May 15th, 2006

run the fuck away

A Real American Hero

This man is a true hero. Ladies and gentlemints, I hope you realize you have bad taste in music*

*Not you specifically, because I think you'll all agree with me that the bands listed on this page suck, or at best, had a good song or maybe even an album once, before the corporate homogonizing machine repackaged them, and may I point out that Telegraf/Spectre may be a bunch of seriously un-fit white boys, we could kick pretty much any one of those bands asses, meanwhile, run on sentences seem so much funnier when they're footnotes.
run the fuck away

More on Bad Taste in Music

As I was watching a few of those videos, someone started to defend their "opinion" that the band in question didn't suck. It essentially summed up as "this is what we like, so fuck you."

Myth: What makes music, art, or literature good is a matter of opinion.

What you like is a matter of opinion, but what denotes quality is not. Mankind has been making music for about as long as we've been sapient, and in that time, we've discovered a great many things that "work", and a great many that don't. We've developed a pretty well documented and understood specification of what constitutes music. This is not to say that an innovator won't come along and change those rules- think about the reactions the first time Jimi Hendrix broke out a fuzz box and hit the crowd with face melting distortion. That changed the rules.

There's an entire area of study called "Music Theory". My, isn't that a scientific sounding name? Let me tell you a little secret. It is science. Music Theory is a branch of applied mathematics, colored with some physics that can be used to quantify and analyze the structure, tonality, and other elements of music composition in a piece. That's the quantitative aspect. But based on those quantities, there is also a qualitative decision that can be made.

Some music puts the elements of theory together in an inventive, compelling, or dramatic way. This is "good" music. This requires originality; this requires talent. Other music lacks those elements; it becomes repetitive, homogenous, and corpselike.

Now, some people lament the state of music, but I must say- you're overstating your case. Yes, there's a lot more shitty music than there used to be. There's also a lot more music than there used to be. Every once in a while, a good artist opens up a new genre, pushing past a boundary. A short time later, a flood of people wanting to cash in on this virgin territory will follow. These people don't have the talent, foresight, or vision to originate, and so they imitate. Imitation is always a sign of bad music.

This is not to say that imitating someone else is bad, but Weird Al, who only imitates, adds in a layer of his own origination. Some, like PDQ Bach use unusual instrumentation. You can imitate and originate at the same time, but without that breath of creativity, without doing something that hasn't been done before and yet adheres to the established structures of music theory.

(That last bit there is important- originality without structure is no better than raw imitation. This is why I don't like noise bands. While I appreciate the innovation that they bring, to do it divorced of musicality is at best a gimmick.)
run the fuck away

The Second Amendment

People tell me that the Second Amendment is irrelevant. The firearms you're allowed to own can't do anything to a superior military force. Then again, fifty years ago they certainly worked, and probably would again. I respect anyone who helps maintain our freedoms, and anyone who attacks them should fear the wrath of the American people. I'm not going to let the post-modern cynicism get to me; I know I'm not the only one that's ready to act.

Also, the Second Amendment doesn't grant the right to bear arms; it says the Government can't infringe it. That implies that you've always had the right.