high fidelity

To love music is to argue about music. For the sake of friendship, you sometimes refer to these arguments as “debates”. They can last for anything between six seconds and the rest of your life. You’re never going to change anybody’s mind, but the thrill is in the hunt; not the kill.

Everybody enjoys music in a different way. Everybody takes something different from the table. When it comes to matters of opinion, music recognises no concept of right or wrong. People are only impressed by the taste of others to the extent that it aligns with their own; and everybody believes their own opinion to be inarguably superior to that of everyone else. Few are prepared to bow in the face of superior knowledge.

When we argue about music, everybody attacks from an entrenched and fortified position. Every musical argument is a war of attrition in which ground is neither gained nor lost. Any time your hackles are raised, the argument is destined to drag. This will never change.

However, there are some musical arguments that simply go round and round. No good point is ever made and nothing of any substance is ever said, as the arguments in question are flawed on a fundamental level. Arguments like these will never stop, but they must be curtailed.

And let the records show that I’ve been guilty of making every argument here at some point or other. So have you. So have your friends. But having wasted so much time, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve been wasting my time. And, again, so have you.

So, in the interests of savouring every precious second we have remaining, let us all endeavour to think twice before making any of the following arguments again.

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This article was first posted on January 28, 2013