Friday, August 04, 2006

blogging makes you dumb.

0. Introduction.

From the gawping maw of the nets I am made aware of a couple pieces of imbecility.

1. Bill Simmons is an ignorant rich kid.
Some guy points out that Bill Simmons has crappy taste in music. However, dude fails (utterly) to notice that this crappy taste is merely a symptom of Simmons' more general failing: a total lack of knowledge of anything except mainstream pop culture. I'll talk a little first about the mainstream bias in Simmons, then move outside pop for a moment.

Simmons thinks U2, Pearl Jam and Springsteen are the greatest musicians of the rock era, and Randall Monty beats him up for it. Monty points out, quite correctly, that Simmons, given his age and proximity, had a fabulous opportunity to become acquainted with a pair of the greatest underground bands in twenty years: Mission of Burma and the Pixies. Presumably, Monty believes, as I do, that MoB and the Pixies are both substantially better than either U2 or PJ, and at least as good as the best Springsteen. Alas but that Simmons only knew what was on the radio, and lived--and lives--in ignorance...

But Simmons also believes that Rocky and The (fucking) Shawshank Redemption are genuinely great films. Both were giant hits and made noise around Oscar time, but no serious mind could find them works of great art. The only way Simmons' belief is tenable is if it's ensconced in a stout web of unknowing. I suspect both that Simmons has (a) never seen a genuinely great film and (thus) that (b) he hasn't the faintest notion of what a great film might actually be like.* (So if he did stumble over something great, it's as like as not he'd miss its quality.)

We can add to this lack of education in matters of pop Simmons' basic lack of culture more widely. It is not evident that the man has read a single book not about sports, nor is it evident that the man has a single idea about anything other than television, whether the topic be history, art, political economy, or what have you.** Simply put, the man is a failed jock turned class clown, wholly unreliable for any service other than intitially-convincing, surface-level connections drawn between matters of no import.

2. Internet: Zombies are kewl. Contradiction: Christ, you're an idiot.

And then there's this guy, who somehow manages to spill a couple hundred words on zombies, the most promising of topics, without saying a single interesting or novel thing. While I shall leave any serious interrogation of the topic to site zombie expert D. D. T., I will point out that Chris Martin*** in his worthless little piece begins by promising to:

detail just...why games and movies with zombies have become a cornerstone of Americana.

Great! I'm ready! Lemme have it!

It might be because we just love watching and reading about them.

Oh. They're commonplace because they're popular. Nice analysis, Chris. Way to go, buddy. In other news, apples are tasty because they're pleasing to the palate.

3. Conclusion.

Ugh. The only consolation I can offer is this, an entertaining, even thoughtful piece involving the utility and desirability of the humble zombie as a videogame adversary. I'm going outside to play.


* I had a co-worker once who said "I didn't like BladeRunner. I thought it was slow." Okay, well, if you watched the movie, and this is all you have to say, then you're a fucking idiot and I'm not going to talk to you any more.
** He is, for example, as misinformed and ignorant on the topic of race in America as it's possible to be without actually knowing it. That is, everybody alive who's actually more racist than Simmons at least knows that they're a bigot. Simmons is not this self-aware, nor has he been well-educated enough about the world to see this about his writing. How it is that Ralph Wiley (R. I. P.) condescended to engage the man, I shall never know.
*** Isn't "Chris Martin" the singer of Coldplay?

1 Comments + Unabashed Criticism:

Blogger d.d. tinzeroes said...

My worldview regarding zombies is heavily influenced by the mass ink spilled on the subject over at teleport city.

1:57 PM  

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