Home Forums General Discussions Open Topic The Malcom Report 4/11

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    I’m turning this essay In tomorrow, It isn’t as good as the last one, but I think the musicians may find some mild entertainment value in it

    Musicians in Their Natural Habitats
    Many, if not most guitarists enjoy shopping for gear the way cheerleaders like shopping for clothes. A man who would rather be drug over open terrain behind a land rover than go to a shoe store will be happier than a kid in a toy store when he goes shopping for new musical playthings. The true hardcore gear shopper will tell you that the same four people tend to show up at every music store you attend, not always to buy something: The Teenager, The Up-and-Comer, The Couple (a symbiotic pair), The God of Funk, and The Acoustic Guitarist.
    The Teenager
    The Teenager is a usually a twelve to fifteen year old who has decided to become a guitarist after seeing some “hardcoreâ€



    I’ve said it before- labels, shmabels. Now I’m going to be paranoid next time I go into a guitar shop, worrying about who’s looking over my shoulder & casting judgment. Keep in mind that someday, YOU may end up the butt of a similar post, by another observer, who will create a profile of you based on your clothes, choice of instrument, and the company you keep.

    Can’t you just let people be people, and let them shop? I take offense to this post.


    p.s. btw, didn’t see any women mentioned in your profiles, other than the vapid "girlfriend". What guitar stores have you been hanging out in??

    <small>[ 04-12-2002, 05:16 AM: Message edited by: rosa ]</small>



    1) </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font>Can’t you just let people be people, and let them shop? I take offense to this post </font><hr></blockquote><font>Labels are perfectly fine when you are supposed to be doing a classification essay. This essay isn’t and wasn’t intended to be taken seriously.

    2) </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font>p.s. btw, didn’t see any women mentioned in your profiles, other than the vapid "girlfriend". What guitar stores have you been hanging out in?? </font><hr></blockquote><font>I didn’t mention any women except the "vapid" girlfiend (nice word) because most women are smart enough to not try and impress people, they generally know their work will stand or fall on its own merit. Every person who sets foot into guitar center isn’t covered here, just a few who appear to be recurring. (Boy am I glad I didn’t include The Musicians Wife)

    A person in the same class came through the library last night to type up her essay, it was on men. I certainly didn’t take offense to it. Had I done an essay on types of Women I would probably be recieving my notice of court appearence about now.

    3) </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font> Keep in mind that someday, YOU may end up the butt of a similar post, by another observer, who will create a profile of you based on your clothes, choice of instrument, and the company you keep. </font><hr></blockquote><font>Fine by me, life is too short to take offense at every joke. Keep in mind that everybody classifies to some extent.



    Hey Malcom,

    I’m kinda glad you didn’t include the musicians wife as well… <img> <img> <img> But Hey! no doubt you would have included the musicians husband as well right <img>

    I think if you had outlined the theme of the essay at 1st things may have been seen in a different way. I classify/label behaviors at work all the time, I try not to label the person thou, people are way to complex to fit into a nice neat category in my opinion…just doesn’t do them justice.

    Good luck with that essay, curious as to how it all turns out and what the goal of that type of essay would be.

    Allison <img>



    Mattman, thanks for the support. I know I forgot a lot of major groups, but we could only use four or five.

    My dad works in a music store, he brought up The Couple



    Hey Malcom,

    I think you may have misinterpreted my response, not meant to challenge your paper in anyway, like Rosa I was a bit taken back by the limited description of females…the cheerleader/girlfriend thing. I also don’t think males are the only ones to feel insecure, females are just as challenged in that area…but hey! Have always enjoyed The Malcom Report, so hopefully you will keep it up!!!

    My point, I guess, is that categorizations based on personal opinon with limited info to qualify/quantify actual facts are problematic, seem to always be more about the person categorizing than anything else. At least thats been my experience, but like I said good luck with the paper. Really would be interested to know the goal behind that assignment.

