Excerpt from "No One's A Critic," now deleted.

(I was going to jump into the fray currently discussing this editorial opinion from The Daily Beast's Ted Gioia, in which he posits that music criticism has been replaced by something called "lifestyle reporting."

(Then I decided to delete it, because Jody Rosen's salty retort on Vulture covers a lot of ground I was going to cover here. I didn't feel like getting into it. I felt the best way I could represent my side was to just keep writing about music.

(However, I saved this part from the fire, because I did want to get in my daily requirement of snark.)

Gioia, whose book The History Of Jazz I recommend without hesitation, sounds to me more like he's mourning the passage of certain values. Which happens with every generation. It happened with our parents, it happens with us, it will happen with our children. Somewhere in America right now there's a forty-something dad singing the praises of Pavement while his teenage offspring rolls their eyes. Thirty years from now their children will roll their eyes when they wax rhapsodic about Fleet Foxes, or if they're discussing Justin Bieber they may just puke right on the coffee table.

Generational privilege -- the notion that cultural shifts introducing new values that don't jell with one's own narrative are shit -- is odious, infuriating and rudely divisive. Contemptible combatants use it on comment boards all over the net as a lazy headlock. "Who is ____ anyway?" "All current music is crap." Then they grunt and chortle, positive that they have mined a bedrock of truth with as little thought as possible, and go be stupid on another website. Someday they will die, probably thinking that all art and culture will cease to be without their shepherding, their sword of authenticity, and the hilarious punch line is that it's just them that's ending. The rest of us will finally be able to get back to work. Gioia's not stupid, but he's dressing up his generational privilege as an indictment of journalism.

(end transmission)


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