Khmer Rouge, the leading party in Cambodia from 1971 to 1977, amongst various other crimes, famously persecuted those who wore glasses because they perceived them as intellectuals, and therefore threats to the regime. Rather insensitively, you could say, that if they were really so smart they would have just taken their glasses off.
It’s a bit like that being a music snob. You may well be very clever and know lots about free jazz and delta blues, but it’s not necessarily something you want to openly admit to being in public. In fact it’s the single best way to kill conversations, start arguments, be miserable on nights out, and is generally not a very clever thing to do. Society favours people who smile and dance, not people who sway awkwardly while wishing they were at home listening to Neutral Milk Hotel. It’s a hard knock life for us.
Pitchfork Media, arguably the music influential music website on the entire internet, picked ‘Hold on We’re Going Home’ by Drake as their song of the year. The creator of such sterling poetic couplets such as “I love bad bitches that’s my fuckin problem/And yeah I like to fuck, that’s my fucking problem” Now I’m not saying it’s a bad song. But I don’t however believe that it was best track released anywhere in world over the course of the entire year. However people don’t want to read a list filled of songs that they’ve never heard before and can’t identify with. In journalism, like high school, it’s not cool to be too clever. There is an increasing trend of reverse snobbery in music journalism, and quality experimental works are being side-lined for generally crowd pleasing fluff.
People need to take a stand against mediocrity, lest people actually believe this is the pinnacle of all musical achievement. We, the listeners and the fans, have a much bigger job than what we may have thought. Literary critics and art historians such as Matthew Arnold and William Wordsworth have praised the role of critics for hundreds of years, saying that they help not only great art to be appreciated but that they can inspire new art and move the zeitgeist forward. The responsibility is in fact on us to champion what is actually good, and not give into an easy age of irony that surrounds us, where bad is good and good is bad.
Yeah, so some people are going to think that you’re a massive twat. But being considered a hipster weirdo may be the only thing standing between us and a world where One Direction are knighted and Snoop Dogg is president. So I may be overdramatic, but this wouldn’t be the first time someone no one takes seriously rises to power.