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Tuesday, May 11, 2010 

Take it too far



You know, for a cultishly adored indie sensation, the National are pretty fucking unfashionable right now. The video for "Bloodbuzz Ohio," which is very funny and at times oddly touching (as opposed to the band's music, which is oddly touching and at times very funny) ought to have plenty of ammunition for, basically, people like this. In any case, I recommend watching it in full screen mode, it's a pretty nice looking video.

I also remember there being some angry words thrown around when Boxer came out accusing the band and it's fans of white privilege or something. Which in one sense is fair enough, I doubt the National are going to deny that they lead privileged lives any more than I would; but surely we get to write songs about our experiences too? I mean, if it's problematic for me to love the National AND it's problematic (in entirely different ways) for me to love Ghostface Killah, what am I left with?

(NB. of course, the title and sentiments of this post do not refer to people like my friend Jenny; I always have time for intelligent, passionate dissent, as opposed to people going "boring white dudes" or "lol old" or "you're racist for listening to that")

As a poor-ass white guy- WELL, depends who you ask, I'm sure to some people I'm a spic- I don't get this need to absolutely RELATE to things. I learn the most from things I never would have related to. I read a pertinent line from a reviewer somewhere (re: Vampire Weekend but it holds): "Not since "Straight Outta Compton" have I enjoyed an album so much while relating to its members' lifestyle so little."

Yeah, exactly; some albums (and movies, books, etc.) I love because they say something about the way I live my life; some I love because they say absolutely nothing about the way I live my life. I don't feel like giving up either, or choosing between them.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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