April 13, 2007

The Week of Loathing (Day the Fifth): People Who Call Rock Musicians “Artists”

Today, dear reader, marks the final installment of our rabidly successful Fourth Annual Week of Loathing. If we must say so ourselves—and, as of the current printing, it appears as if we must—it was quite a literary fete. Folks young and old contemplatively headed to their computers, contemplatively logged on to Al Gore’s World-Wide Web, contemplatively dialed up “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” and contemplatively enjoyed themselves no end.

It’s always nice to realize that we expend so much energy bringing people closer together. Especially if they don’t acquire herpes as a result.

It is with a certain sadness, then, that we end our militantly popular Fourth Annual Week of Loathing. Ah, what a week it has been: We laughed, we cried, we saw Don Imus head to the unemployment line.

Before we take down the sundry Week of Loathing banners, however, we have some business to finish—the last humble installment in our humble series. It will be, if nothing else, humble.

And, boy oh boy, have we got a particularly choice topic for demolition. Be warned, however: If you dislike any sort of aesthetic snobbery, you needn’t read on. Given that you’re glancing at this humble “weblog,” dear reader, it’s highly unlikely that you are an inveterate devotee of, say, Led Zeppelin. But one never knows, and we’d rather not offend.

Okay: Bring on the hate-tinged snobbery.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have long loathed people who refer to rock musicians as “artists.” Frankly, we have great difficulty calling them musicians. And so we shudder virtually every time some dimwit uses the same locution to refer to, say, Bono as to, say, Mark Rothko. If you ask us, Bono is to art what Mr. T is to acting.

Oh, we can already hear the angry retorts of so many lovers of demotic children’s music: How dare you, crack young staff! What a bunch of holier-than-thou prisses! Jimmy Page is the best! Blah, blah, blah.

To which we reply: Spare us. Rock music is crap, pure and simple. Sure, some of it may be fun; it may remind you of your ill-spent youth; it may remind you of Debbie Boon. (Good things, all.)

Still, it’s nothing but garbage. If you greatly enjoy it, there can only be two possible reasons: 1) You’re slumming, enjoying a taste of what the late Susan Sontage called camp; 2) Your aesthetic sense is sorely lacking, making you, in effect, a musical retard.

Yep, dear reader, you got that right: Those are the only two options. Write us letters of virulent hate mail all you want. It’s still true.

Accordingly, rock musicians deserve the honorific label “artist” about as much as Al Sharpton deserves the title “race healer.” Or perhaps about as much as Rosie O’Donnell deserves the sobriquet “thin.”

Posted at April 13, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack