With this week's publication of The Onion's spot-on spoof of Pitchfork's reviews, I bring up an issue that's been on my mind as late. No, it's not the hilarious sting found in the last sentence (Maher termed Schreiber's assessment of music "overwrought, masturbatory posturing intended to make insecure hipsters feel as if they're part of some imagined elite beau monde."). And it goes beyond looking like you just rolled out of bed, haven't shaved in ten days, put on some dirty clothes and claim you seriously like mind-numbing hip-hop more than tuneful rock music.
Without trying to get too broad, I think about what is remembered more: the art or the criticism of the art? More often than not, it's the art.
Sure, you may still hear about how a riot occurred when Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" debuted, but do you ever hear about how Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was received by the main newspaper in Germany? You may see some lines from glowing reviews of a movie on a DVD box or a CD, but they are praising a movie or an album. They help market the product and lend credibility.
Usually outliving whatever critics thought of it when it first came out, I wonder why we put stock in criticism in general. As somebody who's been doing a permutation of criticism, reflection and philosophy for a few years, I kinda get the creeps when I think about this. It reminds me to do more than just talk about how good a show, a CD or a movie went. Simply, I've always wanted to do something more than write about whether you should buy something or not. Maybe that's why I stick to blogging . . .