Our scene has long-suffered a universe-center-misplacement epidemic that is only growing in size and intensity as a result of its carriers interacting with other carriers and the noninfected through online opinion-sharing platforms.
Every time we post anything about any of the hundreds (thousands?) of bands we cover, one of the carriers will inevitably show him or herself to the podium, knocking a few innocent bystanders off the stage in the process.
“Eh-hem,” he clears his throat before going on a keyboard woe-is-me diatribe about how we “only ever cover this band” and how they “don’t deserve it” and how there are “so many other bands who deserve coverage” and how “no one likes them.”
Let’s break it down, shall we?
1. “AP only ever covers [insert band you hate].”
No, we don’t. We actively cover, as mentioned, a number of artists that is quite possibly in the thousands. What you mean is: “I only ever pay attention when you cover this band because the internet is my stressball, and I need somewhere to be angry.”
2. “[Band you hate] don’t deserve coverage” / “[Band you like] deserve more coverage.”
First off: Good on you for liking something. We didn’t know you had it in you, between catapulting homophobic slurs at certain frontmen whose eyeliner you find offensive and telling us every other band on the planet “fucking sucks.” We encourage more of the latter half of this point, because positivity in Facebook comments is damn-near extinct.
Let’s examine the word “deserve” for a second. It’s a word I’ve personally set out to eliminate from my vocabulary entirely because delegating “deserves,” positive or negative, feels like a very egotistical thing to do, but for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that “deserve” is a concept I believe in.
To “deserve” in the AP universe generally means a band has done the following: They have created something artistically compelling that we think you will like. They have accumulated a passionate fanbase who will support them and who want to read about them. They have crafted skills that are comparable to artists we already know you like. They have done something just crazy enough to work, and we admire their risk-taking and wish you would take notice. (You usually do about three years later—reference our old 100 Bands You Need To Know issues if you need proof.)
Basically, “deserve” here is a near-tangible, measurable thing that you can’t really argue against. It’s in a social flow we’ve observed, a progression we’ve witnessed, a cultural pattern we’ve memorized, a secret weapon we know a band is harboring. It’s many things, and your feelings to the contrary don’t disprove it.
So when you say things like,
3. “No one likes [band you hate].”
What you mean is, “I don’t like them, but these other 1.5 million people do, and I think they’re wrong.”
Now, we have a theory. Maybe it’s crazy, but we think we can help with that whole universe-center-misplacement thing.
Maybe, if we all channel our negativity into positivity, we won’t be so wrong about where the center of the universe lies. (If you haven’t guessed the nature of this epidemic, many people think the stars and heavens revolve around them.)
Let’s go back to the “social flow” proven factor of “deserve.” When something gets a reaction, we take note and remember, “Hey, people react to this thing.” Whether it’s positive or negative, it is nonetheless a reaction.
Think of every comment you leave as a “vote” for the artist or subject in question. Positive or negative, that vote still counts, because in the end, the internet is just a stream of numbers and babble.
What if instead of “voting” for artists you hate, you spent more time focusing on those you like, or even doing something totally outrageous and giving someone new a chance? As mentioned before, we often cover artists because we believe you will like them. Because we’ve noticed that you already like them. Because we’ve noticed you react to them. Notice the pattern? It’s you.
You are the center of our universe. I’m going to let you in on a secret: We don’t stop covering bands because they’ve received a mass negative reaction. We stop covering them when a band receives little-to-no reaction.
The opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference. The opposite of being relevant is not being hated. It’s being ignored.
So, you genuinely want what you believe to be more pure representation of what you like shown on our site? Then encourage us and encourage the artists you like with positivity and ignore the things you hate.
We have a hunch that you’ll feel better about yourself when you take the time to notice the good. We also have a hunch that things won’t really change, not only because it’s asking entirely too much for humans to be nice on the internet, but because “No one likes [band you hate]” truly does mean “I don’t like them, but these other 1.5 million people do, and I think they’re wrong.” ALT