I'm not killing all blogs here -- some of them are useful because they find me stories that I couldn't find on my own, and some of their comments or features make me laugh and think. When the goal is to keep everyone on their toes, have some fun, provide an alternate take on things and remain at least somewhat objective, that's great. If you're using a blog to constantly ream everyone else, that's depressing. Also, how can we have so many libels/slander laws in place for newspapers, and yet the Internet is like the Wild West? People can steal material, slander people, rip them to shreds, make up news ... I mean, you can get away with anything now. Do you know how many times an NBA Web site reported having sources that confirmed some trade that ended up never happening? It was embarrassing. I could go on about this forever.

Switching gears, you argue about music almost like your opinions are fact -- like your comment that "'Vitalogy' is almost irrefutably the best Pearl Jam album" -- which is one of the reasons I like your material so much, because you're so sure about your opinions on these things, and you will argue them to the bitter end. But can you really argue about music to the level that you can argue sports? Isn't music more subjective? For instance, we could argue about the '86 Rockets and Lakers, I could probably find stats that would show how Kareem had stopped rebounding that season, how that Lakers team wasn't big enough to handle a Sampson-Hakeem combo, and so on. But there are no stats to prove that "Vitalogy" was better than "Ten" or "Vs," just like there's no way to prove that "Jungleland" was Springsteen's defining song (although I will always believe that it is).

Klosterman: Certainly, music is WAY more subjective. These two subjects are not even comparable. For example, I could insist that the greatest band in the world is actually four unsigned guys from Oregon who have never made a record and are just bouncing around the Portland club scene, and that this band is like what would have happened if Lennon & McCartney had formed a quartet with Keith Richards and Charlie Watts, and that these people write the best songs since The Smiths and they play louder than Blue Cheer. I could argue that this group is cooler than The Arcade Fire or the White Stripes, because I could insist they are more "authentic" or "incendiary" or "visceral." I could create reasons that explain this hypothetical band's greatness, and a few crazy people would find my theory interesting and potentially valid. However, I could never claim that the best quarterback in the country is actually some 28-year-old dude working in a car wash in downtown Detroit, and that this person is substantially better than Peyton Manning. That would immediately seem idiotic to everyone. This is why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is such a failure; there are no quantifiable qualities for the inductees. There is no way to *prove* that a musician is good. And this is not an issue in sports. There's no risk that Greg Maddux won't make the Baseball Hall of Fame simply because certain sportswriters don't think he's hip enough, or because they feel his pitching style is derivative.

Continued...


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