Okay, so, irony of ironys, a friend’s blog posted a link to this on facebook. I haven’t read Hipster Runoff in years to be honest, it all started to feel like the same jokes over and over. I wondered if it had simply become to negative, too obvious: at times too painful because it was too true.
But unemployment takes it’s toll on confidence: I won’t lie that creating original content, that trying to do something different and worthwhile with your life feels totally impossible these days (see Morgy’s interview). I think this is related to unemployment in that, at this point in time, so many people are told that they are capable of creating unique important things, and so many other people are so able to watch via the internet, that we are creatively backlogged. Especially because I see a huge disconnect between the ability of artists to create unique things (objects, ideas, innovations) and our government’s, the backbone/infrastructure of our functioning society, complete inability to create anything new at all. On the one hand: innovation where it seems impossible. On the other hand: pathetically backwards attachment to ancient sentiments and ideologies.
Having a voice has become something I see as impossible, and yet still I’m fighting for it. I wish I took more pride in my work (edit: I take pride in this blog. I’m referring here to writing copy for advertisements or promotional blog posts for companies/organizations where there is an agenda), but in a sea of people reading things about bands/music, in a sea of photographers and bloggers at any given show, the chance that myblog post will be noticed is slim to none. But I need a job. And I want a job that allows me to be surrounded by people I have things in common with - so I blog about music so I can be around people making music/writing about music/involved in music. Hipster Runoff’s article was hard to read. Mostly because it stops feeling sarcastic at all.
“Long form ‘journalism’ is just another worthless content vertical, no more valuable than a photo gallery, interview, or viral meme recap. Readers are too dumb/don’t have enough time to curate on their own, so they basically just end up lost on the web, an aimless series of links to click around. Related content that is unrelated to anything relevant.
Additionally, the content farm basically kills the singular voice of any one writer. I can’t really think of many writers who are known by ‘the common indie fan’ as an important/singular voice in indie culture/music. Sure, the ‘talent’ is theoretically there (not really, I’m just being nice [via hypotheticals]), but it is all squashed by the output of the content farm, flushed down the page and into the toilet that is the internet. I’m not even sure what to think about the insane group of ‘young writers’ who legitimately want to ‘cover new music/the indie scene.’ I feel like there aren’t people who are interested in ‘trailblazing their own vibe with their own agenda’, they only want to become one of those people responsible for 7 posts per day for an established content farm. Indie writers can then tweet endorsements about how amazing their blurbs and ‘think pieces’ are, in order to create an illusion of actually doing something that matters even though we are all trapped in the Broken Indie Machine.”
But I do want to say that I don’t think all of this is true. I don’t think anyone “legitimately wants” to be a part of the system, and that’s part of the problem. People are creative and capable, and they are trying to make the world better, they are trying to live new lives. I definitely am not going to say this article is the best, because I think it is pretty negative and inattentive to the efforts of people to notbe a part of the system. But I definitely think that he’s finally tapped into the complete frustration so many people feel towards the blogosphere, hype, sponsored, pathetic piece of crap that the “music industry” at large is.
I could go on but it would turn into a thesis - if you have any thoughts you would like to share, send us a message.
I’ll assure you of this:
“There are also certain ‘rules’ to indie coverage that make it boring. You can only pan a band when it is one album too late. You are not allowed to get bored with something you praised just one album ago. Do not offend those bands and individuals who facilitate decent content. Never call out a tenured indie band for their marginal product. We are all guilty.”
we aren’t following those rules. We don’t want to post stuff that we don’t think is good. We cover some big stuff, some small stuff, some stuff in between. While I have mixed emotions about riffing hard on a band, I feel like the backlog of creativity definitely has to do with giving “marginal product” some much airtime.
A final note: it’s so fucking ironic (this kills me to say) that this is getting so viral. Fuck virality.