Music Snobs

Assuming the theories proposed by Adorno and Horkheimer are correct, there is no such thing as “high quality pop culture”. Let me first explain that according to these two German dead guys, (okay, so they are a bit more important than I make them out to seem. Google their work if you’re interested – I have no compulsion to fill in your blanks considering I just wrote a paper on them last week) something exists called the culture industry, which makes out to cheapen works of art (i.e. a song) and turn it into an easily repeatable formula for the sake of entertaining the masses.
The best example I can think of is EVERY SINGLE SONG PLAYED ON THE RADIO THESE DAYS.
Now being in the mid-nineties generation, I can clearly see that while every single one of my friends enjoys pop culture and the culture industry, myself included, we are complete snobs about it.
We look down on those who enjoy songs written by Justin Bieber and Iggy Azalea. We pretend that we are above the considered “cheap” works of “art” that flood our radio stations and crowd our news feeds. We tell people “Oh no, I am above listening to that crap. I only listen to ___”. But let’s face it, unless you’re listening to the works of Bach, the chances are that regardless of genre, you’re still listening to a song created in the midst of pop culture, and that means that the artist typically made this song for money, not art.
Now let me talk about something that has recently hit close to home for me; I am a diehard Taylor Swift fan (always have been, always will be, and I’m not sorry) and yesterday she released her new album, 1989. I took one listen and started to weep for the loss of real instruments in her songs. I took one listen and was repulsed by the similarity between her songs and every single song playing on the radio on my way to work. I took one listen and found myself thinking, “What happened to her GOOD music?”
And that’s when it hit me: I was a music snob. Because Swifts new music was following the pop culture industry (which admittedly was a good business – if nothing more – decision on her part), I decided immediately that I hated it without even finishing the songs.
But who was I to say that these songs were terrible? I am not a music critic, I did not study the art of musical composition in university … Who the hell am I to say that this music, or any music, is bad? Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean others won’t.
And to you out there who loves pop culture music, don’t let anyone tell you your taste in music sucks. It may differ from other people’s taste in music, but it’s YOUR opinion and it can’t be right or wrong.
And to those of you who are so self-righteous that you think you’re the absolute bomb for listening to The Beatles on a gramophone while wearing hipster glasses and drinking tea imported from Thailand and look down on those who do not. . . you, my friends, are music snobs.

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