The Snob’s Speech

Wow, what a year, huh? Is it just me or have the last few years ended with “wow that was a terrible year let’s never do that again” and then we as a collective species just keep topping ourselves? I don’t mean in the fandom specifically – in general, it’s been a difficult and trying year. Hell, just choosing a Top 5 Most Depressing Things That Happened This Year would be extremely difficult, and you pretty much already know the basics, so I won’t waste your time or mine retreading depressing shit, but suffice it to say – this year sucked.

And while it’s hardly the national-level news that most of the worst stories from this year have been, no small part of what made this such a shit year were the revelations that came out this spring about how some of the most beloved and respected wizard rockstars had been abusing not just their position and power, but abusing women and girls. This came at a time when it was hard to deny that the fandom was winding down, and it felt like such a kick in the teeth. I’m sure I’m not the only one who questioned if wizard rock was worth it. If it was ever worth it.

For someone who was not actually a wizard rocker, I put an inordinate amount of my time, passion, and energy into this fandom for a good chunk of years, and it was hard not to think – what was the point? Everything from the hours I spent obsessively updating the long-dead Wizrocklopedia wiki, to the money spent, to starting a blog and writing thousands upon thousands of words (some of which were spelled correctly!) seemed pointless. The fandom died anyway, and then we found out that some of the people I respected most as musicians and artists were manipulative, abusive, frankly evil little shits. A large bulk of my life had been centered around this community, and I had inadvertently ended up spending not-insignificant portions of my resources supporting people I now find morally repugnant.

So yeah, wizard rock was a pointless crock of shit, and we should all feel like assholes for ever thinking it was anything more, and for recklessly bringing other people into this swirling maelstrom of feces and horse semen.

The end.

Except…

That way of thinking misses one very important point – wizard rock was never really about the rock stars. This is something I’ve only recently come to realize. And it is true that there is an overwhelming perception that wrock is all about the Wizard Rock Heart Throbs, a perception that led to the kind of instances where girls and women in our fandom were manipulated and abused. This is a perception we all had a hand in creating, and we are all to blame for it. But that perception wasn’t reality. Because wizard rock was never really truly about the rockstars. It certainly wasn’t about the indie wrockers. It wasn’t even about the books or the music.

Wizard rock was – no, wizard rock is about the people, the stories they have, and the lives that were changed.

Wizard rock is about the woman who was 12 when the book series ended, but still goes to every show she can, and takes her little sister with her too.

Wizard rock is about the girl who realized she could sing, and the boy who realized he could play.

Wizard rock is about the friends made at cons and only occasionally contacted on Facebook.

Wizard rock is about the friends made at cons and eventually married.

Wizard rock is about the relatively conservative girl who not only had her views changed, but realized that she’s bi.

Wizard rock is about the woman who never really had friends, even on the internet, who is now involved in 35 different fandoms, some of which you’ve probably never heard of, and has close connections in all of them.

Wizard rock is about the embarrassed boy who always had trouble with reading but loved stories and loved music and found friends who didn’t shame him for preferring the audiobooks.

Wizard rock is about the trans man who found his true voice, and found some true friends.

Wizard rock is about the girl who organized local shows who became the woman that organizes international charity work.

Wizard rock is about the father who raises his children on this glorious, terrible, wonderful, awful, unique music.

Wizard rock is about waking up at Wrockstock in the wrong cabin, and people you’ve never met offering you a blanket. And some rum.

Wizard rock is about the girl who sneakily (and sometimes guiltily) made friends and connections online against the wishes of her parents, and ended up having a safe space to come to and arms and couches to run to when she came out.

Wizard rock is about the person who rediscovered a passion for writing, for critiquing, and for getting into fights on the internet.

Wizard rock is about the girl stuck in a melancholy haze after the end of Deathly Hallows who decided to put her feelings to music, and learned valuable coping mechanisms in the process.

Wizard rock is about the kid with the shitty acoustic guitar, an on-board laptop microphone, and some poorly-thought-out lyrics sitting in their room, about to take a step that will change their life forever.

Wizard rock is about the friends and the brothers and the kids and the lovers and the heartbreak and the loss and the joy and the births and the deaths and the mistakes and the consequences and the lucky breaks and the dead ends and the new opportunities and the experiences you wish you could forget and the experiences you never will.

Wizard rock is about taking bad experiences and not letting them break you, and taking crazy ideas and letting them make your life so much better.

