You, Good Sir, Are A Pompous Ass!
I think I’m a fairly intelligent guy; of average intelligence, at the very least. I mean, I read the Iliad and choked down The Divine Comedy in high school. I know a few big words but prefer to use them in conversation or in writing only when the opportunity is right. It’s my opinion that the best writers use words that appeal to the masses. I mean, why drag the thesaurus out when a perfectly understandable and unpretentious sentence will do?
“The pretty, red ball quickly and quietly rolled into the street and under the truck.”
“The pulchritudinous, crimson orb expeditiously and tacitly undulated into the thoroughfare and underneath the conveyance.”*
I read the Quietus quite regularly and usually quite enjoy their criticism and pop music/culture essays. They pride themselves on letting their correspondents write what they want to write, with minimal editing, and I dig that about them. It gives the site a communal feel and is usually much less sterile and pretentious than, say, Pitchfork.
Then I read a review for the Orange Juice box-set “Coals To Newcastle”, which collects virtually everything this amazing band ever recorded, and then some. To cut it short, by the end of the review my head hurt. What the hell did I just read? I could understand the majority of what this obviously erudite (hehe) jorno type said, but my question was “why”? Here’s a couple of excerpts:
“The prevailing doxa vis-a-vis Orange Juice is that they mediated a certain form of insular dissatisfaction with the dour personal/political hypochondria of their post-punk forerunners and peers. Indeed, they are intermittently feted as having presciently tapped into a stream of hitherto unexplored and, at the time, resolutely unfashionable longing for a smidgen of a pre year-zero remystyification of the pop formulae. A beguiling legacy perhaps for a suburban group of Velvet Underground acolytes, but one which served as a subsequent litmus test of the twin aesthetic and ideological victories and failures of both the mutated punk and new pop. Edwyn Collins’ early propensity for employing reassuringly subversive anti-machismo amid the deceptive conventionality of actual love songs imbued Orange Juice with an entirely syncretic musical language, eventually redolent of the most gloriously stilted of white boy punk-funk. Tenderness, innocence and feyness abounded.”
And, if you’ve got the stomach for it, here’s one more example:
“Such a charming expressions of frailty are frequently unearthed on debut LP You Cant Hide Your Love Forever, and would most likely be misread as irony in our current comments box culture, with earnestness often utilized as a façade to blurt out Vice exalted moral relativism. But an organic melding of precognitive disco funk and conspicuous shards of Gretsch chime imbue the likes of ‘Falling and Laughing’ with enough paired down tension to render such earnestness sonically measured.”
I mean, WTF?!?!?
It’s a f*&kin’ pop music site, fer Christ’s sake! Is it just me, or is this a little much? Ok, you’re an intelligent guy, yeah you most likely went to a really great school, but you know what? By writing the way you do you make other semi-educated folks wonder if you’re not hiding more than a few crippling insecurities, eh boy?
*Thanks a bunch, thesaurus.com!!