The last of the good, kind, honest and wise people left should come with me now, adorn their brows with garlands of wild roses and prepare themselves by drinking the annointed mead out of the blessed cups, prepare libations to their ancestors, pour sweet, fragrant oils on the ceremonial pyre prepared for them, and leave this Age of Idiocy.
Dealing with Ignorant Idiots
It will be better at this early stage if we get one thing clear in our minds. They are everywhere, idiots. Some are nice, indeed the nicest people you will ever encounter, whereas others are fit enough only for hamburger meat. I don't propose to spend this article in classifying all idiots, it would take far too long. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are littered across every level of society. Rather I would like to describe some idiots that one meets in the course of runnning this magazine.
I should also let you know that I edit and maintain this rag entirely for free. I am not a martyr, far from it, but neither am I a walking charity, or haven for stupid views expressed by idiotic people, especially on the topic of music.
I feel that it would be better if I classified some idiot encounters in a series of bullet points, starting now.
Idiots who download vast quantities of music only for them never to listen to it.
An aquaintance of mine recently claimed to be a fan of Joy Division, having downloaded their entire back catalogue off the net. Think about this for a second if you would. A fan of Joy Division who readily admits he has not seen any of Peter Saville's artwork for the band, and readily admits he doesn't see the point of getting acquainted with it. Nor could he differentiate between albums when I played them back to back at my gaff... Indeed at one point it had to be pointed out to him that we were indeed listening to the band he so loved. The look of pseudo magnaminity/intelligence/smugness that alighted his features when asked what his favourite Joy Div song was would have been a moment to treasure if it didn't anger me so much. The answer he gave, of course was Love will Tear Us Apart. Quite. What else?
Idiots who want to be trendy.
There is a peculiar stamp collecting quality to trendy heads. If they don't have, or know about the latest band (like the latest Post Office stamp issue, shall we say), then they feel as if their life is being ripped apart at the seams. This is not the same as being a fan of a band, no, that is more akin to collecting and sampling fine wines or ales. Being a fan of a band is, essentially, the act of appreciating someone else's artistic efforts; it's apogee is when your fan worship leads to something creative on your own behalf. So why, with this point in mind, and in the name of All that is Holy and Righteous on this planet, should we feel beholden to give these trendy people time to spout their nonsense? One should, of course, replace the respectful silence you would normally meet out to such goons with a slap of your kid gloves around their chops. I sent a trendy head to interview a band, not so very long ago, a mistake I take entire responsibility for, may I say. The interview with the musician in question went something like this;
Trendy Head; "What do you think of Kaiser Chiefs?"
Musician "Erm, yeah, they are okay"
Trendy Head; "What do you think of Arcade Fire?"
Musician; "Erm, yeah, I like them"
Trendy Head; "What do you think of Secret Machines?"
Musician (now embarrassed) "Erm, I don't really know much about them"
Trendy Head; "Do you like Franz Ferdinand?"
Musician "Erm, yeah"
And so on it went... I didn't publish it.
Of course the reason why these people are actively encouraged is that they are seen by the record company moghuls as the ideal disseminators for the new musical projects that have to be sold on to the record buying public. Rather like the "four legs good two legs bad" sheep of Animal Farm, they witter on unknowingly, repeating the latest name for all it is worth. Of course, the fact that they will, in the course of time, contradict themselves over and over again is something that is entirely lost on them.
Idiots who talk through gigs.
Words, indeed the capacity to think itself, fail me when confronted with that statement. Look at it. "Idiots who talk through gigs". I can't summon up energy. I am defeated. The last of the good, kind, honest and wise people left should come with me now, adorn their brows with garlands of wild roses and prepare themselves by drinking the annointed mead out of the blessed cups, prepare libations to their ancestors, pour sweet, fragrant oils on the ceremonial pyre prepared for them, and leave this Age of Idiocy which we, in the developed West, find ourselves unfortunate enough to live in.
Idiots who try to claim that Queen are good or underrated.
People may remember a piece on Queen we ran, containing as it did, a spirited defence of the band from (and I can state confidently here) a very intelligent, considerate, responsible father of two. Of course, my good friend and fellow Lancashire eccentric (and your mentor), Mr Dawson, savaged the claim that Queen are in any way good, thrillingly slashing down in the pro-Queen argument. We must allow the father of two a moment's grace for his choice of band. After all he is, and has been for a long time, a genuine fan. So be it.
What I can't stand is the moronic auto-suggestive argument (first, shamefully, indeed shamingly propounded by Friend of This Magazine and Decent Splendid Chap Alex Kapranos) that is being wittered about by trendy people that Queen are good and have such showmanlike qualities - evident in both their recorded and live sound - that should lead to them being awarded the acolade of great band. No, Alex, yo may have said it in jest but look what you have done. Ironic playing of Queen by trendy djs (moronically and enthusiastically danced to by trendy heads) in clubs I frequent. Queen re-forming (all your fault, I fear my dear Mr K); a "Queen day on the Queens Birthday" special on Dutch radio. Is there no escape?
Idiots who like Kasabian and don't remember the damage done by Oasis. Idiots who are too tall to stand at the front row of a gig but do so all the same. Idiots who mosh at Adam Green, Kasabian or Libertines gigs.
That's enough writing on this depressing subject. I have to stop before my blood pressure goes up again. I'm no dictator. I have a quiet life on the whole, as befits one in his mid-thirties. I don't want you feel I am in any way holding a gun to your head. All I ask of you is, please don't do any of the above, then we can, all of us, live in a better, safer, fairer world.
Words: Richard Foster.