If you haven't and it bothers you then that's your problem for wearing rose-tinted glasses and hating change, and just because you only/mostly remember the good stuff from the past, doesn't mean there wasn't plenty of shit back then as well.

Or maybe I just hate hearing/reading the same complaints about something (even F1 tyres and fewer manual gearboxes) over and over and over again.

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