There’s this new sort of entitlement that the internet has really popularized, but which has always existed that drives me absolutely nuts. It’s the old “well, you can’t talk shit about something unless you can do it better” argument. It’s a bad, bad argument, for one thing, and for another thing, it’s often applied in completely inappropriate or subjective situations, which, let’s get down to brass tacks, completely ruins the credibility of the already douchey champion of said argument, don’t it? Let’s expand.
Today, I was riding my bike back from the gym and I got that REM song, I believe the title is “pop song 89” stuck in my head. The chorus is “should we talk about the weather? Should we talk about the government?” and I was thinking about how these are two perfectly good topics of conversation, and the first one is particularly poignant if you live in Chicago or some other such place where the weather completely effects the entire lifestyle of the city. I was also thinking that in his snide way, with these lyrics, Michael Stipe is probably going for ‘ethereal and parodic by way of Dadaist,’ but he’s really pulling off more of a ‘condescending prick’ thing. THEN I started thinking about how revered REM is, and how much I think they absolutely suck the balls. SO, then I decided I’d make a list on here today about things that people love that I can’t stand, which led almost immediately to my imagining some comments somewhere on the internet (not here in the Drawer, my Dogs, but elsewhere, outside the solace of BSC and the Sock Drawer) that would say, in essence “this guy is a dippshit(sic). When he can write a record as good as Green, then he can talk. Til then, stick to felching and being a bartender. What a self important dickholle(sic)” and shit like that.
Now, here’s where my original point comes in. Firstly, no. I do NOT have to make an album as good as Green to have an opinion on REM. By that logic, unless YOU’VE also made an album as good as Green, your accolades are as equally worthless as my bile. I can’t make beer, and despite the fact that if I tried, my first batch would probably be worse than MGD, I can say with certainty that MGD is a terrible beer. I don’t know how to perform plastic surgery, but I’m comfortable saying that the guy who performed it on Kanye’s mom was bad at it.
So, that’s settled, right? You don’t have to be able to do something better than someone in order to criticize them. Talent and criticism are two different words for a reason. They denote different things. Dumb-dumbs.
Secondly, I DID write a better record than Green, okay. Maybe you don’t think so, but I do, and since I’m the one passing all the judgment on REM, I’m gonna err on the side of my opinion.
This is what I’m talking about. There’s no empirical way to measure an album’s quality. If there was then the Monkees would be better than Jimi Hendrix and Doolittle would be a smear of shit compared to “Genie in a Bottle,” so when you give your two cents in a “his band blows compared to that band so he’s got no room to talk” way, you’re kind of negating your own argument right there. If opinion is what makes this little equation work, then it’s (in this case) mine vs. REMrulz1982 (moderator), and that, under the first law of argumentative mathematics, cancels out either opinion. Now, sure, there are more REM fans out there than fans of any of my bands, but hey, let’s look at the quality of them, shall we? Dildos, every single last one of both groups is nothing but a pile of simpering dildos, so who cares what any of you think, right?
Ah, come on, man, I’m kidding. You guys are okay. You’re my little dogs of war and I love you for it. Let’s see, just for that I’ll see if I can list things that I don’t like that everyone does. It’s gonna mostly be music, probably.
Nirvana- Eh. Nothing. I mean, whatever. Good on ‘em. I just don’t care.
Pixies- Yeah. Again, boring to me. I realize these two are intertwined and that most of us only know about the pixies one way or another through Kurt Cobain’s recommendation, so let’s just say the whole style kind of leaves me cold, eh? I LOVE frank Black’s solo stuff though. I think Show Me Your Tears is one of the greatest albums of the last ten years.
Cake- Not the band, the desert (though the band’s not exactly rocking my world either). Not a fan. I mean, in a pinch, I’ll eat a little cake, like if I’m in france and they’re out of bread, but as a general rule, nah. I’ll pass. Give my piece to Milton.
REM-Yup. Already did this one. They gross me out.
Velvet- It hurts my teeth. It’s some strange nerve memory hallucination thing between my fingertips and my teeth, and EEEEW. I can’t stand being around velvety things. I don’t know how else to say it. The shit hurts me teeth. I know this sounds strange. You gotta trust me.
Mint chip- any chocolate and mint combo is gross to me. I know that like everything else on this list I’m in the minority, but just saying. That shit has no business being combined.
Oranges and apples and strawberries and shit in salads- dude, really? You’re bumming me out with those little mandarin orange slices in there. It’s gnarly. And hey, I’m not one to blanketly diss combining sweet and savory. I LOVE peanut butter on a bacon cheeseburger, but fruit on a veggie salad? That’s just perverse.
What else? Uh…
Canada- No, I’m kidding. Like everyone else in the world, I have no opinion of Canada.
Jesus- Everyone and their mother loves this fucking guy, which I find to be odd, because (I’ve said this before) filthy hippies don’t really play well in Iowa. What’s so special about this guy? Powerful dad. Way to go sheep. Next thing you know, you’ll actually just refer to yourselves as sheep and call him your shepherd. Well, here’s a little tip: Know what the shepherd does to the sheep up on the hillside on those lonely afternoons? Yeah. He’s doing it to you right now. Mmmmhmmm.
The Doors- Easily the most overrated band of all time. Morrison is the worst ever. I could and probably will dedicate a whole entry to this theory.
Pictures of Boobs- Can’t stand em.
Lists that start out serious and then turn ironic before finishing and then just kind of stop half way through the