Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Phrase "If You Igonore It, It Goes Away" Found to Actually Work on the Internet

Most things in life don't go away if you ignore them. They just get worse.

But it turns out that this rule is not true of pretentious, blogbuzz-bloated gossipy payola-esque music sites on the internet. I found that if you ask it to leave, it will.

For a while I had a few of these jerk sites on my RSS reader. It's probably pretty easy to guess what they were. Some of them are held in high regard as the "authority" on the soundtrack to hipster life. They would constantly be updated with "news" about music (90% of which I do not listen to and do not enjoy) that their perceived demographic is supposed to like. In some strange act of masochism, I would read this news to see what was going on in "the world of music." In a strange way, it was sometimes kind of reassuring, to see that safe, mediocre music (with the help of the right publicist) could get a lot of hype. This makes it easier for all musicians to dream, even the mediocre ones.

After realizing that I was just kind of grossed out by these sites, one day I just decided to delete it from my feeds. I don't usually do that, I mean I don't mind seeing that Perez Hilton or Craft Magazine blog or Digg or Best Week Ever have filled up to the Bloglines maximum of 200 and (like the library you checked out a book from but then somehow lost) will probably never be returned to again - out of guilt, apathy, and being totally overwhelmed/not caring. These feeds go peacefully unread. NBD.

The excess of the internet information flow is kind of a given, it doesn't really bother me when it comes to celebrity gossip, amazing knitted pandas, or internet LOLz. But seeing that bloated verbal/graphic waste in music kind of makes me just feel gross. I know that music is not sacred ground, it's a product of consumption just like everything else, but it "cheeses me off" in a way that other publicist/marketing-bourne information garbage does not.

Anyway, so I deleted these things from my life. And guess what? Now I never think about it. Luckily I don't really hang out with people who buzz about buzz-worthy bands and stuff like that, so it's effectively gone. It worked.

Even listening to the local college radio station is a more pleasant experience. As much as people dog on stations (or rather, the impressionable DJ's) like WIUX for mirroring and hanging on to the every word of the sites that I used to hate so much, I find it hard to hate college radio because at least it presents music at face value, as music. It's sounds - not pictures, not news, not tour dates, not amazing stories about where they recorded their last album, not things that are supposed to seem cool or funny, not free (or is it?) advertising and announcements about buzzy bands. When you hear the song on the radio, it's one song at a time, music as music, and you either feel the song or you think it sucks, and your decision is based simply on that, not on the band's picture or their massive tour announcement or the references who else likes their stuff or what other bands they sound like.

I wished it away, and it really has gone away. I have no idea who is a cool band anymore. It's ok. If you ignore it long enough, gross media really can go away. It's nice to know that we really can shape our mental landscapes after all.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I can never decide what I like less: buzz about buzz-worthy bands, or the buzz-worthy bands themselves. I have the same aversion to books that people tell me are "really amazing."