Nobody Cares

Apparently, Rolling Stone magazine is on its knees (not to the Democrat Party, although that’s often been the case). Tim Sommer explains why that’s a Good Thing, and I can’t disagree with anything he says.

Even apart from its political stuff, I always thought that RS epitomized Frank Zappa’s trenchant comment about rock journalism: “people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t speak, aimed at people who can’t read.”

And their music critics were worse.

Read Sommer’s whole piece: it’s brilliant, and absolutely true.


  1. There was a time when I found the magazine useful. I subscribed while stationed in Korea in the 80’s. It was a way to keep an eye on what was going with the pop culture back home that wasn’t filtered through Armed Forces Korean Network, Stars and Stripes, and the usual suspects (Slime, Newspeak, etc).

    I never really paid much attention to the music reviews, as I subscribe to the theory that critics are people with no creativity; they are therefore unbiased as they hate all creative people equally.

    It did introduce me to the writing of P.J. O’Rourke, for which I am grateful. I read his article on the annual Spring Seoul riots a day after getting a whiff of tear gas on the streets myself. Not only was it spot on but gave me a much needed moment of hilarity on a not particularly good day.

    1. You’re right about critics. I think they might understand the mechanics but they can’t put that together to create the medium they are criticizing.

  2. While I won’t mourn the passing of Rolling Stone, I completely disagree with Sommers’ characterization of Tom Petty (to say nothing of his deification of Nas). That characterization, though, shouldn’t surprise anyone; Sommers owes his career to having trained on his knees as Robert Christgau’s rentboy. Christgau, himself, of course, is as loutish, ignorant, and narrow-minded a mope as could only be found in a navel-gazing and self-obsessed shithole like New York. Or, more clearly said: he’s exactly the kind of twit who hates ELO and King Crimson, yet strokes off to dreams of the Backstreet Boys and his past glories as Hootie’s pimp-in-chief.

  3. The only things worth reading in the Rolling Stone were Hunter S Thompson and P.J. O’Rourke.
    Both are gone, and with them, any reason to read that rag.

  4. To quote the philosopher William Joel, “There’s a new band in town, but you can’t get the sound
    From a story in a magazine.”

    That pretty much sums up how I viewed Rolling Stone.

    my low opinion of Rolling Stone sunk even further after the Duke Lacrosse story came to light.

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