I'm the fool? Cock off, child.
Writing, just as with any kind of creativity, is a craft that needs to be learned. Plumbers take on apprentices who earn a pittance; writers work for free to develop their own style and voice. This is by no means the only industry that operates along these lines and, what's more, it isn't going to change any time soon. As I said before there is the opportunity for writers to be exploited (especially young, naive ones) but there is even more opportunity for writers to flourish, in whatever fashion.
"the music world is notorious for people being exploited" - yeah, usually the dumb fucks buying the music. It has a reputation for people being exploited, yeah, but people either side of the journalistic line make plenty cash to be able to survive. Your entire argument seems to hinge on the idea that by working for free/not-much-cash that people are handicappling themselves and the industry. You forget that to work in the music industry is a total fucking privilege and one that is by no means a 'real job'. My house mates wake up at 6am, go to work, be miserable at work and then come home miserable because they spent 9 hours doing something that doesn't turn them on. I get to go to work, love what I do and come home with fewer pounds but more love in my heart. And that's handicapping the industry? No fucking way. I work in this world because I love and adore it.
But what world do you live in, where this endless conveyor belt of "groups of 18 year olds" come along and replace all us mid-20s hacks like Menudo but without the blowjobs? All that assumption foes is paint the picture of a world where considered opinion is worth less than blind youthful exuberance - the world where each human being owns a blog but no one reads each other's. Great. A society of sollipsistic ramblings designed to promote every single possible point of view without considering why critics get in the position they do, why they're able to eke out a living by talking about music, or film, or art, or television.
Another assumption you're labouring under is that music criticism/journalism/PR is, in fact, a real job. It's not. It's a fucking hoot. The idea of being paid a few quid is laughable, let alone a yearly salary. Jesus fuck, it's people rabbiting about pop music! And you somehow expect that to be worth anything? You think that art critics fulfill some vital role in the furthering of human society? Hell no. We exist because we exist; it is purely cyclical. Some DIY labels make zero cash and yet manage to put out some of the finest music known to humanity - but are they ENTITLED to remuneration? No. They deserve it, arguably, but the idea that art should correspond to money is a spurious claim. And if the artists can't make money because fucking idiotic kids "download the Foals torrent the next day" or however you put it, then the critics shouldn't either.
You might've realised that the problem lies not with the industry - even though it is duty bound to attempt to find solutions - but with the broadband-enabled, over-privileged middle-class kids who believe that because they have the capacity to download that means they are entitled to. Music is being devalued, but by the consumer. The culture of convenience means that lazy people get fat on whatever they can get for free - and music journalists aren't going to get paid until fucking cunts stop justifying to themselves why they aren't going to pay for the Foals album and cough up their fucking cash instead of buying another flatscreen TV.
Oh, and you "can reasonably assume I make next to no money"? Get fucked you pretentious cocksnaffler. I earn enough to pay my rent in London, eat, live and purchase how I want, and there's enough left over to buy all the Springsteen albums I don't own. So there goes your theory. And this is burning away my self respect? Not a chance.
couldn't be much more wrong
"if youngsters are intent on music journalism they ought to set up their own website" - what, and join the blaring cacophony of blogs all with Something Very Important To Say? DiS' name and reputation is invaluable and I know how many doors it's opened for contributers - speaking personally and for other people.
"exploitation" - is a hugely Daily Mail word. Was I being exploited when I was able to go to pretty much any gig I wanted for free, or get packages and packages of CDs before their release date for free, or being able to sit down with artists I love and respect and talk to them about their music? The idea that somehow because I wasn't being paid means what i produced invalid is ludicrous. The reward and results were the same I love writing not only because it's basically the only thing I've been able to do, but because music means so much to me in my life. And moreover, I was able to get my work read by tens of thousands of people every day - would that have been possible if I was writing on dogshitmusic.blogger.blogs.com? Hell no.
The majority of contributors have always worked for free at DiS because they enjoy doing it. It's that enthusiasm that fuelled the site, and the fact that Kev/Al/Sam/Mike were salaried so they could afford to spend hours every day bleeding their eternal love for music into internet format. Also, every single journalist I've ever met said they did a whole load of unpaid work experience - some useful and some not so useful - but it's incredibly important to learn your craft. Without spending so long working for free and without the pressures of having to turn copy round I'd never have developed my own writing style and I'm sure it's the same for everyone else in that position. Of course, it's important not to be taken advantage of but all that requires is simple common sense: DiS is prestigious and bestows this prestige on its contributors.
gareth's side. and sam's.
in fact, i petitioned to review this album because it's such an execrable waste of everyone's time dressed up as something pertinent or ironic or clever that it's just staggering.
it's dogshit. abject dogshit. abject dogshit for complete wankers.
it's a reissue, yeah, so perhaps it's not the most vital piece of music that's being released this month. but it's also totally fucking brilliant, so there's no harm in writing about it. we don't decide whether or not reissuing it's a good idea, we assess it on its own merits. so as i said: if you've got it, don't get it; if you haven't got it, get it.
is it outrageous/inappropriate? explain.
best album of the year so far. blinding.
be the last.
that the word in question only has racist connotations over here.
bush once referred to the entire pakistani nation as "the pakis", and if he said it then it must be socialy acceptable.
yeah, some things have changed pre- and post- fence. When I went in the pre-fence days the atmosphere was different, but not appreciably to make it not worth the sodding hassle each year to get a ticket. And I won't argue that certain parts of the site have turned into a paean to hideous middle-class pseudo-deviant behaviour (Lost Vagueness is a haven of cunts nowadays) but on the whole the last two I went to (post- fence) were just as good, if not better than the pre-fence days.
And the lineup on the main stages isn't all that astonishing, but we still get enough bands who'll probably still do something special enough to make everyone there feel ridiculously lucky to just...y'know...be there. And I'm aware of how hippy that sounds, but it's true. Glastonbury is still the most inclusive, open place I have been in terms of music festivals in this country and yeah, there are some cocks there but the number in comparison to other events is minor.
Wireless? Are you serious? As a genuine competitor? Whatever you say about Glasto, and yeah it's become slightly more commoditised in recent years but it's still nowhere near the corporate clusterfuck of other UK festivals. And yeah, there's usually a significant risk of Geldof, but the site is so massive that it's possible to not even see the cunt.
And yeah, the Kooks are playing, but so are Arcade Fire. For the Killers there's Squarepusher, for the Kaiser Chiefs you've got Bloc Party, for the Arctic Monkeys there's Beirut. The main stage has got appreciably worse, but in inverse relation to the other stages, which never fail to be brilliant.
Hell, I can't wait.