I never liked the band Sublime.
For whatever reason, their 1996 self-titled third album became really popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s when I was in high school and college. And even then it annoyed the hell out of me. To this day, I can’t hear “Santeria” or “What I Got” without getting a twitch in my eye. And remember, this was the era of nu-metal and rap-rock–Korn, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, and their ilk were everywhere. Even in this morass of awfulness, Sublime stood out to me as particularly wretched.
So what in the world makes me think of them now? I’ll tell you what brought Sublime to mind: I’m a musical masochist.
See, from time to time I like to pop over to Pitchfork and see what’s new in the world of indie hipster music. I know, I know: I get what I deserve. But I check the site more for laughs because nearly every single review has to go into politics, and oftentimes the reviews hinge more on the politics of the artist and how they’re embedded in the work and less on the actual notes involved.
It’s almost as though Pitchfork’s stable of reviewers is more convinced on the influence some music can have than on the music. But nah, art doesn’t influence people, right?
Anyway, a week or so ago, Pitchfork, for whatever reason, decided to review Sublime’s 1992 debut album 40oz. to Freedom. And this review typifies a phenomenon I loathe with nearly every ounce of my being: judging past works as being deficient for failing to live up to the current year’s moral and political standards.
This is how you get idiots screeching that the entire Western cannon of art, music, and literature is racist and unworthy of learning because “Muh dead white European males!”
It gets classic Mark Twain novels like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer–which carry a strong anti-racism, anti-slavery message–banned because they use the n-word.
Heart of Darkness. To Kill a Mockingbird. They’ve got to go.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the classic album by The Beatles, is blamed for making rock a “male” thing, as if (a) that’s necessarily a bad thing, and (b) is even true. So it has to be “reassessed.”
The works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis? Racist and bigoted because they’re too Christian. Out with them!
Even a video game like Kingdom Come: Deliverance, made by a Czech company that takes place in a historically accurate recreation of 15th century Bohemia, gets criticized by idiots for not having any black people in it.
This drives me crazy. Continue reading “Yesterday’s Works, Today’s Eyes”