“Cheer up, America, At Least It’s a Good Day for Conde Nast!”

You know who’s happier than a pig in sh** that Donald Trump is our president? I’ll give you a hint: it’s the same magazine that had his mug on the cover every da** issue of 2016, as if it was some big mystery what kind of person he was from a watching of The Apprentice.
And now I get this e-mail from pitchfork, the likewise-Conde-Nast owned, about how “great” The National is doing. Ok, so everything is just hunky dory? Well then why is one of the songs on their new album called “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness”? Could it be that you, pitchfork, are big-headed enough to think that your attention to them spurs in them that much elation?
Conde Nast owns both pitchfork and The New Yorker now, along with God knows what else like maybe the West half of my kitchen. It’s hard to keep up with things these days. I will say that two things for me marked big changes at pitchfork (a publication most commendable still for in ’11 turning me on to tUnE-yArDs). One would be their editor-in-chief Jessica Hopper showing up for that Carrie Brownstein book-signing in yoga pants. It’s like really, Jessica, are you sure you’re effectively skewing the boundaries between genders there? Going for similarity to George Michael, maybe.
The other would be that the publication mentioned the word “emo” at all, which in the early ‘00s would probably be grounds for getting fired… and not only that but actually ran a feature on “What goes to make up emo” or something like that. Actually, I specifically remember one of the writers (though I can’t find it now and to be honest I’m scared of googling “pitchfork emo” for fear of all the grotesque things that might pop up) specifically saying that he or she wasn’t allowed to utter the word at all, or something along those lines. Here, this will help put things in perspective, Marc Hogan’s review of Jimmy Eat World – Futures: “Three years after their commercial breakthrough, Bleed American, Jimmy Eat World’s fifth full-length represents what I hope is the final stage in emo’s devolution.”
Well, so much for your values, eh pitchfork? But you still exist because… you’re a household name, albeit one with apparently little or no wherewithal on what initially made you a household name.
Similar to this weightless least-common-denominator, everything’s-ducky brand of music journalism we’ve come to know, if not love, The New Yorker’s lack of anger following the Trump election was something to boggle minds, especially the minds of their former readership. They even made Vanity Fair look edgy, by comparison — which ripped into the new president and into the American voting public with some direct, teeth-gnashing diction that… oh, you don’t know how bad I needed that, especially given that half the magazine at the Barnes & Noble on Indiana State’s campus are either like lewd, or else totally boring. I was looking for Guitar World and got something that made me want to play the devil’s clarinet (sorry).
I mean ok, this Trump sh** is good for art. But anybody who’s ok with having a failing casino tycoon in office just because he’s rich is an a**hole. Yeah, “rappers are rapping again”… but do you ever stop and think about it? What made rappers “rap” in the first place? Slavery, urban impoverishment and the disenfranchisement of school music programs in Queens and The Bronx, hence leading them to play their parents’ turntable as if it was a musical instrument. [1] K, At the Drive-in has a new album out that’s very expressive of an unmistakably bona fide anger. So in other words: we’re back to being angry tough-guys and we’re supposed to feel good about this. But beware of those who are trying to sell you something: beware of product disguised as art, and beware the glass-house gangstas. Beware tradition. Question everything.
[1] This curiously little-known fact is diagrammed very nicely in Ice-T’s excellent documentary Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap.

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