I try and live my life the way that Superman would want me to. By that I don’t mean that I hope that when I die I’ll go to the Fortress of Solitude and hold a big circle-jerk with all the other nerds or something but instead that if Superman wouldn’t do something there’s a pretty good chance that it is either fucking stupid or going to land me in jail. Another principle I try to live my life by is the belief that ninety-nine percent of absolutely fucking everything is shit. Most music is shit. Most movies are shit. Most television is shit. Most people are shit. Most of my columns will be shit, most of the letters pages this year will be shit, most of Salient will be shit. Most hardcore Japanese cartoon tentacle rape porn is, surprisingly enough, shit. This has the advantage of low expectations so when stuff turns out to be shit I am not surprised.
The corollary of this is that one percent of everything is motherfucking gold. This is a good thing to remember. Some hip-hop is gold. Some of your parents’ jokes are gold. Some movies are gold. Some books are gold. Some lectures are gold. Somehow there probably exists a Japanese tentacle rape cartoon porno that is gold. Maybe Tentacle King Dongu buys the schoolgirl dinner or something, I don’t know. Maybe it has a good soundtrack. Maybe Tentacle King Dongu takes care of her needs. Whatever. The point is that no matter how much you hate a genre or class or group and think that they suck there is something or someone out there who doesn’t suck quite as much. Well, except for mature students. They are all, without exception, shitheads.
The most important group of people who could stand to learn from the Critical Critic Shit Gold Theorem are music elitists. You know them – the people who won’t accept that the reason that indie music is indie is that most of it sucks, and that Radio Active only plays songs that other stations won’t touch with a bargepole. The people who refuse to listen to anything vaguely popular and at the same time will confidently tell you that everything that’s been popular since they were born sucked. They probably waste large quantities of money on exclusive sound equipment and claim they can hear the difference between CDs and vinyl. There’s a good chance they own an iPod. There’s a better chance they sleep with a poster of some shitty band from the seventies like The Doors or Pink Floyd or something. It’s probably a pretty sticky poster.
Now, I’m pretty liberal and espouse the rights of all people, no matter how annoying, to do what they want with their own free time, but music elitists inevitably feel the need to dump their faggotry on the rest of us. Any conversation about music will be filled with comments about how they “don’t listen to pop music” and will probably invariably be dragged off-topic to a talk about prog-rock or some other crappy genre that died a deserved death decades ago. If they are allowed near a sound system at a party they will inevitably play shitty mood-killing music. Music elitists will often try to show how edgy and in-your-face they are by claiming that popular bands of times past actually sucked. The usual target is the Beatles. Now they had their flaws (e.g. Yoko Ono), but it is neither intelligent nor original to claim that an entire generation was totally wrong about good music. It just makes you an elitist cocksucker.
The saddest thing about music elitists (after talking to them) is that in the long run they’re only hurting themselves. In twenty years time when they go to a 1990s-themed reunion they won’t actually know any of the songs and will feel shit and have no friends and when they’re flying in their robot car they won’t be able to tune into Classic Hits or whatever on the space radio and laugh along with their kids at the wacky antics of Eminem or Limp Bizkit and say stuff like “I remember when this sucked!”. On top of this they are dicks, and everybody secretly finds them really annoying. What music elitists need to realise is that almost all of whatever genre they’ve stapled their retarded banner to is complete crap and that maybe if they loosened up a bit and actually tried listening to the popular music they so gaily deride they’d realise that, while lots of it is shit, there’s the odd thing that doesn’t suck and if the worst comes to the worst they could just watch Britney Spears videos with the sound off and a women’s tennis game on the radio. This is much more fun than you might think, and not a little bit creepy unless you watch those ones where’s she like 12 or whatever. If you do Superman will come through your window and rape you and it will serve you right.