MRTW 15: Hockey, Needing to Be Told You're Right and More

I get into what it's been like to be a fan of the Avs and the Canes and then go a bit longer on the current state of attitudes toward music writing and people's desperate need to be right morally and objectively about stuff that is jusy an opinion.

MRTW 15: Hockey, Needing to Be Told You're Right and More

Welcome back to North America's favorite review column, Miranda Reviews The World brought to you by recently infrequently posting blog, Step One Of A Plan. Today we (I, Miranda) bring you a brand new set of reviews after a long hiatus from blogging.

Shameless plug, I made a magazine! It's about music! It's about tangibility! It's called Portable Model! You can purchase a copy and learn more here:

Portable Model - Issue 1 — two flat press
Portable Model is a music magazine. Issue 1 features an overarching theme of tangibility. Inside you’ll find 112 pages of photos, essays, reported features, crossword puzzles (okay, just one crossword), illustrations and more! Printed in black and white, but in a cool way. Letter size. Featured

I also wrote a little blog about it if you missed that the other day.

Portable Model
I made a music magazine with a bunch of cool people. It’s called portable model. You can buy it now.

On to the reviews. First, we check back in with my journey to enjoy hockey that I begun what feels like a lifetime ago (February). After that we’ll talk about music criticism (classic) and the broader need for people online to be affirmed in their taste for no reason. Because I was spending so much time designing the first issue of Portable Model, I wasn't really listening to a lot of new music. I was mostly listening to a couple This Is Lorelei songs on repeat endlessly and I had hockey games on. I'm sorry for anybody following me online that has muted me since I began tweeting pretty much exclusively about my cat and the two hockey teams I like now.

Being A Fan Of The Colorado Avalanche

I was, ultimately, most charmed by Cale Makar back in February when I chose what team to like. I think I stand by that. I was also charmed by Alexandar Georgiev. That was my first brush with loving a player who is sometimes not as good as I would like him to be but defending him anyway (I'll rate that a 7.9/10). They got eliminated by the Dallas Stars in the playoffs, but I had a really good time being a fan of the Avs. My Denver pals are fun to chat with about it. I loved it. I loved tweeting "Save Us Nathan MacKinnon" to 7 likes. I loved tweeting "Mikko goal :)" and "This is not prettiest man in the league Alexandar Georgiev's fault" and complaining that none of the commentator guys say "Georgiev" right. I look forward to saying more things of that nature in the future.

I got to see an Avs game in Chicago, too! Really fun.

8.6/10 - I love you, Alexandar Georgiev

Being A Fan Of The Carolina Hurricanes

See, the Carolina Hurricanes sort of found me. Sebastian Aho did well in my original ranking of players at the All Star Weekend Events, but he was beaten. They lost out I think mostly based on their jerseys. I don't mind them as much now. Maybe I've just seen them a lot now.

The Avs played the Canes February 8th and I was, ultimately, kind of stolen away. I was charmed. I was swept off my feet. Or I guess I just thought they played a really fun kind of hockey– and a really different style of hockey to the Avs– and I was already predisposed to Sebastian Aho. I started watching Canes games and enjoying the team a lot pretty organically. I liked watching hockey almost every single day. I liked watching teams from two different conferences. I think it helped me actually learn about hockey more as opposed to just the sort of gimmick for the blog it started as. Or maybe I learned from Canes fans I follow on the internet. The chicken or the egg..

9.2/10 - rakastan suomea or whatever Canes fans say

Having An Emotional Response To Watching A Team You Love Lose

I've always liked engaging with sports on a narrative level– Jon Bois style– or buying in because a guy I'm dating or a friend loves a team. There's a photo of me out there wearing a New Jersey Devils sweater! I'm down to clown! I'm a good friend. I'll root for your team. Really, I can have fun watching just about any sport if I'm with people who are invested in it and I can find an in somehow.

That said, I've always struggled to connect with sports on a more emotional level. I'm not a real competitive person by nature. I don't like playing games that much. I find it hard to get invested on that level. I'll cry when a stadium I'm sitting in celebrates the retirement of a longtime equipment manager, I struggle to care about the team that person worked for losing.

Until this year.

When the Carolina Hurricanes lost game 3 to the New York Rangers, I felt something break inside me. They blew a 2-0 lead in a way that hurt me so bad. It felt like my heart shattered. I knew in that moment, they would lose the series. Game 6 was, on the surface, more heartbreaking. They blew a bigger lead. There were more goals scored. There was more at stake.

But Game 3... Game 3 hurt me in ways I've never been hurt before. I didn't know I could feel that way. I had a certified meltdown over it. In some ways, it's beautiful to have a game conjure up that feeling. I felt I unlocked something primal. Something deep inside. Suddenly, I feel I understand my dad better. I feel I understand every man I've ever dated better. It felt embarrassing and horrible and just.. heartbreaking. I'm still working through it.

6.3/10 - Writing this made me feel sick all over again

The Internet User's Preoccupation With Being Told They're Right

This could be in reference to a lot of things, but I'm gonna focus on a specific phenomenon in which people desperately want to be told they're correct in their interests— or at least don’t ever want to be told there is another point of view.

