paramore (best pop album of the year. sorry that hayley williams sounds like she’s having fun while making music, lorde partisans)
janelle monáe (electric lady had its flaws, but it had ambition and scope and a lot of solid songwriting—more than rushed-to-market unapologetic, for real)
florida georgia line (i don’t even like them but ???? at least they came out this year unlike ed ‘well he didn’t win song of the year last year so maybe this time’ll be a charm’ sheeran)
bruno mars’s unorthodox jukebox (a solid album, also why ‘locked out of heaven’ over, i don’t know, ANY OTHER SINGLE FROM THE RECORD? it’s because it sounds like ‘sultans of swing,’ isn’t it)
j cole (i really liked born sinner! i know that makes me corny, but whatever. nevertheless, that jay-z led the nominations game for a contractual tie-up full of lazy shopping-list verses speaks more to the conservative bent of this year’s grammys than the industry-beloved upstart picks currently dominating the narrative)
like eight billion rock bands that didn’t get nods because of LED ZEPPELIN AND NEIL YOUNG, nominating ‘kashmir’ for rock song of the year is an especially large middle finger.
also stop encouraging alicia keys, grammy voters, for real.
ETA: also haim! and honestly fall out boy should have been nominated for best rock song, jeez louise i know i’m biased but come on
grammy nomination predictions, put here for posterity
today i was on revolt tv talking about the grammy nominations, which are being announced right now. in the run-up to my segment i had to send a producer a list of my predictions. going to put it here to see just how right i wind up being—i’m predicting a big year for macklemore (yawn) and lorde (YAWNNNNNNNN), plus lots of usual-suspect noms based on who was tapped to play the special airing on cbs right now. albums/songs below each dotted line are ‘i wish’ choices.
I get what you’re saying, but the people screaming about the thing you refuse to name are only screaming BECAUSE THESE THINGS KEEP HAPPENING TO THEM AND PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE THEM. Like, literally almost daily, and the perpetrators and offensive ideas are continually excused.
It may be more productive to engage with the successful aspects of a cultural product while critiquing the offensive ones (and there are people doing that), but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna tell people constantly being shit on that they should respond in a different way. That sounds a lot like tone-policing and I don’t go in for that. How are people ever supposed to grok that certain images and ideas are extremely damaging and hurtful if no one ever gets angry and says so? I mean, if the response to this is despair-inducing for you, imagine how the people negatively portrayed in instances like this constantly feel?
So yeah, we can talk about how people should respond to critiques of misogyny wrapped in misogyny and racist stereotyping, but I don’t think we should neglect to take seriously people whose initial response to a repulsive cultural product is outrage, anger, and a refusal to address things the product does well. The person who created the product didn’t consider the POV of the people they clearly offended so I don’t think the creator is necessarily owed the benefit of the doubt. ESPECIALLY if that creator has a history of “problematic” behavior. Intent is not an excuse.
Also? Many people being angry about the same thing =/= a knee-jerk pile-on, necessarily. It could be a sign that the product is just bad. Or it could be a sign that many people, more than in the past, have platforms that allow them to acknowledge and point out crap treatment. The more voices discussing shitty and minimizing behavior in more places the better.
Right and that’s why I said “mention the obvious issues but also look for other angles.” The economy of online content often requires one to comment on things that everyone else is commenting on because Traffic, and wouldn’t it be nice to also offer up another take while (as I said in the original post) at the same time noting existing critiques? Like, if I were to write about The Thing I Don’t Want To Discuss—if I were, say, in a job where it was required of me, which it is for a lot of the people who are ripping and reading fourth-hand outrage at this point—I would probably link to a bunch of the Twitter feeds that I spent my train ride perusing so that people could, as you note, see how they feel. But! I would also note my own reaction, which hit different nerves because I am a 38-year-old white lady.
Also please do not accuse me of “tone-policing,” because one, I’m definitely only making my own decisions here and trying to bring the overall discourse up by myself, and two, the trend of turning phrases into awkward-slash-accusatory gerunds drives me up the fucking wall. Sorry if that’s verb policing or whatever, but I’m an editor at heart.
so right now I’m into the idea that, if cultural products that have issues are being inevitably dragged into the agora for discussion, making an effort to engage with the muddled-if-salient points within while simultaneously deriding the things that are lousy about them is the way to go? not to make the art look better, and DEFINITELY not to excuse the artist, but to make the discourse less… monolithic? despair-inducing? hmm, neither of those is the exact term, but i do think that the rapidfire nature of internet discussion and the way in which outraged! opinions! attract attention is not really helping the state of the world at this point in time.
“Listen to me: We can’t do anything right. We can’t say what we mean, we can’t be ourselves, we can’t age, we can’t talk about feelings, we can’t fuck up. This is how it feels to be a woman, motherfucker. The world is filled with human beings who want us to shut up and shake our asses, point blank, the end. Can you fucking imagine if we had our own Kanye? For her to have Kanye’s power, and get invited on Kimmel, of course she’d have to be a mega-hot, funny as shit woman who walked around looking exactly like the chick in the short skirt who eats giant hamburgers on those Carl Jr. ads, but instead of eating a hamburger she’d be saying FUCK YOU, YOU ARE A SEXIST FUCK.”—Ask Polly is everything every week, but this week especially.
“When we hear stories, should we be more suspicious? and what kind of stories should we be suspicious of? Again, I’m telling you it’s the stories that you like the most, that you find the most rewarding, the most inspiring. The stories that don’t focus on opportunity cost, or the complex, unintended consequences of human action, because that very often does not make for a good story.”—[Transcript] Tyler Cowen on Stories - Less Wrong Discussion (via ninakix)
“Yet Drake’s album is supposed to speak to this un-universal universal experience, somehow, male and female. Which is standard enough; the majority of male writers write about specifically male experiences and the majority of female writers write about specifically female experiences, but only the former tends to be re-classified as universal experience. (For example: The comparisons to The Idler Wheel have already begun, but I don’t remember seeing that album lauded as the universal human experience so much as the universal female experience. Which itself is more charitable than most reviews.) I’ve never felt like I have much in common with millennials (in part a function of never feeling like I have much in common with anybody, but still.) And I don’t have Drake feelings. The very thought is ridiculous. Lately I have Goldfrapp feelings, so many of them (how can you not hear “Thea” and feel ten times more like a tragic heroine?) But I don’t have Drake feelings; to me they’re almost a red flag. If someone tells me he relates to women the way Drake would, I would be rather put off. Why wouldn’t I? Yet it’s a thing I suspect I’m supposed to just get over.”—