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 Everett True

These people are the enemy

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Beavis and Butt-head fighting

I couldn’t let the following exchange of views pass without comment.

There seems to be a certain type of person who hates anything that doesn’t support their worldview … I have no idea why, maybe they feel threatened or something. The sort of sweeping, patronising, arrogant statements and gratuitous insults made by Chad Parkhill below are indicative of a certain attitude that is prevalent everywhere, especially on the Internet, not just among people who write about music for money, and certainly not just in Australia. It’s just that I happen to live in Australia, and these were made by a fellow who writes for the street (music) press in my hometown.

(These blank ciphers, these willing sheep whose idea of a great review is one where they got free entry AND free drinks, they’re the ones that hold the balance of power through sheer weight of numbers, not us. That’s why we get shit like Gotye passing through mostly unchallenged in Australia AND people up in arms when we state we’re not sure that’s a good thing. “You’re just hacking down the tall poppies,” they bleat to overseas critics who have no idea what the fuck they’re going on about. How is such myopic parochialism going to help anything? “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” they cry. And, for fuck’s sake, do NOT think about, or question, what you’re doing. What’s the point in that?)*

Doubtless, Chad thought he was offering Collapse Board and all who sail in her some sage, worldly advice. Sigh. Weird how he got so offended after I mildly disagreed with his reductionist theory of pop music: this, after an uncalled-for deluge of personal insults.

We can’t let people like this get away with it. These people are the enemy. Make no mistake.

Taken from the comments section to Response To A Disgruntled Goyte Fan

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Chad Parkhill says: Much like the question of whether or not Gotye’s music is enjoyable, the question of whether this is a dialogue about or an in-house circlejerk is in the eye of the beholder. Surely we’ve all had enough of this?

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Everett True says: Surely we’ve all had enough of this?

If you’ve had enough of this, why are you here?

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Chad Parkhill says: Everett: I come here to read the vanishingly-small number of pieces that actually engage in writing about music (some of it decent!), as opposed to the increasingly-large number of pieces about Collapse Board itself, or how much Pitchfork sucks, or about how everyone other music critic in the world is crap, or about how Everett True is such a legend, mad contradictory bastard that he is, etc.

I know that your response to that will be “If you don’t like it, don’t read it,” and you have every right to continue on with the project of installing new chips on your shoulder and building up CB’s insular little mythos. I’ll simply observe that every truly wonderful and successful cultural product (book, album, website—whatever) I’ve ever encountered has succeeded because it has its eye on the task ahead of it, not on its posterity and self-mythologising. Something to consider amongst the flood of manifestoes, meta-whinges, and complaints about how others suck at music criticism.

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Everett True says:

I’ll simply observe that every truly wonderful and successful cultural product (book, album, website—whatever) I’ve ever encountered has succeeded because it has its eye on the task ahead of it, not on its posterity and self-mythologising.

You’re obviously not a fan of the following then:
Bob Dylan
The White Stripes
The KLF
The Beatles
PJ Harvey
Nick Cave
Nirvana
Banksy
(I could go on and list another few hundred thousand, but I’ve got to put the pizzas on the barbie)

Good on ya, mate. Clear head, and all that. Stick to the straight and narrow, that’s best.

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Chad Parkhill says: I can take some of that list and leave some of it, too. They’re all very talented artists, though, and I can guarantee that any self-mythologising in their work is subservient to the focus of the work itself, *or* represents their artistic nadir. (Yes, some of that list have put out crap albums. Happens to everyone, often when they’ve stopped focusing on the work and started focusing on themselves.)

But, y’know, keep doing what you’re doing, man. Keep working on the myth of Everett True and his merry band of fellow critics who stood up to Pitchfork and the general crapulence of modern music criticism and won. Maybe if you repeat it enough times it will magically come true.

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Everett True says:

I can guarantee that any self-mythologising in their work is subservient to the focus of the work itself, *or* represents their artistic nadir.

You really don’t understand the first thing about popular music, do you?

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Chad Parkhill says: See ya, Jerry. Good luck with your site.

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matt says: I’m with Chad. I’ve had enough. You guys are just mean.

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Lucy Cage says: “Mean”? Seriously? If you respond to criticism from readers, you’re mean?! Even if the criticism is in the form of a personal attack?

I responded to Adrian’s critique of Scott not because I thought Scott was offended (he wasn’t and nor would I be) but because I thought Adrian had misunderstood what music criticism is for. There were fundamental differences between the way he thought a review should work and how Collapse Board approaches writing about music: the reply was for the sake of clarity. It’s not a question of being surprised about the level of disagreement and certainly not one of not taking what you dish out: this is a dialogue, it aims to boost critical thinking about music and about writing. If anyone wants tick boxes and points, go elsewhere. If you’re fascinated by the process, stick around and argue, because a critical, self-conscious approach to the way that one’s adoration or loathing of music is articulated is part and parcel of anyone’s (not just a writer’s) relationship to music.

What I love about Collapse Board is that it sets the bar high: for music, for writing, for critical thought: that goes for its readers too! Better music, better writing, better listening. Passion in all things. That’s a good thing.

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Everett True says:

I’ll simply observe that every truly wonderful and successful cultural product (book, album, website—whatever) I’ve ever encountered has succeeded because it has its eye on the task ahead of it, not on its posterity and self-mythologising.

Someone needs to tell Daniel Johnston – and quick!

P.S. Two good Australian music magazines. The Vine. Mess+Noise.

* This paragraph isn’t aimed at Chad particularly. He has at least identified himself.

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