Thursday, November 24, 2011

What the pop papers say: Cool getting colder

Every year, about this time, elderly relatives will send out greetings cards to remind people that they're still alive. In much the same way, the NME releases its otherwise pointless Cool List in order to send out a few press releases to let the wider world know that the title still exists.

There is something a bit surprising in the choice of Azealia Banks as their number one - given that the paper these days is so very, very white with its alternating Liam/Noel covers throughout the year, it's surprising to see a black artist on the cover of the magazine. Although she's not given the whole cover, of course. Presumably she's just a little too cool to be given the whole front page. And clearly, way, way, too cool for the NME to build a spalsh feature around without shoring her up with the rest of the list - Jarvis and Kasabian and Lana Del Ray and Noel.

There's also a fool list, in which the Insane Clown Posse and Ricky Gervais are ridiculed for domestic violence and mong jokes respectively. Which is good, except it makes the presence of Tyler The Creator on the Cool List even more puzzling. Gervais is ordered to "sort it out" while the sexist, homophobic Tyler is "cool" because he's "genuinely" a "troller deluxe". The paper even includes his suggestion that Tegan and Sara needed some "hard dick" as part of the citation for his appearance in the cool list.

Really, NME? The little chart you provide underneath which suggests this might have dented his cool a bit (and not for what he said, but for having been called on it by Tegan and Sara) doesn't offset that you're lauding someone because they spit out sexist, homophobic shit. And then say it's great that he genuinely believes it.

The exact methodology to decide what's "cool" is a mystery, but surely there could be some sort of human intervention to stop the NME telling its remaining readers that telling gay women they just need to have sex with a man is a cool thing to do?


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