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Thursday, December 11, 2003
Two more letters (!) I got in response to my Pitchfork letter. This now brings the totals up to:

E-mails received from this PF letter: 3
E-mails received from all other PF letters (about 7): 0

Anyway, here's one of 'em.

Dear Mike,

thank you for writing one of the more intelligent letters to pitchfork i have ever seen. i am a 21 year old college student, and your point about them voting for their "own choices" as opposed to 12 year old girls is nothing short of correct. in fact, it would actually be a lot easier for them to run TRL, except, as you mentioned, they don't give a shit.

often when i hear people my age, many of the "elitists" talking about TRL or even music thats on the radio like puddle of mudd or whatever, they make their point of how it sucks for only one reason: they think they're better than the people who listen to it. this is probably due to the fact that being an "elitist" is on of the very few things that they have to hold on to. this is probably the case for many of the writers for pitchfork, but i dont want to judge anyone.

i have only recently began to listen to what is considered "indie rock" as far as e.g. The Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, Pavement etc., so i feel like ive been on both sides of the fence with popular and independent music. while i feel like the stuff i listen to now is "better" in quality, i would never put someone down for liking Audioslave or Blink 182, because all they'd get out of that is: man why the hell would i want to listen to something that that arrogant prick listens to, you know? and hey, whats wrong with liking saves the day or coldplay, i mean there is some freaking sincerity in it, isnt there? sorry this is so long but i really felt like you nailed that
point on the head better than anyone. so yes, "like what you like" and thanks again for the wisdom.

In case it's of interest.

UPDATE: My reply-

Hey Marty-

Thanks for the note. Glad to know I'm appreciated. Although I've gotten 3 e-mails in response to this letter, as opposed to none for the previous ones PF has published, so I dunno if I hit a nerve or it's getting linked to or what.

Anyway, I'm with you, although I would say a few things in response:

#1: This kind of thing seems especially bad in college, because, believe it or not, I'll betcha all those PF-lovers were listening to either Puddle of Mudd or Behead the Prophet a few years ago, and they're just growing into their indie-rock shoes too. So in many ways, they're being exclusionary because they're a bit insecure about their own place in the hierarchy, and that, plus the ol' newly-converted-true-believer syndrome, makes them kind of insufferable. But always remember that indie-rock is a big nerd pile-on, and as long as you take them less seriously than they take themselves--not too hard--it's a lot more endurable. (Also, remember that you'll probably end up cooler than them, anyway.) Indie rock kids are ridiculous human beings. This is something I need to remind myself of a bit too often, like when an ex-hardcore fan who's into indie rock tries to tell me that Interpol sucks because they're pussies, but it's good to keep in mind.

#2: That said, and you probably realize this, but it's probably not a productive argumentative technique to link your opponents' positions to psychological inadequacy. They probably do have other rewarding bits in their lives, but, you know, this is the way you interact with them. Ah well. So I think I get a certain traction with PF writers because I do respect what they're saying and recognize it as legitimate--I just think it's wrong. I'm cooler than them, anyway. ;)

#3: Good point about elitism actually causing a negative reaction most of the time. Me, the only reason I'd be annoyed at a POD listener is if they refused to listen to the Flaming Lips or something like that. The only sin in my book is closing yourself off, which the PF mindset seems to happily embrace. Ah well.

Anyway, thanks again for the note.