Why Do I Read TheRinger.com?

17Oct18

For some reason, I keep doing it to myself. I keep reading TheRinger. Maybe they have good art, or alluring titles (in fact, they do). But time and again, their content is a let down.

Case in point: the recent “Weezer Must Be Stopped” article. I considered doing a point-by-point take down of this thing, but then that would mean the article had points at all. Like most of TheRinger’s content, there is no clear argument being made in any way beyond its own hive-mind assumptions. For this one, you have to assume that Weezer’s later period is bad, that their cover of “Africa” is not fun, and that simple lyrics equate to bad songs. None of these things are 100% guaranteed, unless you want fall in line with these writers, which, in a way, is to fall in line with a widely-spread belief that Weezer fell apart after “Pinkerton,” which is a point SO OLD that it has been made for 20+ years, in much the same way (their songs are more pop than “honest and dark,” they come off as calculating, their lyrics have suffered). On and on and on.
I’ll give them this: it’s a great title. “Weezer Must Be Stopped hooked me into spending another 10 minutes of my life gazing at their screen. I actually remembered it after reading it. Think of that: I remembered the title of a web article. From last week! But a title is all it has to offer.

The writer doesn’t even deliver on a premise of WHY Weezer mus be stopped. What will happen if Weezer is NOT, in fact, stopped? Will music suffer worse than it already has? I guess we will just get less Weezer, and therefore have to be. . . I dunno, less annoyed at their existence. If Weezer is not stopped, how does it impact this person’s (or anyone’s) life? There’s an argument that almost lands where the sanctity of the original “Africa” is in jeopardy, but in order to agree with that, you have to agree that “Africa” is some pure thing that has sanctity.

This is a trend that runs rampant on TheRinger, and it has never ceased to annoy me. Everything is supposed to convince by way of statistics, even when — as in art — statistics are pointless. I can tell you that the Ramones wrote some dumb lyrics. And that their songs are simple and basically loud for the sake of loud. These are all facts, and yet none of them disqualify their greatest songs from being considered great. They are great because they are great. This is the never-ending dilemma in art criticism, and it’s one that TheRinger never fails to fail at.

All of this could be forgiven if the articles were written well, with a beginning thesis, a convincing argument, or any kind of construction in a better-than-a-blog form. But it never is (at least in the ones I read). Every article feels like stream of consciousness, because it probably is. They all let you down, because they go nowhere. Most Ringer articles are like watching a CW show for a season and then stopping in the middle. There’s no closure. It just stopped and you feel dumb for having wasted your time.

This is very negative. Too bad.

TheRinger must be stopped.

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