Are the Foo Fighters Bad? Part 2

I received this response from my friend Luke Thornton in response to my, let's call it dilettante posturing about whether The Foo Fighters are bad

Luke said,

I like the Foo Fighters. Have so for decades. You are obliged to feel superior now. But you raise an interesting point on liking music based purely on nostalgia and I would agree it's probably why certain people like certain bands or albums.

I detest the sentiment however because it ignores the actual quality of the music, good or bad. Any band I've listened to for a prolonged period of time happened because the band kept making music I liked and somehow held my attention. Good music transcends the time it takes place in and that's why ultimately I don't like music for nostalgic reasons. In fact, there are certain bands that I thought I grew out of and then came back it and realized they sounded as new as when I first heard them. I still like the Foo Fighter not because it reminds me of the past, but because I haven't grown out of it yet. They stood the test of time which not every band I've ever liked has. Applying the Myers Briggs system by saying it's always going invoke a chemical response I had in the past isn't completely fair. It is perpetuation of the past, of the perpetuation of the quality of the music itself? Hard to determine. It's one thing for something to not be your taste and that's fine. Liking music only from your past is stagnation in your taste too. It always irritates me when someone says a particular band's first album is their best and ignore everything since then. The past is certainly a reason to hold onto a particular attachment, but your love for it means nothing if you can't appreciate anything since then. The past, present, future are all up for comparison. Feeling superior isn't the point. Attachment to music has so many factors going into it that it's impossibly to quantify the relativity of it. That's what great about it.

My reply was thus...

Your detesting the sentiment of nostalgia is the real question of the essay. I'm not really asking, "are the Foo Fighters bad"--rather, I'm asking what that type of value judgment comes from. I am challenging you to look outside your contempt, or whatever, and into its mechanism. Two available avenues are through Jungian psychology and neuroscience.

People often experience a lack of stimulation when hearing the response to their arguments--when the other person is talking--according to a study by Dario Nardi (might have gotten that name wrong), and this same lack of stimulation occurs, I'd posit, when we look at others' values and thoughts in general. This isn't bad or good, but it is insightful. It gives us a new way to practice non-judgment. Or if we are to judge, to do so ironically, with full self-awareness of way. The truly radical end goal would be to finally see and hear from the eyes of another. I think that's where I'm headed. Something about ego death. Maybe impossible.

As to your points, they are good, and certainly show the flaws in my construct. It is sloppy--they usually are--I'm more interested in carrying the reader all the way to my conclusion, and hopefully provoking them in the process, than in careful analysis. I say it at the beginning: this is an outfit. And I like your outfit, too. It's dapper.

He answered: 

I thought the article was really interesting and it did get me thinking about how we use memory to enjoy things like music and if that connection (good or bad) creates a bias that fails to properly acknowledge the value of it. Reading your article, it was almost interesting that your contempt for the audience, molded how experienced the music. In your eyes, their nostalgia could be the only reason they were enjoying and hypothetically your contempt for that could be the only reason you weren't enjoying it. The simulations was causing an effect in completely opposing directions and the dynamics of it were well expressed with an element of outsider objectivity to it.
Maybe self-awareness of those things isn't the way to experience those things. It's a pandora's box. It can completely remove the actual effect of the experience and only exists from being a step removed inside your head. Empathy is a healthy thing though and not necessary the same thing as self-awareness. It's more personal. I don't understand why some people like some music either, but at the same time it makes me examine why I like certain things and what was the cause and effect that lead to it. Maybe it's not always ego, but being proud of the things you yourself like. Then again, it's self defeating to project it onto others and disconnecting at the same time. 

I am of 2 minds of Nostalgia. I hate pointless looking back that makes it seem like the present or the future can't be as important. But appreciating the starting point can be a worthwhile task if it can not be self-indulgent. My outfit grew from what came before and into something different. I just kept building on this dapper appearance. But you look pretty cute too. Great article.




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