Monday, May 16, 2005

Blog Cop vs Blog Wimp

what's a blog cop? what's a blog wimp? Posted by Hello

Friends, I think we need more Blog Cops

and fewer Blog Wimps.

Blog Cop?

By blog cop, I don't mean some storm trooper who tries to shame bloggers into conforming to exalted standards they have no intention of attaining.

I mean a blog watch dog, attack dog against scumblogging.

Okay, let's coin some new blog lexicon entries.


A blogger, blog interactor (blog reader who posts comments and emails bloggers), or lurker (blog reader who reads only)...

...who is a blogospheric whistle-blower.

Exposes the characteristics, and sometimes specific characters, responsible for the corruption, dumbing-down, or plain irrelevance of a pseudo-blog (blog replica designed to deceive and exploit readers) or blogoid (blog-like object that does not comply with the 9 blog core values).

A blog cop has a list of basic consensus best practices and concepts, formulated sporadically or methodically, by inter-blog posting and commenting, at the pioneering, most popular, and most respected blogs.

The blog cop uses this list of high blog expectations as a normative benchmark for all other blogs, adapting it to the differences in blog purpose, style, and audience.

Most policing acticivity directed toward the guilty blogs is accomplished in the manner of warning tickets posted as user comments on or about the offending blogs.


A blog author or user who just likes to linking-around-the-sphere [i.e., blogosphere] (an activity known as "slinking": 'S{pheric}Linking.) Sees the blogosphere as a Disney-like realm of wonder and awe.

Not interested in improving or policing the blogosphere.

Just wants to enjoy and participate within it.

For example, instead of arguing about sleazy sponsored text links, spyware attachment, incongruent and dissociative aspects of dysfunctional blogs, or other blog maladies and mishaps...

...prefers to

and comment
and write email
to the authors of

These blog wimps cannot handle conflict, confrontation, non-conformity, or transformation.

For both blog cops and blog wimps, both of whom I love dearly, here is a pseudo-commercial interruption...

...but I prefer to be free, unsponsored, and drowsily opinionated about every easy-to-understand subject in which I have some vague curiosity, coupled with milktoast debating manners, should the dreary need to argue ever arise.

NEW ORDER: "Waiting for the Sirens' Call" CD49307-2 Warner Bros.
Review published at Pitchfork Media.

For a group of folks nearing the half-century mark, Get Ready was pretty damn good; but for New Order, that return-from-wherever effort was a bit meh.

New Order's "meh" is often better than most group's "hell yeah," but that doesn't disguise their shortcomings, and "Who's Joe"-- the first track from New Order's latest album, Waiting for the Sirens' Call-- is a continuation of the underwhelming competence of the band's previous album.

That track isn't as in love with the sound of space-age guitars as Get Ready, but it's still a three-minute song that's given an extra two minutes' worth of rope to turn stiff and tepid.

Combine that with the unwarranted focus on Bernard Sumner and his lyrical stylings-- not often a main attraction for New Order (and for good reason)-- and I'm settling in for another reasonably competent, mildly underwhelming effort from a group that doesn't need to prove a damn thing to anyone.

But then the second track, "Hey Now What You Doing", manages to make its five-minute length seem like half that.

Credit the pronounced presence of that nifty Peter Hook basswork, or the pithier words Sumner spits ("You have the brightest future/ Writing songs on your computer"-- believe me, it sounds better in context), but this sounds more like a group that's doing the damn thing and not just coasting on their own coattails. And then the title track comes on, and it's this gorgeous effortless shimmering thing, mournful and ebullient all at once.

And then the first single, "Krafty", with its synth flourishes and corny pop-perfect sentiment ("But out there the world is a beautiful place/ With mountains, lakes and the human race") blows the doors wide open, and any trepidation I had regarding this record dies on the vine.

In his review of Get Ready, Pitchfork's own Joe Tangari makes note of how much the album rocked, which is probably why it felt to me as if the group went astray.

First and foremost, New Order is a pop band-- just ask Frente!-- and for them to try their hand at loud guitars and loud beats doesn't play to the group's strengths. Nor does such a maneuver do them any favors when compared to their contemporaries-- Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie made a guest appearance on Get Ready, which is fitting, since his group's XTRMNTR did what Get Ready attempted to do, only bigger, louder, and-- most importantly-- better.

In comparison, Sirens' Call features the Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic-- she gets a verse and a few background lines in "Jetstream", a chirpy, flippant track where "you are my jetstream lover" and a sense of laconic confidence out-Kylies Ms. Minogue at her own coy game. When it's firing on all cylinders, Sirens' Call offers manic pop thrills that either recall the group's heyday, or slyly recalls the noise made by other people that were touched by New Order-- dig that Ace of Base action in "I Told You So".

The track lengths don't lend themselves to a tidy, hit-and-run pop experience, but they do offer a taste of what the inevitable extended dance remix would sound like.

The one track that most conforms to the three-minute radio oligarchy is closer "Working Overtime". It's a garagey barn-burner, not too dissimilar to Get Ready single "Crystal". These track's placements on their respective albums are a telling sign of New Order's confidence level.

"Crystal" was Get Ready's centerpiece and calling card, the document that was supposed to announce to the world that New Order Is Back and could ably play ball with the kids they fathered.

In some sense, it was a capitulation by a group that had no need to capitulate. "Working Overtime" is an afterthought, a track that does what "Crystal" did with less pomp and exerted effort, announcing to all those aforementioned indebted groups that, oh by the way, they can write these sorts of songs in their sleep, and they can put them at the end of their records, because they don't need to play ball with the other kids.

They invented the game.

In other words, they're New Order.

And you're not.

-David Raposa, March 30, 2005, Pitchfork Media

Original article at:

Okay, it's YOUR Turn.

Now...what do YOU think?

Do we need more "blog cops" and fewer "blog wimps"?

Is the new New Order CD "Waiting for the Sirens' Call" the best music they've made since "Technique" or "Power Corruption and Lies"?

Email me YOUR opinion.



[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate aka Leopold the Told

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