Monday, February 15, 2016

Joel's Annual Grammy Renunciation Post

Seeing as how tonight millions of people will no doubt tune-in to watch the annual travesty that is the Grammy Awards, I couldn't help but share with you the following relevant passage from Llosa's Notes on the Death of Culture:

Art preceded all other expressions of cultural life in laying the foundations for the culture of the spectacle, by establishing that art could be fun and games and nothing else. ... [Today is] a time in which insolence and boastfulness and empty provocative gestures are sometimes enough, with the collusion of the mafias that control the art market and with complicit or half-witted critics who confer false prestige, giving the status of artist to illusionists who hide their poverty and emptiness behind counterfeit insolence. ... In our times, artists are not expected to show talent or skill but rather affectation and scandal, and their daring statements are nothing more than the masks of a new conformity. What was once revolutionary has become fashionable, a pastime, a game, a subtle acid that erodes art... In art this frivolity has reached alarming extremes. The disappearance of any minimal consensus about aesthetic value means that in this field confusion reigns and will continue to reign for a long time, since it is now not possible to discern with any degree of objectivity what it is to have talent or to lack talent, what is beautiful and what is ugly, and what represents something new and durable and what is just a will-o'-the-wisp. This confusion has turned the art world into a carnival where genuine creators, sharp operators, and conmen all intermingle and it is often difficult to tell them apart.

Jimi Hendrix.
Bob Marley.
Guns 'n' Roses.
The Who.
Busta Rhymes.
Chuck Berry.
The Beach Boys.
Led Zeppelin.
Brian McKnight.
Joe Satriani.
Diana Ross.
Spyro Gyra.

Not a single legitimate Grammy Award between them. (Call me nitpicky, but giving the Beach Boys a "Best Historical Album" award in 2013 for a 45-year-old record doesn't count.)

So, I implore you, my friends and readers, stop allowing the cool kids' table to determine for you how you spend your highly valuable time. Let the pop culture nonsense and popularity contest that is the Grammy Awards alone and stop lending credence to an obviously farcical charade. Stop courting conformity. Vote with your attention that you think music & art should be more than what people who only want your money want you to believe it is. Leave the cool kids' table back in high school - where it belongs.

"Music's greatest night"? Hardly.


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