    Allison…almost dressed all in black <img>



    I, too, would be interested to hear the goal of the assignment. I really wonder why a teacher would ask you to write a paper "classifying" people. Teenagers are hard enough on each other with the labelling/stigmatizing as it is; I always thought it was adults’ responsibility to discourage that kind of behavior, and encourage individuality & cooperation. Similar to what Allison said, I believe that labels are a tool used by insecure people– If I know "what" someone is, I will know "how" to treat them. It upsets me to know that there are professors endorsing that mentality. Adults should think back on their childhood, and know better.

    I’m not trying to attack you personally, Malc. I just think that, whether or not the piece was lighthearted in nature, people will internalize your words and stereotypes will be reinforced. That teenagers can’t play guitar, that girls in music stores are just "girlfriends", that black people are the only ones with any real talent.

    I dig ya, Malc! Just debating is all.




    Jeesuss, is this national misinterpritation (sp?) day?

    Okay, I don’t have the official assignment sheet here, but the assignment was to write a division/classification essay, minimum 3 pages long (10 or 12 points, 1 in. margins, double spaced). And we were supposed to write on something we know about. So I wrote about the one thing I can hold a semi literate discusion on.

    The reason why females are given limited covering is because I rarely ever see females in any guitar store unless they are attached to a guy. This isn’t sexism, its simple observation. And it’s an observation I’ve seen made in countless magazines and bbs’s. For some reason people always take offense at this, but I must ask, When is the last time you’ve seen a female wailing away on a marshall stack, or even soloing? There is a reason why "Girl groups" like Kitty, the GoGo’s, and even Liz Phair get as much coverage as they do. It’s because the sight of women who don’t limit themselves to three chord folk stylings and wail (or even solo) are rare, calculate in the number who reach national leval and you have few indeed.

    and that is why there are few women in this essay. impale me with a thousand darts if you will.

    now to pray the teacher will forgive that slipup in the intro, I’m a fellow pixies/superchunk/mbv fan after all <img>




    I appreciate your attempts to satirize the music store atmosphere. Certainly, perpetuating certain stereotypes in infamy is wrong. In your case, I see more of a presentation than an endorsement. If these caricatures are not portrayed with lightness from time to time, could certain impressionable people, such as children, believe the crap of trendseeking and foppishness is to be strived for?

    Lastly, here are a nice few lines from "The Vanity of Human Wishes" by Samuel Johnson:

    Ah! let not censure term our fate, our choice,
    The stage but echoes back the public voice.
    The drama’s laws, the drama’s patrons give,
    For we that live to please, must please to live.

    <small>[ 04-13-2002, 09:20 PM: Message edited by: Half-Man ]</small>


    Randy Jane

    Another girls dont solo post?

    I always side with girls, but…I to, almost never see women in the local shops unless they are with theyre boyfriend. There have been a few times, like the girl who was taking lessons, learning Lithium and stuff like that. The acoustic girl. The girl who came in, walked around like she was on a runway, then walked out, (??????). And the girl drummer….wow! (reffer back to Garth……."your…amazing ….dude.").

    Speaking of women, here you can find, (on photo page) a pic of Randy Janes new guitarist!!! Enjoy!




    Having worked in a music store, I can say that Malcom is not entirely without merit here. Though the wording of the essay does come off a bit overly stereotypical (I’d definitely remove the cheerleader comment in the beginning, and maybe rethink the "couple" part.)

    I noticed a mistake, in the beginning paragraph, you seem to have accidentely put "four", instead of "five" for the types of people who show up in the store. Also, if I may make a suggestion. If you must leave the "couple" part the way it is, I’d change the line "inevitably dressed all in black" to "invariably dressed all in black". Just sounds better to me. <img>

    Actually, if anything, I’d say that you left out a few…

    The Gearhead = The guy who thinks one’s equipment makes the musician. May or may not actually be able to play the instrument.

    The Name-Dropper = The guy who hangs out at the counter, constantly talking about all the popular local musicians that he’s "best friends" with. Also may or may not actually be able to play an instrument.

