An Apology to Portugal. The Man

Dear Portugal. The Man (PTM),

A while back, I reviewed your latest album, The Satanic Satanist. You probably saw it here because you linked to it on your Twitter page. I didn’t like your album and I’m not sorry I didn’t like it, just as you shouldn’t be sorry I didn’t like it. Music is a purely subjective art form and one man’s trash is another man’s gold and so on. While I didn’t care for the album you made, I do firmly believe you made the album you wanted to make for reasons all your own, and that’s as it should be.

But I do feel I owe you an apology, PTM, and here’s why: I posted a review of your album on my little music blog (which is not journalism, as has been pointed out in some of the more coherent comments on my post. However, those making the comments forget that 1) no music reviews are journalism and 2) I never claimed that Bollocks! was journalism) and stated, in blunt language, how I felt about it. Since you linked to the review on your Twitter page, some of your fans have stopped by Bollocks! to let me know how they feel about me, my writing style, my taste in music, and my favorite college football team. So it appears to me, PTM, that my little blog has, quite by accident, revealed that some of your fans are petty, vindictive, humorless, people who have a callous disregard for proper written English. I offer, by way of example, this comment, apparently written in free verse, made by a user named joe anthony:

“what audacity u have man.
if only u felt what felt
thought what they thought
and did what they did..

please you asshole music critic
please i beg u
come out with a cd
call it ur “AMBIENT” or “Indie”
see how that gets written up

hopefully by ignorant people like you who are just to plain stubborn”

I didn’t edit any of the spelling or grammar on any of the comments because I like to preserve things as people actually wrote them.

I want to be clear, PTM, that I’m sure not all – or even most – of your fans behave the way many of those who have commented on my post chose to behave, but I do think that every band, regardless of whether or not I like them, deserves fans that represent the band in a favorable light. I would sure like to meet some of your better fans, PTM, because I’m sure you have very nice people who happen to disagree with me about your music.

I must say that I find it particularly humorous that the strategy employed by some of your most vitriolic fans (like patrick, who not only called me a “douche fucker” but also “probably one of the biggest pieces of crap in the world”) involves directing way more traffic to my paltry blog than it would otherwise get (on its best day. Incidentally, the last time I’ve enjoyed readership at this level was when I hated Guns ‘n’  Roses’ Chinese Democracy. I didn’t apologize to GNR because I think they actually do deserve their most obnoxious fans) in order to say things that 1) won’t change my opinion of your album and 2) won’t affect in the least the way I listen to, write about, or enjoy music. And, though I know the intent of the name-calling is to make me feel bad, I must say it has the direct opposite result.  Whenever I’m called names or told to take someone’s genitals out of my ear (thanks, Mike! I can hear so much better with that dick out of my ear! And I still don’t like The Satanic Satanist) in grammatically horrifying rants, it cracks me up. I don’t care what strangers think of me, especially if they’re going to hate me (or incorrectly assume that I’m “obviously” not a musician; I’ve been playing guitar for more than half my life now. I might not make music that your fans would enjoy, but I’m still most definitely a musician) for disliking something they like. I don’t get paid for writing Bollocks!, so I have no motivation to troll in order to drive up my numbers. I simply write what I think about in album in a way that is fun for me and hopefully entertaining for the readers. While many of your fans didn’t find the funny in my review of your album, I assure you that I personally know people who did enjoy the review and got a good chuckle out of it. Again, it’s all subjective. Some people think Larry the Cable Guy is funny and I think he’s symbolic of nearly everything that’s wrong with life on this planet (could be exaggerating just slightly there).

I would also like to address some general inaccuracies in the comments I received, because there were a couple that kept popping up. First off, I never implied that you guys agree with Sarah Palin. I merely stated that you come from the same small Alaska town that she does. I’ll admit, it was harsh to make the comparison by implying that you were unbearably stupid, but I was listening to your album at the time and, as I believe I’ve made abundantly clear, not enjoying it at all. But saying that someone agrees with Sarah Palin is not something I would do lightly, nor would I ever do it in jest. I have no evidence of your political leanings, PTM, but I’m sure that, whatever they are, they are probably not aligned with those of the former governor of your former state. I have already addressed the inaccurate assumption by some of your fans that Bollocks! is or aspires to be any kind of journalism at all. Also, while I did say that I appreciate MGMT more after listening to your album and the Amazing Baby record, I never claimed to love them. I love one of their songs and put up with the rest, although I do have to say (again) that some of the stuff on Satanic Satanist does sound a lot like some of the stuff on their album.

In closing, PTM, I’d like to wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. One or two of your good fans stopped by to suggest that I listen to some of your older records, and I might take them up on that. In the meantime, I wish to again convey to you my deep condolences on having a few of the most obnoxious music fans I’ve ever encountered. Perhaps now, we can let the healing begin.


Chorpenning and the Bollocks! team.

P.S. I’ve done some research and now have it on good authority that there are bigger pieces of crap than me in the world. Most of them are made by elephants.


2 thoughts on “An Apology to Portugal. The Man

  1. Oh man, what a great turn of events.

    I loved your PTM review, it was probably one of my favorite entries ever from your blog (which is among my favorite on the internet), and totally missed the vitriol that it inspired. What a pleasant surprise.

    I haven’t listened to the album, but the review itself was tremendous. It seems, though, that beyond being confused as to what constitutes “journalism,” the commenters on your PTM review are mistaken as to what exactly music critics DO.

    I can only speak from my experience, but contrary to what PTM’s trolls think, my opinions on music are not formed by Mr. Chorpenning or by music critics in general. I occasionally will seek out reviews of albums I feel strongly about, either positively or negatively, just to see if my thoughts are shared by others.

    Very few people form their tastes in music or pop culture based on what critics think (the Larry the Cable Guy analogy is pertinent again), and because Bollocks! caters to a select few (10-14 — on average!) faithful readers, I’m going to assume that even fewer still give a flying fuck about what the author of this particular blog thinks. I’m very interested in the writing on this blog, and I’m mildly interested in the opinions.

    Bollocks! isn’t here to influence or inform, its here to entertain. If you aren’t entertained, then stop reading, or better yet, make your own Bollocks!-esque blog to satirize and poke fun at Bollocks!

    So, instead of pounding your chest on an internet blog about your favorite obscure indie artist, go do something productive. Leave the nerdy blog and forum fights to the GnR fans.

  2. Pingback: Is This What Passes for Substance Now? « Bollocks!

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