A couple years ago, when I started this blog (Bollocks! will be three years old in February – right now, it’s still going through that difficult toddler phase of climbing on stuff and putting everything in its mouth), I was genuinely astounded when people took the time to comment on anything I’d written. However, I was not astounded to find that people seem to be more motivated to say something to you when you’ve said something disapproving about a band they like. Rare indeed is the comment that says “Right the fuck on! I love that album too.” Rarer still is, “You know, I disagree with you but that review was funny and sure beat the shit out of working for a few minutes.”
In my opinion (and everything that appears here is my opinion, but we’ll get to that in a minute), internet comment sections are the new letters to the editor from your local newspaper (I think I might’ve mentioned that before). Mostly, they’re bad. But when people start going back and forth, they get ugly. And idiotic. Look at any Fark comment thread for proof of this. And I’m not saying any of this stuff to try to keep you from commenting on my blog; you are welcome to say anything you want to me in the comments section, so long as it’s not spam. I’ll try to respond, if a response is warranted, and I promise to do my best not to do any name-calling (again, that shit may fly on Fark, but we’ve got some standards here at Bollocks!). Let’s just try to remember that we’re not arguing over the fate of the free world here – we’re shooting the shit about music. It’s important in its way, but we (even Portugal. The Man fans) don’t need to get heated.
A while back, I wrote a bit about ten guitar players I think are overrated. A few months went by and I got a rather lengthy comment from someone calling himself “That dude” (whether the “d” is lower case by choice or laziness, I can’t tell), telling me, among other things, that I “would have to be an utter moron” to criticize the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen who is, apparently, That dude’s personal guitar deity (is That dude in fact Yngwie Malmsteen, writing under an easier-to-pronounce pseudonym? Probably not. But I haven’t ruled it out completely). Now, I want to be fair here and say that That dude’s comments were, overall, fairly coherent and intelligent, if a bit long-winded. But calling me names doesn’t help your cause, That dude; it makes me laugh.
You can read the full comments on your own time, but I decided to make a post of what will probably be my last word on the subject because I feel like That dude and I are about to get into a high (read: no) stakes semantic argument about what we mean when we say a musician is “good.” That dude clearly gives a lot of weight to technical prowess and I clearly give more weight to whether or not the musician makes me want to stab my own eyes out with a pencil. To each his own, I guess. Nothing That dude said has convinced me that Yngwie Malmsteen is good (and, in some ways, That dude, you’ve really only solidified my belief that he’s overrated – a belief that is valid because it is my belief and is only true for me) and I’m sure nothing I say will convince That dude that Malmsteen sucks. Of course, I’m not trying to convince anyone that Malmsteen sucks. I’m merely recording my opinions and then being completely mind-fucked when people actually take the time to read this shit. I trust you to understand that whatever I say on my blog is my opinion, not a fact (whatever is said on most blogs is an opinion, although there are certainly exceptions). Most of you do. So thanks.
Incidentally, when someone on the internet disses a band I love (and it happens a lot), you know what I do? Nothing. I let it slide. It’s one motherfucker’s opinion and it doesn’t change a damn thing about the music or about my life. And let’s be clear: I’m not telling you not to argue with me about stuff I post here. By all means, argue! This isn’t Something Awful, though; I’m not trolling the internet trying to provoke outrage from people. I’m telling you what I think about music in a (hopefully) humorous and entertaining fashion.
But don’t, please do not ever, ever tell me what I can and cannot or should and should not say on Bollocks! This is my shitty little corner of the internet, folks, and I can do what I damn well please. I try to be nice, unless I hate an album, but even if I hate an album you love, it doesn’t mean I hate you, even if you made the album I hate. Hell, I probably don’t even know you. In his two separate comments, That dude told me not to criticize Yngwie (in all caps and Brit spelling: “DON’T CRITICISE HIM!” With a fucking exclamation point!) and then said, “…you may prefer AC/DC to Yngwie Malmsteen but that does not mean that you can say Malmsteen (or the other 4 I mentioned earlier) sucks. Period.” Oh, That dude. Clearly, you have not read much in the way of Bollocks! Not only can I say that Yngwie Malmsteen sucks, I can say any fucking thing I want. You can, too, of course. You can start a blog about how much I suck. No one would read it though, because no one knows who I am. But you could do it.
The bottom line is when you come to this, my virtual house, and tell me I can’t say something, it compels me to say the thing again and find a way to make it worse. Because to me, that makes it funny. Maybe that’s immature and maybe you’re a poopypants.
So but anyway:
Yngwie Malsmteen sucks. And he likes to have sex with dead people.