Wizard rock is about you. Wizard rock is about us.

That’s what wizard rock is all about, Charlie Brown.

See you next year.

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10 Articles I Will Write Before Hanging Up My Pants

Hey there! It’s been a little while. Here’s the 10 (ish) articles I plan to write before I hang up my wizard rock reviewer pants. That day is coming at some point, it’s definitely there in the future, and I’d like to be able to put a definitive cap on things here, instead of it just slowly petering out into non-existence, which is pretty much all this site has been doing for the past couple years.

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Why We Fight

[Trigger Warning: This post discusses statutory rape, manipulative relationships, dubious consent and non-consensual sex, and an incredibly unequal male-female power dynamic. If you feel the following discussion of this topic may trigger you, please don’t read this article – my rambling is not worth it. I’d also like to take this time and warn that there may be some cis-normativity in this article – while it is of course true that not every man has a penis, the ones I will be discussing today do, though if I had my way, that would not be true any longer. Lastly, I will be using female terms to describe the demographic pool of victims, even though I would not be at all surprised if there are people out there who were affected by these situations that no longer identify as female. This is for ease of this particular discussion, and I hope all my non-binary readers and friends out there will forgive this instance.]

A little over a week ago, it was revealed that a pillar of the wizard rock community, Alex Carpenter (founding member and frontman for The Remus Lupins) was not just, as I had long suspected, an insecure douchebag, but one that manipulated multiple underage girls into relationships and statutory rape with him, as well as relationships with of-age women that were just as manipulative and even less consenting, to a horrifying degree. Then, it came out a couple days later that Luke Conard, one of the two most popular and visible members of Ministry of Magic, was also incredibly manipulative in his relationships with wrock and youtube celebrities, and while he did not technically break the law in the same way Alex did, he is now yet another example of a male internet celebrity using his fame among much younger females to manipulate multiple people into what can only be termed emotionally abusive relationships. Oh, and he also kept all of the money from the first All Caps album, a joint band between him and Kristina of The Parselmouths. So yeah, class act.

While I pretty much immediately reacted on twitter, I’ve waited to write an “official” post about the matter, because it has taken this long for my feelings about this situation to settle down to a level where I can coherently write about it without every other word being “stab”. Honestly, I’m not even sure if I’ll ever not feel that way, but my friendly therapist named Hannibal suggested that I channel my anger and emotions into writing or something else constructive, instead of just bottling it in. Speaking of which, I will do my best to keep this brief, seeing as he’s invited to have me for dinner in a couple hours.

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The Gospel According To Snob, Part 2

Now when Snobby was born in his Moonbase on the Moon in the days of MoM the king, behold, there came wise fans from the Earth to the Moon, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Snobs? for we have seen his snark in the blogs, and are come to worship him. 3 When MoM the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all the fandom with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief fans and ‘Pedia staff together, he demanded of them where Snobby should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In the Moonbase on the Moon; for thus it is written by the twin prophets DeGeorge, 6 And thou Moonbase, on the Moon, art not least among the princes of Space, for out of thee shall come a Snob, that shall critique my fandom Wrock.

And now that The Time of the Doctor has finally finished downloading, I can wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

A Brief Respite

Yes, it is my solemn duty to announce an extremely definite hiatus. I am currently at a point where I actually have the time, but I have neither the motivation nor the spirit to do Wrock Snob for a bit. I’ve always hated it when musicians phone in and make their art without passion, and I have promised myself to never do that. I would rather be able to continue my fairly respectable pace of updates, but even more than that, I don’t want to subject you to subpar content. Not that my par is all that amazing, but…

I will continue doing Snobby Sundays, partly because I made a promise and I stick by those, and partly because if I can’t scrape together the motivation to write one lousy article every two weeks then what the hell kind of writer am I? I do plan to be back soon, and I’m nowhere close to quitting the WS, but I’m just gonna make it official and take the next few weeks off.

Stay tuned to my twitter account for the occasional snarky tweet.

