Buggin’ Me


“I’m such an idiot.”

“I’m so stupid.”

“I’m so ugly.”

When I hear guys say these things, and it is usually guys, my eyes roll. This self-righteous blather does one of two things, it either takes the person out of the equation, eliminates risk, so you won’t judge them, or it demonstrates their superiority.

Let’s dig deeper. There are the wannabes, the insecure, who are too lame to compete. Rather than take the assets they possess and play, they want an advantage, they want to get a pass because if they played for real and lost they’d go home crying.

And then there are those who believe their poop doesn’t stink. They think that by telling us how inadequate they are it removes them from judgment, it makes them just like us, even though they’re gorgeous, rich and accomplished.

I mean come on, just own it.

But everybody in America is afraid to own it except for the rappers. That’s right, if you’re playing to the faceless masses you can boast, but if you’re one on one you have to be self-denigrating.

How did we get to this point? To where you have to put yourself down to fit in?

That’s what I hate about the corporation, all the gamesmanship. All the falsehoods.

So do me a favor, give it your all, own your strengths and do your best to make do with your deficiencies.

As Bob Dylan so eloquently put it, “each of us has his own special gift.” When you keep putting yourself down I want to run from you, I don’t want to take you seriously, you’re not dealing in the real world.

And it’s not only men.

It’s the women who talk about their “fat ass” who look like they haven’t had a meal in a week. Or those who worship their figure who say they’re full after a french fry. Just say you’re on a diet because if you weren’t a skinny-minnie you’d have no worth, even though this is untrue.

And the truth is most winners don’t undercut their assets. They own who they are. They play with all they’ve got.

Life is hard enough as it is, why do you have to play this phony game?


Let’s call them what they are, not the ten best records or books, but the ones that are gonna make you look good by quoting them.

Earlier today I was reading the Top Ten records from the L.A. “Times” critics. In some cases, I’d never even heard of the albums.

Check ’em out here:

Top 10 lists reveal harmony among Times pop music critics

Have you heard of “Ought” and “Cold Specks”? They’re on Chris Barton’s list.

How about Tinashe, White Lung and Arca? August Brown listed them.

I could keep listing the obscurities, but it’s just going to give fodder to the experts, so deep in their holes that they think this off the radar stuff deserves to go mainstream and the problem is radio doesn’t play it and Spotify doesn’t pay for it and you wonder why most people tune out music.

You can’t list Eric Church’s “Outsiders,” because too many people bought it, it’s too popular. You can’t be a member of society, you must be an “other.”

This is an old paradigm run rampant.

Used to be there were comparatively few albums released and you made yourself feel good by denigrating the taste of the masses. That’s right, you put on your black and judged anything popular as junk. But the internet blew a hole wide open in that paradigm. With so many albums released, that which is not successful is just obscure. And when you tell those who are not deep into your hole they’re great and these people check them out and discover they’re not, you do a disservice to music in general.

That’s right, what’s holding back music is all the self-righteous pricks who need to believe their obscure favorites are the best, that they’re being ripped off by the system. It’s these people who are muddying the water, making the scene incoherent.

Let’s assume you’re not a fourteen year old addicted to Top Forty radio… How do you penetrate the scene, how do you discover what to listen to?

You certainly can’t trust these critics. Who go to the shows of favorites and crap upon them and then recommend stuff few are listening to and even fewer can comprehend. You just end up listening to the oldies and watching television.

And then there are the algorithms and the playlists and…

Recommending music is a skill. Talk to a program director. It’s not about their taste, but whether the music will resonate with the listener.

Think about that when you recommend stuff.


This is an old topic, but I experience it every day.

Please don’t react with your emotions, but with intelligence, having digested the facts. Low payments from Pandora don’t translate to unjust Spotify payments. They’re calculated differently, they’re two completely different services.

But you just want to pile on the future, you just want to bitch that someone moved your cheese, as if the reason you’re broke is because Spotify exists. As for paying attention to the words of Taylor Swift, it’s her right to put her music wherever she wants, but she’s an uneducated wealthy person who’s got little idea what’s going on. If she weren’t already a platinum artist, she’d be begging to be on Spotify. She’s like a Democrat who gets rich and becomes a Republican.

But this is not about Taylor Swift, who has no power anyway. This is about you complaining that the public doesn’t hew to your vision, that the public doesn’t want to overpay to buy your album. Automakers keep improving their products, as do tech companies. Hell, where are Nokia and BlackBerry today? But somehow in music everything must remain the same.

We’ve got no leadership in the music business. It’s run by old men inured to the old ways who don’t want to break the game. That’s right, eliminate radio and the major labels would be clueless as to how to proceed. Music is so old school even Will Ferrell doesn’t want to participate in it. The reason the Top Forty dominates is because the rest is nearly incomprehensible, and too much mediocre stuff is promoted instead of the good.


This is the future. The press release is the album. The music is irrelevant and goes unheard. No one wants to hear Dylan’s Sinatra covers, no one. It’s dead on arrival. Even worse than that Metallica/Lou Reed abomination.

This is how far we’ve come. Where albums by superstars go unheard. Because we’ve got so much at our fingertips and we’ve only got time for that which is great. And believe me, Dylan can barely sing, we need his covers of Sinatra standards like we need an album of pre-schoolers singing Led Zeppelin.

But the brain-dead media, the same one with the obscure Top Ten lists, prints this promotional drivel giving it the appearance of news when nothing could be further from the case.

We’ve got all the time in the world for great music.

But everybody in the music business is busy propping up dreck. It’s like allowing Pop Warner players to be considered next to NFL stars.

I don’t really care. The music business can drive itself off a cliff, that’s fine with me, along with the self-righteous people who believe that the Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson funk number is anything but a retread of what once was. How come music has become so insular? Is it that the barrier to entry is insanely low and those who’ve dedicated their lives to it can only feel good about themselves by championing that which is not mainstream?

Give me mainstream any day of the week.

Remember, these are the same pricks who castigated the Carpenters and are now in love with them.

There’s a reason Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line dominate the chart. Your bitch is that you had nothing to do with their success and your fandom is no different from that of the great unwashed.

Get over yourself.

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