Thursday, 19 December 2013

Are we taking popmusic too seriously?

I consider myself to be a big fan of pop music. I enjoy listening to every kind of pop music by a variety of different artists. Some music I consider good, others are merely guilty pleasures. I am also very interested in pop culture and know quite a lot about it if I may say so myself. I also have an opinion about most things, which can differ from "Hmm this is reaaaally bad" to "This is fucking awesome!" and everything in between. Before social media was a big thing, my friends and I would sit together during lunch breaks and discuss all the latest events in pop music and of course have an opinion about it.

However, with the rise of social media, something has changed, Fanbases of a variety of artists are more out there now as they have a platform which they can use to express themselves without being tied to message boards for such activities. That is good on one hand, but on the other hand, it is a negative development.

It seems as though fans of a certain artist do not accept anyone being negative about their favourite artist. Even if something is not really negative but just an opinion on an aspect of what an artist does. A performance or a video for example. Yet when overly devoted fans find out about someone speaking their mind, it is not uncommon for them to be harassed, called names, stalked or even told to die. I have experienced this myself, and why? Because I did not agree with one choice my favourite artist made. That's all. Cue months of being bothered by overly 'loyal' fans who need to tell me how disloyal I am and how much said artist hates me.


Yesterday I logged in to twitter to find a similar discussion going. The argument started over this blog: Nothing negative. Just an observation made. But apparently, you do not say anything about Beyonce that does not hail her existence. So this happened:

It angered me. It angered me because I had just come out of a discussion on a forum about a similar kind of thing. I wasn't told to die of cancer, but I didn't feel like I was allowed to give my opinion either because the feeling was that we should all support our favourite artist regardless of the choices they make and regardless of if you agree with it or not. When I literally stated I thought the artist was too talented to appear on a talent show as a judge, I was still told I should support him because he knew what he was doing and otherwise I could always leave. In her blog, Jameela stated Beyonce was too talented to get naked for a fully-clothed man, yet all these Beyonce fans took this as a reason to harass her and call her names. Why? Why is it necessary to insult someone for their opinion? Why can't you just say: "Well that is your opinion and it's cool if you think that but in my opinion..." Nobody is right or wrong. It are all matters of opinion. The thing with me is that when I feel like I'm being pushed and not taken seriously, I will defend myself. Just because I want people to listen to what I have to say, not to agree with me.

Has it come to the point where we take pop music too seriously? When did the feeling arise that you have to like EVERYTHING your favourite artist does in order for you to be a good fan? Nobody likes everything someone else does and if you say that you do, you're lying to yourself. And it's okay to admit that. It's okay to disagree with someone. As long as you keep respecting each other.

This should not be the norm:

You are not defending your favourite artist by wishing cancer upon those who disagree with you. On the contrary, you're not doing yourself, nor your favourite artist a favour.

I think different opinions are important. I will always support my favourite artists in as many ways as I can, in the things that I find interesting. I won't buy something just because my favourite artist is the spokesperson of that product or if they designed something I am not too fond of. That's ok, I will buy the things I do genuinely like, just as I will always support the music of my favourite artist and go see them live as many times as I can to show my support. Yet I do expect to be able to say I am not fond of everything my favourite artist does, without being made feel like I am a bad person. My opinion is not going to change a thing, but that doesn't mean that I am not allowed to state it. We live in a democracy here, not in George Orwell's 1984.

It is just pop music. It are pop artist who are just doing things for a living. Don't let your admiration dictate your life to such an extent that you feel you need to resort to negativity. Just enjoy the music you enjoy. Lighten up!

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