The Null Device

Nick Hornby on the current Top 10:
The single biggest influence on most of these artists, according to the acknowledgments in their liner notes, is . . . Actually, let's see if you can guess. Who do you think is at least partially responsible for such songs as "Where the Party At," "Bootylicious," "Bad Boy for Life," "American Psycho," "The Girlies," and "Pimp Like Me"? ... Give up? O.K. You may well be surprised to learn that the very first person thanked in the liner notes of the CDs containing these gems is the Almighty Himself. He gets thanked on seven of the ten albums, by sixteen different contributing artists. ... Michelle, of Destiny's Child, is moved to point out to the Creator, "There is no one like you!!," which is, on reflection, one of the tidiest ontological arguments you could wish to hear.
The D12 album "Devils Night" offers no respite, needless to say; listening to the fourth track here -- a "skit" entitled "Bizarre," in which one of the gang members' attempts to seduce a colleague's girlfriend goes awry, because he farts all the way through it -- was, I think, the single most dispiriting moment of my professional life so far this millennium.
Ever since Elvis, it has been pop music's job to challenge the mores of the older generation; our mistake was to imagine ourselves hipper and more tolerant than our parents. The liberal values of those who grew up in the sixties and seventies constitute an Achilles' heel: we're not big on guns, consumerist bragging, or misogyny, and that is the ground on which Eminem and his crew choose to fight. I know when I'm beaten; I can only offer sporting congratulations and a firm handshake.

(via Robot Wisdom)

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