Every so often you read something that makes you say "Yes!" in your head. But then there are other things that make you say "Yes!" aloud, then wander round the room doing a funny kind of dance, lolloping about with sheer instinctive joy. This is one of those. Read it now, love it forever.
I thought I had a tough job wading through the tabloids to write my rubbish blog, but no. Ron Rosenbaum has bought an entire Billy Joel box-set in order to explore just why he's so shite.
I'm reluctant to pick on Billy Joel. He's been subject to withering contempt from hipster types for so long that it no longer seems worth the time. Still, the mystery persists: How can he be so bad and yet so popular for so long? He's still there. You can't defend yourself with anti-B.J. shields around your brain. He still takes up the space, takes up A&R advances that would otherwise support a score of unrecognized but genuinely talented artists, singers, and songwriters, with his loathsomely insipid simulacrum of rock.
And 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.
Hat tip to Aaron for finding this gem.