Saturday, August 23, 2008

One reason why I will never insult Neil Young on this blog

Everett True has a story to tell.

You see, back on August 6 he wrote a column in the Guardian about the Australian music press. In the article, he noted how the press treats Australian acts with kid gloves:

The idea of anyone actually daring to criticise musicians for the sound they make is almost heresy. Everyone is treated equally, which means no knocking anyone back, however great the temptation. (That'll be why Australian rock is best known to the outside world for such musical abominations as Silverchair, the Vines and Savage Garden.)

Guess what? His views weren't popular in Australia:

Queensland's music press has hit back, with one editor of a local music newspaper dismissing the British music guru as "irrelevent".

"It's a really poor piece of journalism from a music writer who once had relevance and influence, but now he's living in Australia, he doesn't really have the knowledge or experience of the local industry to back up his opinions," said the industry source.

"It's just a shame he gets to hide under the masthead of The Guardian, which gives him credence where none is due."

Music industry analyst Rob Collings has also dismissed the blog as "nonsense" and has taken a swipe back at the British press, which he claims is overly critical. "I think there are parts of the British press that seem to enjoy denigrating their subjects," he said.

So, was True contrite and apologetic afterwards? Not exactly:

All of these media outlets gave the story prominence on their websites...and boy, did those comments start flooding in. Many of these focused on the fact that 1) I'm English, and 2) that I should [expletive deleted] off back to England.

A sample comment from the Courier-Mail site reads, "The Australian music scene is pretty fantastic, as far as I can tell. I certainly don't rely on reviews or journalists to tell me what I should buy." (I wasn't commenting on the Australian music scene. I would no more judge Australian music on that turgid piece of sub-U2 tripe INXS, say, than I would think British music was crap because I once heard a Klaxons record.)

Now, all of this attention has come as somewhat of a surprise to me as I never considered the fact that 1) I'm English and 2) I don't like every record ever made in the history of rock music to be newsworthy facts....

True then speculated that the reaction may have been due to Australians' view of themselves as a minor music market; thus, any attack on particular Australian bands could be considered an attack on the entire country. I'm American, and we know everything, so I don't quite understand how inferiority complexes work, but True provided another example in his article:

When I was living in Melbourne in 2000, I went to a film premiere of South Park Uncut. The (hipster) audience was having a grand time, laughing uproariously at all the swearing and nastiness and fart jokes - and when the movie started poking fun at various nationalities individually, the crowd was beside itself. Americans, Canadians, the British, the French...people were in stitches. And then Australia got mentioned.

You could have heard a pin drop.
blog comments powered by Disqus