Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What are they selling?

I mean, besides a great steaming pile of bullshit?

Their 100 greatest songs! Which is to say, the editors of Rolling Stone think that even after you have compiled the Beatles hundred best songs there are still songs left over that could be classified as "great" despite not being in the 100 best.

I'd be hard-pressed to come up with 10 great Beatles songs myself but I think even an honest Beatles fan would limit themselves to less than 30.

But here is the question: Who reads this stuff? And are they really stupid enough to think this issue of Rolling Stone will ever be a collectors item? Here's another way to ask the same question: Do you like some Beatles' songs? I suspect just about everybody likes some of them. If so, what do you think their bests songs are? I don't ask because I want to know but to make another point: that you could answer that question pretty easily because you don't need the "experts" at Rolling Stone to tell you what you like.

But that is precisely what this magazine cover is selling; it's selling you help deciding what you should like. That's a recurring motif at Rolling Stone; the publication has produced so many lists of the greatest songs/bands/concerts/backrubs of all time that its own editors can't keep track of them anymore*. That says so much about the last half of the 20th century. It was an era full of people who didn't think for themselves. Not because they couldn't, but because they so desperately need approval from authorities of some sort. Think of how much that is at odds with what the people of that era liked to believe about themselves.

* Wikipedia can however. The writers never fail to mention if a song or musician has made some list somewhere.

1 comment:

  1. That's absolutely true, but in reality they just followed the leader du jour, still are.