Moronic Criticisms: Chris Milam’s Attack on Current Pop Music

While I read a lot of articles and blog posts which I may ultimately disagree with, few get me as steamed up as the moronic dribble being expressed by Chris Milam in his piece titled “Bored New World: How the Zach Braff Prototype Is Slowly Killing American Music.”  The fact that I refer to it as “moronic dribble” alone should demonstrate my opinion of the content within, but, for sake of fair dialogue, I feel that I should provide some reasoning behind my dislike.

It is not even that I feel much of a need to defend the music that Mr. Milam describes as “carefully composed dullness” regardless of whether I like it or not (admittedly there is some of it that I do like and some of it that I hate, plain and simple).  No, my objection is that Mr. Milam is making the same callous and idiotic stereotyping that has been made again and again about youth culture in this nation.  Mr. Milan has found a branch (and truly it is only a branch as certainly not every youth of our day and age are completely ingrained in the music of The Shins or Death Cab or “the Art of Self-Entitlement” as Milam calls it) of this culture which he, personally, dislikes, and foolishly attributed it to the generation and culture as a whole.

Milam writes about the Elvis, and Lennon, and Hendrix, and Curt Cobain and yet, somehow, fails to realize that the youth who listened to these musicians back in the day had to suffer the same criticisms that he is now dropping on the current trending musical culture of a generation.  The good old music of artists like The Who or Pearl Jam incited the same degree of bewilderment and disdain in their time as  current music does in the present time.

But even more infuriating is in that Mr. Milam seems to envision a culture and society of increasing indifference and social malaise.  He rants in a long paragraph about all the things going on that some “kid” (as he repeatedly refers to “them” throughout his piece) fails to exhibit any interest in.  This just isn’t true.  While certainly the current youth generation in some ways may appear detached or indifferent, this is far from the truth of the matter.  Just consider the 2008 election year, where more young adults took part in an election than ever before in American history.  Consider the way that youth are redefining the way the world communicates through an increasingly electronic age.  Look around and see how this generation, arguably more than any previous one, has made headway in pursuing cultural diversity by being interconnected (thanks largely in part to technology), accepting, and questioning the established norms.

Is the current youth culture and its products (its art, music, styles, etc.) perfect?  Fuck!  Far from it.  There is an abundance of idiocy here too.  But that being said it is not the mire of civilization either.  Mr. Milam, I am not sure what generation you count as your own, but personally I think you should be ashamed of yourself for sounding like a broken record.  You are neither the first, nor last, person who will make the mistake of mindlessly criticizing a following generation for its aparrent lacks of worth, but I am hoping that you might take a second to reconsider your generalizations and your ridiculous paranoia about a mis-identified “end-times” of cultural worth.  If you can’t do that then I’d say you are stuck in your own realm of “self-entitlement” and should maybe just shut the fuck up.


~ by Nathaniel on November 17, 2009.

3 Responses to “Moronic Criticisms: Chris Milam’s Attack on Current Pop Music”

  1. Seriously, I very rarely feel the need to express my displeasure as I have in this post. Peronally I could care less about whether people like a certain type of music or not, as I consider it all a matter of subjective opinion and realize that one can make arguments for or against just about any music (or art in general) that you want. What I can’t stand is the smug superiority and gross generalizations being made. It doesn’t bother to ask “why” this style or preference might exists, and just jumps to the conclusion that it “shouldn’t” and that is that. God, people are really stupid sometimes (and God if I don’t hate having to admit that).

  2. This is not a comment on the broader musical movement or even the article that drew your ire (as I didn’t bother to read it). I will simply state that Garden State ruined indie movies for me. It was so bad and cliche I couldn’t take another movie of that genre (or more specifically that style) seriously.

    • I personally agree with your response to Garden State . . . I think it is one of those movies that got far more attention than it deserved, and yes, has unfortunately allowed a lot of other artists to produce arguably sub-par material. But that being said, Garden State (as I am sure you know) does not epitomize the current trends in youth style, culture or identity and to make blanket statements, as I think Mr. Milam has, that suggest such does nothing to pursue a discussion along the lines of “Why was Garden State so popular and what does that say about the way that this current culture thinks about the world.” Such a discussion would far better the world than shacking one’s fist and basically saying “dagnab them crazy kids and thier wretched ways!” I mean sure it can be fun here and there, but it is kind of empty and meaningless and just begrudging the inevitability of change and progrssion.

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