I’m loading up my iPod for winter listening. What album haven’t I heard (if you’re wondering, I probably haven’t, or at least haven’t listened with proper attention) that I need to?
People make statements all the time about which music they like and why they like it.
Some of these statements will be false.
Is there any advantage to trying to guess which, or in assuming that certain people or groups are lying? Rather than simply assuming good faith?
…. are anyone’s tastes describable even when you try to make an honest effort? (The only things I can say with a p value greater than .06 is that I like men’s voices, descending base lines, counterpoint and hand claps.)
There’s one plain advantage to assuming the lie: by switching from talking about taste (you like something I don’t) to talking about morality* (you’re lying about what you like), the assumer both gets to feel — and, rhetorically at least, appear — superior to the liar-assumptive, and gets to reinforce his own beliefs (i.e., nothing is really different from the way he perceives it to be).
*Assuming for the sake of argument that honesty or its lack is a moral question.
But my first reaction to Tom’s post was LBNL’s point. The reason the “you’re lying about your taste” accusation gets under my skin is that I’m never quite sure how honest, how authentic, my reactions are in the first place. How much is filtered through intermediate opinions which I happen to have come across first — or by what I imagine the people I like/want to like me would react? Part of it is the insecurity of the autodidact — there’s always something just out of reach that I don’t know yet, and others do — but there’s also just the passage of time, the way thirty-two-year-old me has nearly nothing in common with the twenty-two-year-old whose summary judgments I’m still holding onto because I haven’t yet got round to revising my opinion on, uh, mid-80s Heart or whatever. I have all kinds of provisional opinions; if I voiced one, someone who accused me of lying about it wouldn’t be wrong, because the person who formed it isn’t the person I am now.
The only solution, of course, is to plow on regardless. Or, I suppose, to stop talking about music; but that’s not going to happen.
Chris Onstad, the new Achewood.
I am in constant awe of the dude’s ability to condense his ideas into the leanest, punchiest form possible. The Hemingway of our generation, yo.
Just a note to report that in the cafe where I’m sitting, Neil Young and the Pussycat Dolls are playing simultaneously. One is on the store’s radio, the other is on someone’s laptop.
And if I unpause the iPod whose buds are in my ears, Eubie Blake will start up. We are drowning in music.