Slate’s Jody Rosen has written an article called “The Perils of Poptimism” that some of you may find interesting. Basically it tries to find common ground between the traditional rock critics (“rockists,” best exemplified by Rolling Stone magazine) who dismiss entire genres like hip-hop and teen pop (apparently choosing their opinions by rhyme), and the “popists” or “poptimists” (represented by most modern/online critics) who seem to appreciate everything and will defend anything, contextualizing and equivocating and pontificating until you’re too bored to argue anymore. It’s the smartest articulation of the divide I’ve seen, not as reactionary as Kelefa Sanneh’s “The Rap Against Rockism” (“rockism is racism!”) and with a closer attention to history.


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