    The Gear Clueless = Folks who have no idea of the gear in their posession. Likely to bring in a busted $50 plywood guitar in for repairs. Have expensive Seymor-Duncan pickups placed into their cheap Squire strat. Or, best of all, attempt to sell the vintage 52′ Telecaster, they came to somehow own, for $200 (hopefully the employee behind the counter is honest enough not to rip the person off).

    <small>[ 04-12-2002, 12:28 PM: Message edited by: Mattman ]</small>



    </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font> Another girls dont solo post? </font><hr></blockquote><font>No; this is not Rosa standing on the soapbox shouting "feminism". My problem is with the broader picture, and the implications of the classification process. I’m just saying, if I had a son who came home with an assignment to label people, I would be pretty upset and would probably contact the teacher. That’s all.

    </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font> life is too short to take offense at every joke </font><hr></blockquote><font>True. But jokes can also cause a lot of hurt and confusion, especially for children, and we all know what the consequences of that can be. Know your audience before you crack jokes at their expense.

    Just my five cents. No offense intended to anyone at all, truly. <img>




    Malcom it wasn’t that you didn’t mention woman it was the context that you mentioned them in…ie the cheerleader/girlfriend deal. I understand that there are less females involved in music, but there are some, they buy gear, they play music, they write songs, some even play screaming leads behind marshall stacks. Woman in music have for a long time been thought of as fluff, girlfriends, groupies, sluts, yoko ono <img> not knowledgeable except for what their boyfriends told them, thats why when I see something that seems to be following that line of thought if offends me. Not saying thats what you were doing, like halfman I thought you were presenting that stereotypical view not endorsing it. But yeah even that is a problem for me, and I imagine a few more.

    If someone wrote an essay on men using the classifications you described I would find that to be stereotypical and demeaning as well. Not like there are no cheapskate females out there or anything. I think being cheap is a non gender specific trait, along with many others.

    Like I said sometimes people do categorizations based on their own personal context/experience/bias/influence etc, and its usually done with little info ie just the superficial subjective
    assessment with little actual fact to back up that assessment. When at work I classify/label behaviors according to well researched guidelines, I try to remain objective and not let myself slide into a subjective judging state.

    Back to the female thing, compared to males there are fewer females enrolled in science/math courses, few in leadership roles in politics, heads of corporations have been primarily male for years, why is that…well I could get into a whole biopsychosocialcultural spiel but won’t, think thats something you will probably be looking at over the next couple years in school.

    Why I was interested in the goal of that papers…just the geek in me needing to know. I hope it is to outline the dangers of classification with limited info…ie promoting stereotypes.

    So thats my spiel, hope it makes some sense. Again Malcom nothing personal, always enjoy the malcom report so hopefully you keep it going.


    <small>[ 04-13-2002, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: Another Girl Another Planet ]</small>



    I appreciated your post, Allison. As much as I would like to say the paper would stand up as it is with the cheerleader line, I cannot agree on that part.

    Perhaps if you did not use a narrative form, and stuck with a pure story format, the satire would be presented in a more acceptable format. With the narrative, you take the chance of claiming the phrase in question as a assertation. Really, I think changing the wording in a few places would work, but hey, if it’s turned in, great. If you have to revise, so be it.

    Establishing the proper voice for the essay can be tricky sometimes. I was given the choice of pro or con death penalty for a poli sci paper freshman year. Rather, I let my partner pick, as I could do either with equal fervor. I tried to be very careful in trying to pick out statements that could be phrased without committing to ownership of the position, yet still presenting the material. It was tough, yet it worked out well.

    <small>[ 04-13-2002, 09:28 PM: Message edited by: Half-Man ]</small>


    Bucky Ramone

    I enjoyed reading Malcom’s essay, I think it’s a well written light satirical piece, and if you read it just like that I can’t imagine anyone being offended by it… I mean, I could be offended because he makes a stereotype of men not wanting to go and shop for clothes/shoes etc…, I actually like going into a shop and buy my own clothes and shoes… <img>

    A minor point on the essay:

    </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font> (there appears at times to be a direct correlation between volume and talent). </font><hr></blockquote><font>That should be ‘an inverse correlation’……. <img>

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