Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Stupidest List I've Ever Seen

This is the stupidest list I've ever seen in my life -- and I read a lot of rock criticism up until 1978 1981:

The top 10 reasons Bruce Springsteen sucks, by Victor Fiorello.

Well, okay: I read PART of it. You don't have to drink the whole ocean to know it's salty.

I saw the headline, and I clicked on it, thinking that this Fiorello character, whoever he is, might have some serious reservations about Bruuuuuuuce, and/or something else interesting to say. Someone's been in the public eye as long as Bruuuuuuce, no matter how perfect there are, there probably are a few legitimate gripes to be had. But no, that's not what's going on here. Fiorello's lists consists of things like "the earring," and "the sax, cuz sax is spose ta be in jazz an stuff, not in rock." (I can give you lots of examples that Mr Fiorello is wrong about this one, all from one band, and, just in case you share his strange distaste for Bruuuuuce, not the E Street Band: "Brown Sugar." "Live With Me." About half of Exile on Main St. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking." "Miss You." "Slave." "Waiting On a Friend." Etc. Etc. Etc.) I didn't even read his reasons why "The Streets of Philadelphia" is on the list. I assume, since this crap list is in Philadelphia Magazine, that Fiorello, no doubt one a them born and bred, tried and true, I was born here and goddangit I'm uh gonna die here types for whom the phrase "local yokel" was coined, and who are by no means confined to Philadelphia, although every local variety of moron believes it is special, objected to something about the song and/or the video and/or Jonathan Demme's movie because he felt it to be inauthentically Philadelphian in some way -- like someone other than Fiorello's 12 dedicated readers cares about his ideas of the authentically Philadelphian..

I assume that this piece was written in 10 minutes just before Fiorello's filing deadline, when he was badly hung-over, because he drinks a lot, because every afternoon he wakes up and realizes once again that, whatever he might have dreamed that day, he is Victor Fiorello, and he always has been, and he always will be, and there's nothing he can do about it.

I assume that some of Fiorello's work was written in less of a rush and is better than this -- but luckily for me, there's no reason that I will ever have to find out. And thank God that the vast majority of people who live in Philadelphia are nothing at all -- at ALL -- like this I'm-an-asshole-and-I'm -proud-of-it-so-fuck-you Philly stereotype. It's just a very small but very loud minority, throwing things onto the field at sporting events, getting into fistfights over cheesesteak sandwiches, staying drunk on Rolling Rock and making life in Philadelphia somewhat harder than it needs to be for all the rest. Stay strong, rest of Philadelphia! The world loves you and knows what you put up with!

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