Friday, July 14, 2006

Sufjan Stevens Thinks You're a Ninny

Sufjan Stevens Thinks You're a Ninny

Do you need more of a reason to dislike Sufjan Stevens? Sure you do. Apparently mainstream critics aren't helping you out (Illinois was the best reviewed album of 2005 according to! (in my best William Shatner impression)). Well aside from being overrated, pretentious, and sappy, he also looks down on you if you like a particular song of his. Yes, you, a longtime Sufjan fan, if you like a song of his that isn't up to his standards (but still apparently "good" enough to put on his album and record multiple versions of), then according to him you're an idiot. The song: "Chicago."

According to a interview( Sufjan thinks that "Chicago" is "primitive" and "repetitive" and the reason people like it is "because it appeals to the lowest common denominator." So, if you're a Sufjan Stevens fan and you happen to like the song "Chicago," your taste is patheticly simple minded. Thank God he finally took aim at all those pesky fans buying his albums and tickets to his concerts. Who needs those assholes anyways. It's about time that musicians have finally called out fans for liking their music. I'm sure you're asking yourself, "but if Sufjan insults his fans, then who's going to buy his music?" The answer is simple: masochists. There are more of them than you think, and the more shit Sufjan heaps on his listeners, the more masochists are going to flock to the CD stores and concerts.

According to the article his insipid fans aren't the only problem with the world because there's been a recent "lowering of standards overall in art and music" which is possibly caused by "television, advertising, [and] pop culture." Wow, way to sound like you're ninety years old. Please, tell me another story of the good old days where you danced at the sock hop, gave the prom queen your letter jacket, and those pesky blacks weren't allowed to drink from the same fountain as you. (Hey, Sufjan, I have a book for you: I don't agree with everything this guy has to say, but he made an interesting remark once, that fifty years ago people weren't sitting around reading Middlemarch, they were still just watching crappy sitcoms). And what is this debased culture leading to? Well, "a decrease in literacy rates and languages and endangered species lists" that are "going up." Can you say "mutually exclusive."

Now tell us, oh great Sufjan, what the answer to our predicament is. A throwback to the Renaissance of course. Sufjan states that he wants to "go back to an era, the Renaissance era, where people had the freedom to develop big ideas." Of course everyone knows that during the Renaissance everyone had the freedom to develop big ideas so long as you were rich enough to afford an education, didn't disagree with the Church, didn't happen to have a vagina, or were not a slave or indigenous person holding land Europeans might someday want. Those were the days. I say we help Sufjan out and get rid of public schools and bring back the patronage system. Democracy in this country is a farce anyways, we might as well have our elites making artistic choices for us. Where are the Midicis when you need them?

All hyperbole aside, I hope that this blatant bitch slapping of Sufjan's fans doesn't only anger me (wait, I think that bitch slapping comment was hyperbolic). Hell, I don't even like his music and it makes me unreasonably angry. What upsets me the most is that this is an indie rocker who made it to the top because of his fans. There's no other way to be successful in indie rock. So, when he makes it to the critical summit what does he do, spits on all those who helped him make it up there. This guy does not deserve the adoring fanbase he's made no attempt to build. The whole indie-prog thing is in vogue, and the moment it goes out of style the only thing that will keep these guys afloat is a great fanbase.

Apparently there are more Sufjan haters crawling out of the woodwork (check out and the article "A Case Against Sufjan Stevens" by Stephen Thomas Erlewine), and if he keeps on dismissing his fans the way he does there will be a lot more. Although I wouldn't trust Erlewine or my opinion, because we obviously don't understand the Renaissance man that is Sufjan Stevens.

The interviewer of the article, Thomas Bartlett, said it best when he asked Sufjan Stevens the question "Are you being serious?"

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