Record Store Geek

Record Store Reminiscing: Arguing About Music

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Can't We All Just Get Along? Do We Have to Argue?

Most people that know me will probably testify that I just like to argue period. I won't argue with that.

I'm always ready to do a little verbal sparring about pretty much anything for which I feel passion. It's like a little brain game.

Truth be told, if I had my druthers I'd debate and discuss politics, religion, and philosophy. However, I usually find myself unengaged because most people fall back on the old "you shouldn't talk politics and religion" axiom (usually because they can't intellectually back up, or haven't thought through, their positions and beliefs on either subject).

So I've learned to quench my argumentative needs through music and sports.

There's always some toad (like me) ready to debate music and sports.

Or so I used to think. While I'm still having no problem finding people to give me a decent argument about sports, it's a lot harder finding a good music debate now that my baby (Hoodlums) is gone.

Why Do You Need a Record Store for That?

While I have no doubt that there's plenty of hearty music nuts out there ready to debate me about John vs. Paul, or Roger vs. David, or Jimmy vs. Eric - there's simply no place like a record store to find them and engage in said debate.

You can find them out here in the real world, but it's pretty rare. There are plenty of music fans, but most of them don't have the passion, or perhaps haven't logged the time listening, to give me a decent debate.

And Lord knows I've looked online, which is where most of my other favorite "record store addictions" (testing new music, gathering info about albums and artists, looking for trusted recommendations) are now being satisfied. But the problem with the web isn't a lack of information or opinionated toads that think they have it... the problem is finding a forum in which to openly debate.

By that, I mean a place where you stand behind your take, and I'll stand behind mine. Not the typical forum with some chicken shit talking profane shots from behind his or her (I suspect it's nearly always a "his") fake online moniker.

Note: I'm not bothered by the profanity, I'm bothered by the chicken shit.

I mean, who wants to debate Ignorantbastard455? That sort of anonymity leads to all sorts of name-calling and trash talking - which isn't the kind of argument I like at all.

I prefer a wide-open, at least semi-intellectual debate.

Because even though most of the important debates in music - like those of religion, politics, and sports - are entirely based on opinion and beliefs (which should not be confused with facts), if you are smart you can still make a good case for your take.

Unfortunately, I can't get that online.

I'm constantly trying to stir people up with these columns. I write about how kids today are musically spoiled, about how the vinyl revolution is overblown, or 22 other debatable topics - just for the purposes of getting my fellow music fans to think about it - but it only creates a paradox, because I never get to hear their takes and challenges.

Does Up On The Sun have comments? That's what they tell me.

But they (my fellow writers and editors) also tell me not to bother reading them because mainly it's just anonymous people being snarfy. "Reading the comments is an exercise in self-doubt" is the exact quote that sticks in my head from the initial writers' meeting.

So I don't bother arguing online.

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Steve Wiley
Contact: Steve Wiley