C: Noemi Núñez Jiménez / Wiki; Spotify

Joe Rogan defies the crisis of authenticity in the art world

After the Neil Young debacle with Spotify, British singer James Blunt posted the best response, threatening to write a new album and put it on Spotify immediately because of their refusal to boot Rogan

 

It was pretty tongue-in-cheek, since at first glance Blunt might be considered a blueprint for the modern male pop simp; a constructed pc entertainment sock puppet.

Believe me I have a lot of respect for James Blunt, he’s a nice guy, has a sense of humour, and I think he is authentic. He is a little whimsical and harmless and has some genuine talent. He is a likeable guy. However, he is also copied to death, and this might be unforgiveable.

The modern, manufactured, generic out of the box, male solo pop artist, seems to be something that was settled on by a committee at some woke college gender studies department, who decided on somewhere on the acceptable trade off between marketability and harmlessness.

This dawned on me recently when I overheard my daughter talking to her friend about a named pop singer on a billboard. She knew the name but didn’t know any of his songs.

So we looked him up on youtube and sure enough his song sounded exactly like every other manufactured solo male pop “artist” that has been produced in the past ten years. On a boring scale of 0-10 this hits about ten for me. The vocal is EQ’d out of all character. It doesn’t have much of a range, so when he goes into the high notes he relies on a falsetto – betraying a lack of vocal power.

Overall, the entire musical arrangement fills out across the sound spectrum so that the vocal can’t really be made out in it. It’s a song that isn’t really a song, because you can’t hear the words. Which is just as well, because the words sound like they were created by some sort of AI algorithm. They’re banal, bland, and there’s nothing personal about them.

This seems to be one of the common archetypes of the modern pop industry. It stems from the creation of a new man: what a man should be in the anti-male atmosphere of the post modernist feminist world.

There are two types of men we see in this cultural output. One is this harmless, inoffensive, whiney spineless, type of anti-man. The type of person that Jordan Peterson calls a weasel. The type of person that knows where he fits in in the pecking order; knows where he fits in the victim architecture; and is careful not to lash out at anybody. Except for maybe once in a while to say something about the environment or toxic masculinity. That’s allowed!

The other type is a sort of angry male feminist who seems to do nothing but lash out and bitterly attack “the system” etc. There is a special permission granted to this type of new man to attack conservative women and wish harm on them. This is not toxic you see, because they are just trying to dismantle the patriarchy.

James Blunt for all his marketable quirkiness was authentic. There was something original about him. His big hit, ‘You’re Beautiful’, stood out because it was an ordinary commentary on the ordinarines of life. In it he describes a passing moment, seeing somebody on a train, which for a second uplifted his spirits. There was no angst about it, and even in the song he says this. There was none of the feigned pain we see in all these banal, fake, and completely boring pop acts. It was just a commentary that the unpredictability of life can sometimes give you a small boost to your day.

His vocal performance in it was also uniquely himself. He has a nice voice,  and when he goes into the higher range he goes into falsetto which seems very apt for him. There is no attempt to hide his voice in an overproduced arrangement. It’s a warts and all performance, which again is nice. It does reveal that it is himself that goes into his music. The songs doesn’t try to make any type of grand statements, it is actually just about how ordinary life is.

There is no attempt to stand out from the crowd by being more victimised; by having a greater collection of pronouns; more gender fluid, or most wracked with existential angst about the environment.

He just doesn’t take his career seriously it seems.

Generic-manufacture-out-of-the-box-pop-act no. 4 says “well I think the word is going to end in 12 years because of the climate emergency, unless you buy my new release. Whereas, Generic-manufacture-out-of-the-box-pop-act no. 7 says “no, no, look at me, my music is better because I think the world will end in 2 years, and I am at one-spirit with non binary cats.

But the problem is an imitation is always an imitation, it can’t compare with the prototype. This is the problem with things created by committees and market focus groups. They are never original and there is always some  sort of compromise to be made. The compromise between marketability and an acceptable level of something that looks like personality.

In another song, ‘Monster’, Blunt does reveal something else which seems quite authentic in him. It’s a good performance, his voice stands out, but the subject is more serious and worth considering; the confrontation with your past, your future, and mortality.

It portrays a conversation between Blunt and his father where he is no longer the boy. Where the roles might be reversed. Where the uncertainty of the future is framed by a tragic and touching perspective.

This is a subject that we all face at some stage in our lives. These are real things. Again these are the types of things that Jordan Peterson talks about when he describes facing up to your responsibilities when he encourages people to try to “be the person that can be depended upon in a family crisis.”

Even in the video, Blunt, dewey eyed, deliberately shows a level of vulnerability, which doesn’t feel forced or feigned. Blunt has a confrontation to make. A confrontation with his own mortality, his relationships, his own inadequacies; and he does it by accepting that he is no longer the child. The great uncertainty of this is; who is he talking to; is he talking to his father or a person who is becoming a child again. Blunt faces this with fortitude and honesty.

Rod Stewart was once asked was he afraid of all the young artists who might take his place. To which he replied, “there is only one Rod Stewart”.

This indeed is the context of modern man. We have a crisis of authenticity and we can see this across the cultural output. One after another in the art realm we have sanctioned and manufactured voices making generic and identical noises, who all sound the exact same. They have prepackaged political outlooks. A manufactured out of the box pop sound that is identical to every other establishment approved act.

The arts industry, in contrast to the self-flattering illusion of fearless creativity, is crippled with conformity.

So what next for Rogan? Rogan is a free speech man, and he’s willing to talk to people across the aisle, wouldn’t it be interesting if he has Blunt on to talk about this new album he is writing? (Much to the dismay of woke artists, Rogan is not going to be dumped by Spotify.) That would be magnificent and would freak the leftoids and boomer rockers out no end. A total laugh in short.

Lets get that trending #JamesBluntOnJoeRogan

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