One of the more subtle casualties of rockism is the ability to articulate what’s actually good about a piece of rock music. So when a few exciting new rock bands come around the corner, like they did 10 years ago, they’re immediately bathed in clichés: This is what rock'n'roll is all about! Now that’s real rock'n'roll attitude! Rock is back! These guys are its saviors! And so on until the end of time. You could spend 24 hours straight reading praise for the White Stripes without ever coming across much talk about what made them valuable– just appeals to the existence of rock itself. The idea is always that rock is self-evidently good and true, in ways we all understand and value highly and would probably be a little bit embarrassed to try and explain to one another (explaining rock'n'roll is totally not rock'n'roll, right?), and so all that is really needed is to identify it: Here it is, firing on all cylinders, valiantly trouncing everything in its path. The weirdest aspect of this muteness was that you’d consistently see rock bands praised in the negative: At least they’re not Britney Spears (who, recall the tragedy, isn’t a composer), at least they’re not dance music, at least they’re not hip-hop, at least they’re not pop. But, you know… what are they, specifically?
— It’s an interesting phenomenon that a genre which literally did not exist 60 years ago somehow became the defacto standard against which all other music will be measured. Authenticity, musicianship, originality, dynamism, vitality…how is it that rock is the only champion of these qualities? What strikes me though is that “rockism” is really just a nonsense term for the rigidity of an older generation which allows the rest of us to feel superior in our myriad of taste and sophistication.