Mixtapes for Hookers

The Thing About Maura Johnston…
November 11, 2009, 4:30 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , , ,

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Yesterday I perused my Google Reader for the first time since the weekend and I came across Tyler Coates’s Tumblr post about his Idolator unsubscription.  “That’s odd,” I thought.  “I wonder what made him decide to do that.”

And then I saw the new Idolator.  Jesus Mary and Joseph!

Here’s how my internet-related day used to go:  Wake up.  Make coffee.  Check Gmail.  Drink coffee.  Check other Gmail.  Check other other Gmail.  Check current primary social network site (Myspace/Facebook/Twitter).  Check secondary social networking site (Facebook/Twitter/Facebook).  Check Idolator. Before the local news, before even going to my RSS feed, I checked Idolator.

The music news site occupied a special place in my heart for a few reasons, most of which had to do with editor Maura Johnston. Johnston’s been with the site from the get-go and who wrote it more or less by herself for the greater part of this past year.  Her blend of enthusiasm and intelligence is very rare in the pop world; intelligent coverage isn’t often to be found when one is looking for the latest on, say, Girls Aloud.  I mean, it helps that Maura has good taste–she’s posted enthusiastically about both Tracey Thorn and Stevie B–but her ideas were just as interesting when she was writing about something crappy like Tokio Hotel.  (She also usually gave reasons for not liking things, which is nice; and while sometimes she appeared fickle, her anger never seemed mean-spirited, even when talking about Perez Hilton.)

Meanwhile, Idolator’s been taken over by two other bloggers, Robbie and Becky.  The topics they covered on their first day weren’t really much different from what Maura would have written about–Lady GaGa’s new video, Britney’s Singles Collection release–but the content was, uh, somewhat lacking.  Even the puffiest of Maura’s Britney posts were grounded in reality, at least a little thought-provoking, and written for adults.  In contrast, here’s what Becky had to say yesterday:  “Say what ya want about this girl’s personal life, but I’d gladly blast every last one of these songs at full volume while screaming out the sunroof of a limo.” Every last one, huh?  Even From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart?  Well that’s… something.

Okay, so it was their first day.  Taking over where a great writer left, quite abruptly, would be hard for anyone, and the comments section certainly hasn’t been very kind to the new duo.  It’s possible that a panicky new blogger might even convince herself for five seconds that intentional misspellings of popular pronouns made sense.  Once.  But she did it all day, aiming–for whatever reason–for that peculiar “conversational” tone that involves spelling everything wrong for no reason.

“Robbie” is thirty-year old Robbie Daw, who writes ChartRigger and used to contribute a music column to assy Towleroad.  I’m familiar with ChartRigger and check the site periodically when I’m looking for new stuff for my radio show, but definitely don’t care about the editorial content.  Robbie doesn’t seem to care about Idolator enough to bother introducing himself, and he hasn’t mentioned his new job on his own blog or on his Twitter account.  “Becky”, I guess, used to blog for E!, although judging from her posts I would have assumed that she was a seventh-grader.

Anyway.  Probably I too will unsubscribe from the site before the week’s over.  And hopefully Maura will be back soon; in the meantime, her Twitter’s been very active lately.  As sad as I am about her abrupt departure from Idolator, I’m glad to have learned yesterday that she, unlike certain people, appreciates the genius of Whitechocolatespaceegg.

[nb: After I started typing this, this went up, prompting me to leave, probably, my final comment on the site.  I’ll try not to dwell on why the new bloggers needed an ‘admin’ to introduce them.]

2 Comments so far
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Stole the thoughts right out of my mind. Though I must admit that I found some of Maura’s obsessions and hatreds a little blind on occasion, I liked that she actually had opinions. These newbies seem a little… well, plastic?

I’m not going to unsubscribe yet, but I’m on the line. I’m giving them a few more weeks to prove that they don’t suck.

Comment by JJS III

The Daily Swarm has an article about Robbie and Becky. I apparently don’t know how to read; I thought Robbie was 30 because in one post he mentioned being somewhere in 1994, fifteen years ago. But I read it as “in 1994, when he was fifteen.” He’s actually 35.

Comment by mixtapesforhookers

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