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Sound Grenade

by Archives February 17, 2009

Everyone at some point in their lives has met someone completely and utterly full of themselves. That’s right, I’m talking about The Snob. Also recognized as: the arrogant, I’m oh-so-knowledgeable, let-me-make-you-feel-oompa-loompa-sized know-it-all.
Usually when approached by such creatures, we human beings instinctively know how to protect ourselves. To avoid confrontation we sometimes camouflage our true feelings and pretend to seem slightly interested in the snob’s self-assured talk of nothingness. I usually gaze off into the distance, while sleepily nodding and slowly walking away. Others smile until their jaw hurts. The unfortunate ignorant sometimes try to argue.
The reason I bring this up has everything to do with the new phrase I’m about to invent, wait for it . . . the Music Snob.
The Webster Online English dictionary defines the word snob as “One who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste.” Offensive air, condescending tone, assumed superior taste; yeah, those are definitely the characteristics of a fulltime Music Snob.
I understand that we as citizens have different tastes and music genres vary. I also realize that we’ve all been a music snob at some point in our lives. We’ve all experienced the “oh, you listen to that . . . ?” non-rhetorical question that leaves the other person feeling offended or sheepish. But that’s a slip of tongue, an honest mistake and we usually laugh it off by admitting some horrible secretive musical shame of our own, like our love for JO-JO or Ricky Martin’s la vida “loco” hips. Not that there’s anything wrong with that . . .
What I’m talking about is something very different and very specific. The Music Snob doesn’t shut up, ever. They go on tangents on his or her musical preferences and why they’re so much greater than yours. You should listen to this, it makes you feel this way and you should not listen to that because it’s amateur.”Now allow me to go phlegm up your music collection, it’s for your own benefit, I swear.”
It’s fine to disagree about music and air grievances or argue with friends about your favourite bands, but it’s the snobbery that kills the fun. When you’re the only one chatting and someone’s eyes are rolling profusely, either call 9-1-1 or just stop talking.
The worst part about the Music Snob is not that they never admit defeat, it’s that this personality flaw has evolved to include many sub-genres.
There’s the pseudo-music-critic-snob: a person who thinks they know everything, and I mean everything, about music. They judge your musical tastes and recommend what they insist to be much better bands, artists and genres.
“Raffi’s ‘Banana Phone’ is a lyrical ballad full of heart-wrenching childhood memories that question the mortality of fruit in a fruitless nation . . . ”
Then we have the music-performance-snob: these are artists, often with bangs in their eyes, who are lacking in the emotion department and are just too cool to feel the music, thus seeming narcoleptic on stage. Then again who am I to judge? Maybe they have subdued rock star addictions and took a few Benadryls or a dose of NyQuil before hitting the show.
And of course, the music-genre-know-it-all-snob: one genre, one type of listening – there is no such thing as plurality in this Music Snob’s life. “I only listen to techno . . . the music that represents my life.”
This leads to another snob . . . the musically-ignorant-snob: people who fear anything “different.” As in, if it’s not top 40 it’s not worth listening to.
“CJLO Concordia’s underground radio station, I don’t listen to that . . . I’m scared. Mama feed me.”
And last but not least, the macho-misogynist-snob: guys who refuse to listen to music that may interfere with their “manliness.” “Tina Turner, that’s for ladies, I cry tears of blood and eat raw egg sandwiches for lunch and get my workouts by throwing children in trees.”
When it comes to the cause behind music snobbery, I guess the fear of being judged has leaked into the world’s universal language. Who knows, maybe aliens are music snobs and it’s their hatred of The Beatles that has delayed communication with earth . . . Everyone really is a critic these days.

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