For years I have been mystified as to why I continue to subscribe to the faux-hip, quasi-artistically aware magazine Rolling Stone. Every time I read it I have to resist the urge to throw the magazine across my living room and shout, “Gawd, I hate this magazine!”, thereby causing various four-legged house animals to scatter in fear and confusion. Today for the first time, I now feel the urge to not only throw the next issue I get, but to throw it at a Rolling Stone staffer. Rolling Stone just published the results of their Great Songs on Bad Albums blog entry and narrowed the list down to include 25 songs. I was prepared to look at the list and have a laugh until I came to item number 5. Item number 5 is Hallo Spaceboy from Outside. I ask you, reader, what is Rolling Stone smoking? Whatever it is, keep it far far away from me because it will obviously turn me into a philistine. How in the hell did the staffers at Rolling Stone by-pass Tonight or Never Let Me Down (which David himself admits is not his finest work) and settle upon Outside?! Leave it to Rolling Stone to choose one of David’s most ingenious and unique works and peg it as “bad.”

Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised at all. This is the magazine that simply squeed with joy and sycophantic admiration when Shania Twain said in an interview that she only published the songs that would make her a lot of money (not an exact quote, obviously). This is also the same magazine that is publishing fashion tips so that young people can dress just like their favorite musician, because, you know, God forbid anyone develop a style of their own. It seems like all that Rolling Stone is doing is just parroting the widely held critical opinion that Outside is one of Bowie’s weaker albums since obviously it is too much trouble to actually listen to the music that the entire magazine draws its livelihood from. I don’t know why I am continually surprised when Rolling Stone publishes a bone-headed opinion. I guess I’m just a relentless optimist, even though I should be old enough to know better.

4 Responses to “Rolling Stone Is Dead To Me”

  1. saudade Says:

    I’m with one of the folks who commented on the original article — there is a difference between “bad” and “challenging.” Rolling Stone is, forever and unapologetically, bad.

    This entry shouldn’t be merely filed under opinions, it should be given its own holy place in the cabinet of truth. Preach it, sister!

  2. Webmaster Says:

    Main thing that annoys me about Rolling Stone is that they pretend to cover news outside of music, and they handle the two subjects completely differently. With music they are overanxious to go with the tide. “What’s that, teens? You like Fall Out Boy? We love Fall Out Boy, too!” Whereas the political issues they try to cover are more left-leaning than Heather Mills on J√ɬ§germeister. “Also in this issue: more Republicans kicking babies!” How about trying to discover some new artists who are worth a listen, versus doing the record companies’ job of marketing every next mainstream shitface in eyeliner? It’s like each cover story about a pop culture icon is just a decoy to attract kids like moths to a light so they can take them aside and quickly tell them what else Bush has wrecked, ruined, misdone, neglected, and otherwised crapped upon. And I ain’t saying he’s a helluva guy. I’m saying it’s hard enough getting news from actual news organizations, without hearing it from the would-be music rag that mindlessly supports anything ClearChannel plays on the radio.

  3. saudade Says:

    I don’t find RS so left-leaning as I do purposefully ignorant, which goes hand-in-hand with their status as sycophantic musical tools. And there is a big difference between left-leaning and ignorant (I promise!)

    While I agree with you about the hilarity that is RS being any kind of news outlet, musical or no, I’m very cautious about labeling RS part of the liberal conspiracy to take our youngsters aside and taint their thoughts about Republicans. But I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the going with the tide. They do this with their completely skim-the-surface, more style than substance rah-rah music reviews, why not with politics? How many 15 year old emo kids (or adult RS readers, for that matter) are unapathetic enough to care about the intracacies of politics, and of those kids, how many actually can form a coherent thought that doesn’t just amount to “war sucks, dude” and “keep your laws off my body?” Kids recognize that war does indeed suck, but it’s apathy and a default to general ideas and statements about big issues that is why you see this phenomenon, not because the tools at RS may or may not be Bush-haters. If Gore was president and we were at war, we’d see some of the same phenomenon if he was as universally maligned (across all media outlets, valid or not) as Bush.

    RS doesn’t want you to think, they want you to buy what they’re told to market. Gaining ground with an apathetic reader by making politics a simple act of “war bad, global warming bad, [insert presidential name here] wants to draft you,” etc. is a no-brainer. Simple is as simple does.

  4. Webmaster Says:

    I hear you, but I do think RS is left when Dems appear on the cover like this and this, Republicans like this and this. I wouldn’t say they are a part of any larger conspiracy, they just seem really desperate to have an influence on the idiot readers. Point is, even if I thought they were dead-on with their facts and opinions, I still wouldn’t consider them a legitimate news source. They need to quit trying. It’s like gameshows on MTV.