Mike of Clap Clap Blog wrote in especially to crush my dreams like a tiny flower. My dreams of putting together compilations like Sk8mania 2003 Dudes or whatever it’s called. From his actually behind-the-desk perspective the job is a fucking nightmare of contractual wranglings and Pisas of paperwork, which in my heart of hearts I think I probably knew.

Clap Clap Blog is good! I hadn’t seen it before, I’m more out of touch than I pretend with the music blogoverse. Mike dives two-footed into the whole rockists/’popists’/Sasha Frere-Jones argument that was exercising so many of the Great and Good this week. I had a lot to say about it, but no sooner had I started to formulate my replies than the real world (o horrors) intervened and I was plunged into a two-day horror of laptop failure and work paranoia. Now over, thankfully.

The one thing I will take up is this pernicious idea that writing about pop has no impact, because pop has ‘already won’. Well yeah, lots of people buy it and hear it, but are they the people who are reading music writing? (I think on these utilitarian grounds there’s way less point in saying that the new Flaming Lips album is good than the new Timberlake single is, because the ‘music writing audience’ is already favourably inclined to the Lips). The main thing though is that it depends who your readership is. If you have these Napoleonic ideas that the whole world could be reading your stuff then yes by all means go hell for leather promoting obscurities and turn back the pop tide. But most of us on the Internet know who is reading, fairly precisely. NYLPM has about 100-150 daily readers and maybe another four or five hundred occasional readers – they are interested in reading things that will provoke them into downloading this pop single instead of that one. And I’m not even writing for them – I’m writing for the 25 or so I know personally or well on ILM.

Most bloggers are the same, I’d guess. When John Darnielle put together his R.Kelly “Ignition” opus (a highpoint of this year’s pop writing, no question), I’m sure he wasn’t thinking “Hey there’s this hot new R Kelly guy whose stuff you need to know about”. He was more probably thinking, “Well, I love this song and I want to say why, because I know the people reading me will be lukewarm or downright suspicious of it.” That’s why I write about pop, too.