PDR: Public Display of Response

The comment sent in by “Rabble” in response to our review of Joanna Newsom:

It’s always funny to me when some 30-something year old who once considered himself cool, realizes he’s behind the game. Rather seek to understand a musician or an “indie” music scene from which he has become out of touch, he chooses a quasi-ironic position of condescension (which i will note, in passing, that the above author doesn’t know how to spell).

One should work out one’s ish on a couch somewhere, paying a therapist to listen to it. Is a critique of Newsom’s whimsy really the best you can muster? People who like her seem cool to you? Surely you can do better than that.

Counter Critic responds:

Dear Retard…

First, thank you for A.) guessing my age correctly to the nearest decade, and B.) assuming that I had at least been in touch with indie music at one point in my life, even though, I assure you, that has never been the case.

Umm, the entire purpose of choosing to write about Newsom was an attempt at “seeking to understand” her music. I devoted four lengthy posts to in-depth analysis of her music and lyrics, and her general context in popular, indie and classical musical cultures. I’m curious to know what other writers out there have spent as many words seriously considering Joanna Newsom’s work as I have. Please let me know. It’s obvious that I have offered more than just a critique of Newsom’s whimsy.

You also seem to affirm that you think I wasn’t cool for not blindly liking her music, claiming that I was “behind the game,” which is precisely the attitude I was frustrated by, and therefore, wrote about. It isn’t enough for me to get behind the work of an artist merely because it seems like the cool thing to do, which, not that it is Ms. Newsom’s fault, happens to be something her music has inspired. In fact, any negative feedback I’ve received from that post has come from those who felt personally offended by my calling them out on getting caught up in the cool, which forces me to believe that I have struck a very real nerve, which actually does make me cool, now that I think about it.

I wasn’t going to post your comment because the tone is so destructive, which is insulting since I put in the effort in the first place to create a constructive, analytical dialog about her work, where no one else was; not even her supporters. In fact, responding to you at all is more than your initial communication deserved. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to berate ignorance in public.

Please keep in mind that to enter a critical conversation requires bringing some kind of substance to the conversation. Pointing out typographical errors is really just a last resort for people who have nothing to contribute.



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