Your music is trash
Music shaming in the 21st century
By Alec Warkentin, Staff Writer
The problem with music shaming is that it perpetuates a power struggle between the elitists (those in-the-know) and what can be dubbed “the Rest” (listeners who aren’t, listeners who maybe want to be and listeners who just don’t care).
It can be argued that the bulk of us fall into the category of “the Rest,” specifically in the realm of “just don’t care” but for some select few music shaming is a serious thing, and nobody should have to feel bad for what they dig.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially because it’s so easy to pass judgement on one thing and much harder to recognize that another, that may be deeply ingrained in the collective societal hive-mind as bad, may actually hold artistic merit. “I can’t believe you listen to X.”
“Why don’t you listen to Y? It’s way better. It’s what X is trying to be.”
In the age of digital media, music shaming is becoming more prominent than ever before.
Greater and more widespread inter-communication on social media and forum sites means there are just that many more people to hate on you for what you enjoy.
The online music community is a hotbed for individuals with equally hot takes on what the in-thing to like is, what the right way to think is, and what the proper artist to listen to is.
Isn’t it tiring?
The oft-forgotten truth is that, as with all art, taste is subjective. What may be greatly esteemed, highly acclaimed or generally regarded as the top form of a genre to some may be bottom-barrel swill to others.
This runs both ways of course, with some truly abhorrent acts still managing to find a fanbase dedicated enough to allow them to keep putting out some rather questionable releases, seriously, how did Blood on the Dance Floor put out nine albums?
Now, for fear of coming off as holier-than-thou, I’m just as bad as anyone when it comes to being critical of what others listen to (sorry to fans of Blood on the Dance Floor who may be reading this article, I didn’t mean it) and there’s a need to consciously consider whatever preconceived notions of musicians and artists we may hold before passing judgement on others who may be fans.
So, the question now is where do we go from here? How do we turn the tide when it comes to the phenomena of music-shaming? Is there anything that can be done?
In short, yes. Of course. There’s always something that can be done. Just be nicer to people, you dolts! But also, try not to take it personally if someone shames you for liking a certain band, song, album, person, whatever. There’s almost a 100 per cent certainty that they get down with something you might not think is so hot either.