He’s that bad

Ron Rosenbaum:

I think I’ve done it! I think I’ve identified the qualities in B.J.’s work that distinguish his badness from other kinds of badness: It exhibits unearned contempt. Both a self-righteous contempt for others and the self-approbation and self-congratulation that is contempt’s backside, so to speak. Most frequently a contempt for the supposed phoniness or inauthenticity of other people as opposed to the rock-solid authenticity of our B.J.

Yes.  Ye-e-e-e-e-e-es.

5 Responses to “He’s that bad”

  1. jaymaster Says:

    Feh.

    The article strikes me as a text book example of snobbish, elitist pablum, riding on an underlying wave of psychological projection.

    As he types the words, I can hear Rosenbaum’s inner dialogue: “Who’s full of self righteous contempt? I am Daddy! I am Daddy!”

    OK, I admit it, I like Billy Joel….


  2. Mary Says:

    Yes, Billy Joel is a self-centered poseur, and yes he treats his peers with contempt. That’s what made him the perfect voice for his generation.

    You have to remember the horror that was that place and time – before Elvis Costello, the B52s or Joe Jackson. Joel wasn’t great, but he was better than the shlock that came before him – like Barry Manilow – the Bee Gees…


  3. Ron Coleman Says:

    He’s written a couple of tunes that really were very good pop songs with great hooks. But if you actually listen to them, I came to realize, they really express a philosophy that is not merely sophomoric; it is idiotic. One that always sticks in my head is, “I learned that just surviving is a noble fight,” from “The Angry Young Man,” in which he spits on people who believe in things like principles. Some of his observations about growing up and maturing are fair enough, but — “noble”? Slugs, bacteria and escaped Nazi war criminals are engaged in survival. There’s nothing noble about it. And saying it is is really, really stupid, philistine, and, in fact, ignoble.


  4. Bob Miller Says:

    Did Mary ever hear of Van Morrison? Harry Chapin?


  5. Mary Says:

    He’s written a couple of tunes that really were very good pop songs with great hooks. But if you actually listen to them, I came to realize, they really express a philosophy that is not merely sophomoric; it is idiotic.

    Rock and roll IS sophomoricity and idiocy (with a beat that you can dance to). I saw him in concert in Joe Biden’s hometown, Scranton, PA. Joel dressed in a suit and tie, he jumped up on the piano and sang Angry Young Man, and the crowd went crazy, because we saw it as an anti-hippie song. His basic message was a rebellion against the previous generation’s excesses. He expressed in song how sick to death we all were of boring hippie radicalism and fluffy-haired disco-queen heroin addicts.

    Joel ‘rebelled’ by wearing a suit, working hard, marrying a model and making a ton of cash. It’s not a great message, but it’s not the worst one out there.


Attorney Ronald D. Coleman