Mea culpa – ‘You’re a dipsh*t’
Is Lights’ music generic?
Every once in awhile, I come across something I’ve written that makes me call into my question my worth as a writer, a journalist, and a human being.
Following a couple of a panels I attended yesterday (Saturday, June 16 2012) at the Northern Voice blogging/social media conference at W2 in Vancouver, I was inspired to go back and clean up my old blog posts.
Now, when I first started this blog back in fall 2008, I had no idea what I was doing. For one thing, it was called Guttersnipe (long story).
Looking back on posts from that time, it seems as though a monkey had taken over my computer. Idiotic URLs, non-existent SEO, ridiculous tags, empty photo description fields, weird links – if there was a blogging mistake to be made, I made it.
But more worrisome is the tone of some of those old posts. It’s as though, allowed to write just about whatever I wanted after years of being tethered to the dictums and (often good) tastes of editors, some sort of arrogant beast of a keyboard tapper was unleashed.
One of the disconcerting posts I came across was one covering the Canadian Radio Music Awards at Canadian Music Week in Toronto in 2009.
Now, I stand by the tone of the piece somewhat – Canadian radio is pretty bad, and the awards reflected this. But I guess for some reason I decided to pick on poor Lights, aka Valerie Boxleitner, a young Toronto-based singer/songwriter of harmless, dubiously catchy (there I go again!) synthpop. You can read the original (terribly assembled) blog post here; I’m going to leave it up as a reminder of just how little I knew, among other things.
Rereading the piece, I came across this comment left by someone named Erica:
“You’re a dipshit and clearly have no taste in good music if you think Lights is ‘generic.’ You have no right to insult her, when you clearly – by posting incorrect information – have no idea about her. She is not only an adorably sweet and warm, fan-friendly, down-to-earth girl, but an incredible live performer with amazing vocal and musical talents. She’s creative, energetic, and engaging. If you haven’t noticed that, you must not pay must attention at all and have no grounds blogging your take or review on anything at all. Anyway, don’t shit-talk about people who you don’t 1.) personally know or 2.) know any information about. Next time get your attitude and facts straight, dumbass.”
I have to admit that, to some extent, Erica was right – not so much about whether or not Lights’ music is generic (after all, she did win two awards called “Hot AC” and “Mainstream AC”), but the general tone of the piece.
Looking back on the post I see I was somewhat harsh. More to the point, I’m disturbed by the arrogance I am finding in that post along with some others. So, my thanks to Erica for leaving the comment, even if it was somewhat Internet-hostile. She reminded me of a tendency in my work that I need to conscious of, and to avoid.