Man, where did I disappear to? Nowhere really. Just life and family and stuff. But I'm back, I promise. And I missed all kinds of good stuff, including the apparent dismissal of bookie favorite Bez from the British version of Celebrity Big Brother. Reportedly, the only thing he regretted was that he could not smoke ganja in the house. Ah, Bez.
I have just been called a snob on a music thread at Eschaton. Hmmm. I don't think I am, really. There are things I don't listen to, but hey, there are only so many hours in a day! I just don't need to fill them with New Edition.
But snobbery, it seems to me, is a peculiar impulse. Thersites would point us to Bourdieu's Distinction, in which everyone's favorite Frog sociologist discusses patterns of consumption, identity, and the field. But I'm not Thersites. I see snobbery as an essentially exclusionary impulse, identity formation through process of (fierce, refusing) elimination. Not, "I am this person," but, "I am this person because I am not that person and never would be, and the person I am is better than that other person."
None of which is intended in anything like a hierarchical or moral sense, at least not from my end. We pop fans are modest: we make no claims to high culture. There are pop snobs, no doubt. I've met them. But it's not like I'm tying people down making them listen to XTC. I'm just encouraging them to do so. And ya know, if you're in my car, you take what you get. But I do weary of people saying to me, "That sucks!" over what, is, essentially, a matter of taste. (Particular pet peeve? When they do not in fact know the music in question and are sneering based on reputation, not actual opinion.)
This really only seems to be a problem when I'm shuttling teens about, which gets to my central point about the process of identity formation implied by snobbery: it's basically an adolescent mode of functioning. I don't ask anyone to come this site; hell, I'm embarrassed that somehow my mother-in-law found it. I'm always deeply touched when people find me through it, which happens not frequently, but steadily. Fellow travelers. But I expect the Leonard Cohen people congregate somewhere, and the Queensryche people, and the New Edition people. Don't they?