Tuesday, August 7, 2007


It's fairly common knowledge that the Beatles were a horrible band. Everything they wrote is painfully stupid.

But I've figured out why that stupidity bothers me. I listen to a lot of stupid music (stupid's obviously the wrong word for simple), but that music's stupidity doesn't seem to bother me. The problem is in the canonization process. For example: Mos Def is a great rapper. He's got what the kids call mad skills. But he's not a genius (well, maybe he is, but that's not the common claim). Rappers, it seems to me, are viewed more as craftsmen than artistic geniuses. And The Cure are great, as are any number of other bands I like, but again, they're not canonized into the cult of genius. The Beatles, as well as Bob Dylan and a host of others, are sacred (which is why it's so fun to make fun of them). I think my frustration has grown from these people being considered geniuses while their music so clearly reveals that they are crafts(wo)men (wo in rare cases. Or maybe in no cases, as I try to think of an example...). I don't think there's anything wrong with craftsmen. I'm not so caught up in a dead modernism to believe that, even if geniuses exist(ed), they are necessarily better musicians than craftspeople.


No comments: