I’m a very different person today, with different priorities

Via Simon Reynolds, I learn that David Stubbs, one of the core Melody Maker writers during my brief stint as a regular reader thereof, has got a fancy new website. Based on this sample, it’ll be worth reading for guidance on how to age gracefully with regard to one’s publicly-aired opinions:

I’m not just embarrassed about certain things I wrote in the 1980s, and the 1990s but genuinely quite ashamed. I’m a very different person today, with different priorities. Back then, I was all about the primacy of aesthetics. They were almost a moral issue as for as I was concerned. I decried what I saw as the mediocre with a righteous, evangelical fervour, as if mediocrity, which I tended to equate with orthodoxy, were the biggest sin. Part of this was because I regarded bad music as a public affliction, to be endured involuntarily. It was unjust, I argued, that I had heard “Baby Jane” by Rod Stewart some 80 times in my life when I despised it more than any other song. Bad music warranted an excoriation beyond even that extended to, say, Jeffrey Archer novels – at least they weren’t read out over public tannoy systems.

But then perhaps it’s easier to cast such a collective disclaimer over your early body of work when it is largely lost to the crumbling memory-hole of the last days of cheap newsprint, than it is to do so in the internet age, when that ten-year-old tweet can be your ticket to being today’s Main Character? Ironic, really, that for all the claims of social media’s emphemerality, that’s where damnable material is most likely to be sourced, while many of the more solidly written online sources of just a decade ago have long since gone to link-rot.

That said, the same phenomenon has likely expunged a lot of my earliest and most misinformed writings—the ones I haven’t expunged on my own initiative—so perhaps I should stop mithering.

But no, one last point—it’s nice to see people building proper text-heavy websites again, and Stubbs’ looks like a great example, but bollocks to anyone who builds a site using WordPress or similar and then goes so far as to purposefully deactivate the RSS feed functionality. You’re not even hosting ads on the site, FFS; what have you got to lose by making it easier for me to know when you’ve written something new?

Kids these days, I don’t know.



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