I hesitate to even begin commenting on the ongoing rockism/popism "debate" that in some ways defines the music-crit cabal of late. I will say this, however, re. Simon's assertion (on Feb. 1 for those scrolling through the blog) that no one voted for M.I.A. in the VV Pazz & Jop poll because of her plastic-fun qualities: I voted for her because her music reminds me of jumprope rhymes. Not that doubledutch is not serious or meaningful; ask Kyra. But it's equally, crucially fun.
I just don't understand the distinction between fun and meaningful that Simon implies, and Matos falls for a bit here, in his post from my birthday. It's about hierarchies, right? Rockists overvalue meaning over fun. But stepping outside the tiny world of music-crit, I wonder if those hierarchies can actually be maintained. In the experience of absorbing music, no matter whether it's on the dance floor, in the bedroom, in the headphones, or on the blog, who really separates meaning from fun? Sure, maybe some people say they're just having fun with music -- that's how they feel in the moment, or in casual conversation of the kind you might have with an Armenian cab driver who can't think of his favorite artist and says he listens to everything -- but nostalgia proves otherwise: the theme from Dirty Dancing comes on at his son's bar mitzvah and a tear forms in his eye. Fun or meaningful? Not to pick bones or be thick or rest in rockism, but isn't meaningful actually quite fun?