Monday, December 18, 2006

Turned out to be Just God

Introducing a gimmick: Hyperboles BIGGER THAN GOD!

I do my best not to be an excessively pessimistic blogger. It's easy to get suckered into the temptation of cynically mocking anything and everything that is more respectable or reputable than myself. I just feel like that is one recipe with which I need not cook. And here comes the big "however," right? However, one thing I cannot stand is the trend towards excessive hyperbole in sports media (particularly radio and those television debate-style shows, but print is not innocent of this at all.) Now, I am not talking about your typical "JP Losman may be one of the best Quarterbacks in the NFL" that you hear (following a wopping 200 yard day.) This stuff is annoying, but excusable considering these guys have to fill hour upon hours of NFL Primetime (or BBTN, or SportsCenter, etc...) with material that is meant to illicit discussions and debate. I am talking about just writing, or saying something that you know is downright absurd, and a completely agregious exaggeration.

For instance: have you heard about this new legislation attempting to ban men from women's practice teams? Yeah, I hadn't either. But according to ESPN's Nancy Lieberman, this might be the hottest topic in sports right now. Umm, what?! I mean, did she not have to submit this to an editor who might have, in turn, said something like "you're fuckin' joking with that line, right?" It's true though, man, this story is hotter than the AFC Wild-Card race, the hot-stove season with exploding contracts, the debate over the NBA brawling, and even the story of the resurgent New Orleans Saints (of which I hear the media is growing tired.) Surely this story, about men no longer being allowed to practice with women, is just as big. Here comes the pre-emptive attack: I'm not trying to be sexist, I am just a realist, and so on...but seriously. I don't know why this kind of writing bothers me, but I am certain it has something to do with the sheer laziness behind it all. I give Liberman some slack here, of course, because trying to make something like this seem interesting requires some creative spin (and she covered that by bringing in the Romo, Deion, etc..angle.) But there is a stark contrast between creatively manipulating a subject, and flat out falsifying its significance. Rating this offense on a scale of "harmless" 1 to "shameless" 11, I give Lieberman a break (only because she's a woman, and due to new legislation, couldn't get any assistance from the men) so this gets a 5.5.
What Did I say About those Lists?
In anticipation of every independent radio station on God's Green Earth playing an end-of-the-year countdown, Pitchfork and PopMatters came out with their respective top 50 (PFM) and 60 (PopMatters) "albums of the year" lists. So I thought I would quickly hop-scotch through those and point out any glaring omissions, or excessive fawnings I might find in each. To be honest, I think Pitchfork (sadly) is a little more in line with my own preferences so we will go through that list last. Also, surprisingly, there is more on the PopMatters list that I did not get a chance to that could be part of the issue. Problem number one is a glaring one, but it's really the biggest error, according to my preference:
  • I am glad they could fit M Ward and Destroyer's Rubies on there somewhere between Steven Bernstein (who's he?) and Beth Orton...who I am pretty sure is Cat Power, when Chan what's-her-name remembers to take her Zoloft. I say "bullshit." Both of those albums are top 20 albums this year, no question.
  • I also haven't listened to Much Lupe Fiasco, cause Rap isn't my thing, but 50th seems a bit low. Most people who like Rap put this in the top 5 or 10.
  • Who is Michelle Malone?
  • Didn't we all agree that the new Flaming Lips album was a failure. Better than Destroyer's Rubies. According to whom?
  • Good to see Bruce and Tom Waits on there...more on that when we get to you, Pitchfork.
  • Look, I love Pearl Jam. Just this weekend, I was drinking beers with friends, put on Ten, and remarked what an unbelievable album it is. But the new album sucks. We shouldn't be giving these people great the honors bestowed by placement on year-end lists, just because shit they did 15 years ago totally killed it. It's a 2006 list, right?
  • Isn't Kelley Stoltz the guy who playes the heroin dealer in Pulp Fiction?
  • Never heard this Casey Dreissen guy. But he should get docked a few spots just for those glasses.
  • Per The Roots, see memo on Pearl Jam.
  • The Dixie Chicks make my ears bleed.
  • Mastadon sucks, Arctic Monkeys Suck, and Gnarls Barkley?! There was one good song on that whole damn album.

And on to Pitchfork:

  • I haven't heard half of the 50-40 group, but that's probably because I am not cool enough. Decemberists, and M Ward however do not belong in a pile of poo, and since I don't know much about these bands, a pile of poo it is.
  • Tapes n' Tapes...I don't know just what to make of you. You either dont belong on these lists at all, or you belong alot higher than 40. Your like Bud Heavy. I shouldn't like you very much...but I love you lots.
  • Somebody told me this Danielson shit would be right up my alley. Then I downloaded an mp3. Somebody was wrong.
  • Good Call on Califone.
  • Bad call on Justin Timberlake.
  • Sunset Rubdown=Not that great. Destroyers' Rubies=Great. One of us is doing bad math.
  • I agree with 4 of the top 10. The other 6 make me want to cry. To be fair, Ghostface is probably pretty good. I just dont like rap. Batting .500.
  • Where the eff are Bruce, Bob Dyland and Tom Waits(whom I don't love but whose new albums I know are better than, say, The Pippettes)?!

End Snarky, Pessimistic rant right...NOW.


At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Brrrr said...

Pearl Jam- why do people still act like this band is saying anything new or in the least bit interesting? I know plenty of smart people with good ears who like this band. I don't get it. Also, Fishscale= completely fucking awesome.


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