Unlike a lot of my current friends, I was never really a reviews kid. I don't remember what a lot of albums got. I didn't cultivate a canon of important albums based on Pitchfork or any other music review source. I think that's part of what created a lot of the blindspots for particularly indie rock that I have now, but it's also just a reflection of the writing I was drawn to. The reviews I did read, though, were mostly stuff I had issues with– positive or negative. Usually negative.

For example, I had such a one-sided adversarial relationship with Music Critic and former guest on my podcast, Ian Cohen, when I was younger that when I saw an ex-boyfriend of mine for the first time in years he joked with me about how Ian has been nice about my work and whatever. I had issues with the blog "Is This Band Emo" for calling Joyce Manor emo. The most canon I had was hate-reading Pitchfork's reviews of great emo records I loved that were released when I was a toddler and listening to ones I’d never heard based on one writer’s pans. If you read this blog, you know I got to where I'm at through curmudgeon-esque writers who are predominantly interviewers and profile writers who worked for places like Noisey and The AV Club when it was good and The Chicago Reader. Even those people, though, I didn't really always agree with and I wouldn't want to!

Recently on Endless Scroll we answered a question about what we think should have gotten a perfect Pitchfork score. My true opinion? Who fucking cares! That shit could not mean less to me. To be contrarian is not in vogue so forgive me, but I just really cannot imagine caring at all or remembering what album got what score. It's just exhausting to care at all about that. My current favorite writers to read are not people whose tastes I agree with. They're people with perspectives I find interesting. At the end of the day, I just think it is not cool or interesting to be told you're right.

I think that's what makes the attitude toward current music criticism— or even just regular posts— hard to square for me. People care so much about what Anthony Fantano says and they care so much about a score and they get so much glee out of a pan of the album they also think sucks. They need to be told they're right so bad that if they're wrong, it's an attack. If they hate something and they're told they’re right, that's good and cool and "We Need More Haters" or whatever. If they hate the thing everybody else likes they’re a martyr for good taste. It's so dull. Everybody wants to be told they're right and cool and interesting so bad. It's so boring. It's so embarrassing. It’s not really even about whether it’s okay to be a hater or if we need more hating or whatever. I need people to actually have a perspective. Why do you even hate that? What does it say about what you like?

But I can’t even begin get to perspective online because so many people treat a different opinion like it’s harmful to have.

Keara Sullivan, a TikTok creator I love, made this video about how people online view disliking anything as a morally wrong and it's dead on. All these people online think the thing they like is, regardless of popularity, the underdog. You can't say anything negative or express a dissenting opinion because you're shitting on something that someone put time and effort into. Or because it means something to someone.



This isn’t a defense of bullying but rather basic hater rights

♬ original sound - Keara Sullivan

When I think about all the stuff that I loved when I was younger and all the stuff I like now that has been ignored or panned or given middling reviews, I think about how it didn't matter that most of that stuff wasn't very popular. Now it's different. That’s partly because there is less writing that is doing review like that. But I think the phenomenon I’m talking about is in part because everybody knows, in simple terms, the way the music industry is bad for artists. Everybody knows Spotify sucks and streaming sucks and artists are being paid less than ever. That's true, but I think it has transformed into this new thing where the negative review or even a negative personal post about an artist can be taken as punching down inherently. It's so difficult to make it as an artist, why would you even dare say that shit sucks? It's a perspective that makes sense on some level— an emotional level— but I don't know that having an artist's finances front of mind is actually good for discussion about art and the money thing is way more front of mind for general consumers than I think it ever has been before.

I don't think this is the only thing at play, but that mindset I think does allow for making opinion into a moral stance. It is a perspective that says, hey, if you publicly express that a band or an artist sucks, you are literally taking food out of someone's mouth. I don't think that's based in reality, but it sure is a nice cover for being too insecure in your own taste to just say, "sure bro whatever you suck and your taste sucks" and move on.

Saying someone's taste sucks is, importantly, is not the same as harassment or doxxing of that person who is giving your fave a middling review, but we're not really talking about that.

I guess I just feel like my experience when I was younger was of getting a lot out of being told the stuff I loved wasn't good or wasn't as good as I thought it was. It wasn't of insisting to other individuals— aside from friends— that I was right either. It was in between. I would be annoyed the person didn't get it like I got it. It strengthened my relationship with the art because it was mine and fuck you you don't get it. I think everybody would be better off saying that instead of trying to find some moral or objective reason they're right and the other person is wrong. There has to be an in between.

2.1/10 - grow up

My Favorite Song

My favorite song right now is still "Bring Back My Dog" by This Is Lorelei. I've listened to it 457 times this year. It is so good. It makes me want to grind my teeth into nothing. I love it so much.

Bring Back My Dog, by This is Lorelei
from the album EP #31

10/10 - best new miranda's personal obsession

Miranda Reinert is a music adjacent writer, zine maker, podcaster and law school drop out based in Chicago. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram for more reminiscing on the year: @mirandareinert.  This blog does have a paid option and I would so appreciate any money you would be willing to throw me! You may also send me small bits of money at @miranda-reinert on venmo/on Paypal if you want. As always, thanks for reading!