Snarfyguy wrote:What the fuck kind of name is "Ed Sheeran" for a pop star?
I really could not have stated this any better.
As thread premises go, this is better than most.
What do I PERSONALLY think about "planting my flag/capturing enemies" vs. "a certain duty to diplomacy and kindness - often with the end goal of assessing and honoring the perceived cost/benefit ratio of a potential interaction"?
I don't know - my own "blowhard karma" has really come back at me a fair amount over the years, and perhaps forced a certain (attempted) "fearless moral inventory" in the area of, you know, blowing one's own mind with the enormous awesomeness of a cleverly (perhaps even bullishly) expressed opinion.
Personally, it was the burden or self-generated mandate of the young me to really "lay down some strongly felt artistic judgments" no matter who the audience (or their level of interest/the effect of the lecture). I have it on good faith that I observed these obligations well beyond what was required.
You wanna come off like you're utterly intoxicated by your own opinion (possibly to the point of a certain social tone deafness)? Fuck - I'm in no position to deter it. I spent more of my life than not acting out that role. Does any of you remember the Simpsons episode (ca. 1999-2000) when Barney stops drinking? The ultimate catalyst is that he forgets his own birthday party, and his friends show him a video of the night...one of the highlights is a scene in which Barney is giving Lisa Simpson an especially aggressive (and decidedly non-PC) lecture about some convoluted form of segregation, and (in review) Homer narrates "THIS is a stage we like to call 'Professor Barney'!"
It's potentially tough. We may all exist at slightly differing (and, over time, shifting) levels of comfort with being called 'Professor San Juan' (insert your own name here as needed).
I've had a handful of friends, colleagues and collaborators over the years who may have (in somewhat recent times) found the potential forum for their 'big opinion' (alternately 'that one thing they absolutely believe themselves to know') utterly impossible to resist, and...it's the sort of thing that can look a little "nasty" or "petty", really, if one gets carried away with it. I mean, admittedly not least because I may actually disagree with an insistently, and perhaps, smugly delivered dissertation on why people who share MY personal tastes are apparently cloth eared morons/hillbillies. It is absolutely possible to be boorish with an Ivy League derived vocabulary. You can totally be a high IQ troll, should you feel the irresistible urge.
So, I dunno. The people I play music with, or the people I sort of "listen with" (many of you, as it happens)? There's a version of playfully stated frankness that enriches the dialogue, but...even THERE, I perceive a basic "line crossing point of delineation" that I'm more willing and eager to honor. There's inevitably...divergent points of interest, and...what do I actually get in return for being an asshole about it? The benefit of tagging myself out of a prickly exchange in advance is, yes, a form of self serving courtesy, but also...we've all got places to be, ultimately.
The rest of the world? Oh, hell - we're all here to help each other out, right? I'm the parent who picks my children up from school and arranges their social stuff ("playdate" is a perfectly acceptable term for what my 7 year old and his friends do), and...there's a lot of parental socializing. Thankfully, none of the other kids' parents are...you know...Nazis, but...if they really wanted to talk to me about Donovan, we'd be doing just that. Mostly, we aren't (nor are we discussing Adele).
Social media has also really forced some of these issues. If music is the one area where you can still go out there and troll a picture of someone's wife with "Jesus - they really weren't fucking around with the ugly stick!", then...yeah, bully for you! However, I think as our era of hyper-interconnectedness enters its third decade, maybe "en masse" a number of us are starting to realize that a superfluous bitchy/pithy remark is increasingly less the norm, and maybe even the sort of thing where you see another person flexing that muscle and you just think "would you look at yourself?".
Not unerringly, perhaps, but this has increasingly become an opportunity to "be the example I wish to see".
If we're getting into "You demanded to know" territory, one can presumably be honest without being a shit about it. I find there is always an outlet for my less seemly tendencies - some type of format where the effect is less abrasive. The parody pieces Andy and I were writing certainly lacked no editorial content, but...you kind of had to go looking for it. Similarly - what we all do in closed quarters hurts no one: my band and I are often fortunate enough to play support slots for touring acts who (in my opinion) may not be dragging around a particularly pleasing version of some previous era's worst signifiers. There's bound to be some collateral discussion (strictly within the family) about the considerable gulf between "how the less gracious headliner sees himself/his entitlements" vs. "what's measurably happening out there", but...at the end of the day, you are primarily just happy for the opportunity.
TL;DR version - belatedly or not, I'm increasingly inclined not to make a big thing about my own clearly questionable tastes and how they intersect (or don't) with yours.