Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #17 (Anti-youknowwhatists)

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November 27, 2009 by admin

“My problem [with the word ‘rockism’] is more personal: I can’t tell if I’m a rockist or not, or whether a lot of other rock critics are rockists or not (Dave Marsh, Greil Marcus, Richard Meltzer, Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Chuck Eddy), and I think the confusion is in the concept, not in me. My problem with the antirockists was their tendency to externalize ‘rockism’ as some foreign body that needed to be defeated — or, if internal, as something that needed to be outgrown — rather than as cultural processes that we participate in. And authenticity… I may hate the noun form, but I find the adjectives — ‘real,’ ‘actual,’ ‘authentic’ — absolutely crucial, and the tensions they signal are as alive and burbling and googooing now as the day they were born.

“So, although I think we’d be better not to saddle ourselves with the word ‘rockism,’ the conversation needs to continue. Nothing’s been laid to rest. The issues are as alive now as in 1965 when fans booed Dylan for going electric, or in 1971 when Lester Bangs wrote ‘James Taylor Marked For Death,’ or in 1985…”
– Frank Kogan, “Rockism And Antirockism Rise From The Dead,” Las Vegas Weekly, 2008

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