Thursday, September 07, 2006

SOLIDARITY FOR THE DEAN

The only connection I have with Robert Christgau -- the dean of American rock critics, recently fired by the new kids running the Village Voice -- is the fact that about 15 years ago he invited me (and hundreds of other music writers across this great nation) to participate in the Voice's annual Pazz & Jop music poll. I've filed my ballot every year since and always appreciated the fact that he reached out to writers from smaller papers out here in flyover country to get a fuller representation of American criticdom.

Well, no more. I realize it's a symbolic gesture, but I won't participate in any poll for a paper that treats a senior writer this way. (They also previously canned music writer Chuck Eddy, which is an atrocity in itself.) And I'm urging other past P&J participants to do the same.

Grant Alden writes more eloquently about this on his blog on the No Depression site. (He credits me, but actually it was my KSFR colleague Sean Conlon who put the bug in my ear.)
Perhaps new management won't bother with this annual tradition, or
(more likely) they'll be delighted to see another middle aged critic leave the field of battle. But if enough of us decline to participate, perhaps it will mean something. At least to Mr. Christgau and Mr. Eddy.

Let's show some solidarity for the Dean.

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