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July 27, 2010



"the overwhelming response to my recent post against eighties music was that I should quit worrying and just 'listen to what I like'. It would take a naïveté I can barely imagine to believe that this is what one is doing when one listens to music."

If you're not listening to what you like, I'm not sure what the point is of listening to music.

I try to follow something I once heard Ben Folds say in a radio interview: your taste in music should have nothing to do with your personality. Am I saying this is what everyone does, or that it's easy to do this with total purity? Of course not. But I feel sorry for any music fan whose main reason for listening to music is anything other than because s/he likes it.


Great story. I laud your posts on everything anthropological, philosophical, and mythological, but am likely best qualified to respond to issues of music fandom and aesthetic appreciation.

You say: "Music is music, but it is also (and this is especially true of pop music) a sort of totemic cosmology: an imposition of order on the world through distinctions of value." Music is music and *also* something else? Why keep this distinction? Does that not unnecessarily preserve the notion of pure aesthesis you're trying to avoid?

Unless you intended it. I honestly can't tell.


"But I feel sorry for any music fan whose main reason for listening to music is anything other than because s/he likes it."

How about challenging yourself, opening up new horizons or seeing if you have matured to appreciate things you found unpalatable previously or to see if your tastes have changed? If you only listen to the music you like aren't you listening to the same things over and over again?

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