So Here’s The Plan (An Explanation For The Rest Of The Site)

So, if anyone was awake for my hissy-fit on twitter last night, I basically talked about how, since I’ve been distancing myself more and more from the fandom, I might as well make it official. So, I am officially announcing the beginning of the end for the Wrock Snob. I have TONS of articles in various states of completeness, ranging from ninety percent done to just blog titles and a phrase or two. My goal is to now go through these articles and spruce up what I can, and just post the skeletons of all the ones I can’t, and then finish off with a few “post-mortem” articles. My hope is to finish with a list of my top X favorite wrock songs of all time. I think that’d be a nice place to finish things off, and a good first thing for new visitors to the site to see, and THEN they can scroll down and see that 87 percent of this site is really just unfiltered bile.

So, while before this point, I pretty much never apologized before hand for a lack of quality in the articles, since I really hate that practice, I must now ask you to judge the following odds and ends with a bit of mercy, seeing as the majority are not in any state fit for human consumption.  Thoughts and plans for the articles are often half-finished, so if you find yourself offended by something, try not to be.  I present these dregs and drabs as more insight into my mind so historians can better understand my legacy, and also as novelties for the curious.  I will note when an article is actually fairly complete and stuff like that. So… yeah. Have fun.

The Number One Thing I Wish People Got From The Wrock Snob:

I have been accused from time to time of being solipsistic and thinking my opinions are better than everyone else’s. Here’s the thing you need to realize – my opinions ARE better than yours. They are more factually correct. They are truer. It’s just that simple. Thank you for your time.

Wrock Snob 2011 Stats!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The above was all auto-generated text. This isn’t really an article, sorry, but the stats are pretty interesting, especially the location ones – PROOF (as if we ever needed any) that Sweden is a surprising hot-bed of wizard rock. Remember – Harry and the Potters are on TRIVIAL PURSUIT in Sweden.  So, if you like numbers, well, those sure are a lot of numbers. Real 2011 in review article later someday maybe?

Announcement: Hiatus v2.0

As you may have noticed, updates here on the Wrock Snob over the past few months have been highly sporadic, and devoid of any real content even when they do appear.  So, I decided to just bite the bullet and officially announce my indefinite hiatus.  We had a fun ride here on the Wrock Snob, and I’m proud that it was one of the longer, if not the longest run of a non-‘pedia wrock fansite.  I’m also proud to have offered a place for people to discuss wizard rock, and I still firmly thing that the best thing about this site are the comment boards, were some really interesting and insightful things happened.

So, before I sign off for the last time in at least a couple of whiles, let me extend a sincere thanks to each and every one of you.  THANK YOU for making the Wrock Snob a success.  To those who have supported me since the beginning, I am eternally grateful to you. To those who hated the idea of me but gave me a chance and decided I wasn’t quite so bad after all, welcome to the snark side. Here’s your promised cookie.  To those who critically engaged and debated with me, thank you very, very much for an elucidating, thought-provoking time – thanks for keeping me on my toes.  To those whom I reviewed positively, thank you for making awesome music – keep it up.  To those whom I reviewed negatively (almost all of you, anyway), I will always admire your grace and incredible classiness – you make this particular asshole hope to be like you someday.  To those that disagreed with me, even with this site’s very existence and purpose, and expressed your thoughts civilly, I sincerely thank you.  I wish this country (America), and the whole world was as capable of civil discourse as you are.  To those that disagreed with me and did nothing but make ad hominim attacks and give no points besides repeatedly stating that I am an asshole (something I’ve never denied) – thanks for the laughs!  To the spambots – I SHALL NEVER FORGET YOU.

And lastly, no matter what category above you fell into, if any, THANK YOU for checking out my humble little site, giving it a try, and commenting, or voting in a poll, or whatever.  Thank you for brightening my life while I darkened everyone else’s.  I’m like a sadistic Batman or something. Except I don’t call people retards.  Whatevs.  Anyways, thanks for the fun ride, have a nice life, and peace out, yo.

OH RIGHT! Blimey, I knew I’d forgotten something.  Indefinite hiatus does not mean the Wrock Snob will never again resume regular updates, or updates at all – you, and for that matter I, never know.  Still, don’t hold your breath.  Unless you’re underwater.  Or in space.  In which case, if you have to be holding your breath, and you’re in space, you have much bigger problems to worry about.  Anyway, one last time, thanks for the ride, and catch you on the flip side!

Wrock Snob out.

2010 in Review – Not What You Think

Yo – wordpress sent me this dealie, and I found the results interesting, and instead of tweetspamming them, decided to make a quick blog post.  No promises, but it’s possible this might not be the only post this week (if you count Sunday as the first day of the week, which I don’t, but whatever)…

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