Beck’s surprising victory in the Best Album category sent Twitter abuzz last night, surging outbursts from all sides. Beyonce loyalists were outraged at the Queen Bey snub, and music fans who knew Beck as an alternative music icon were quick to return insults.
#WhoIsBeck was trending, and there was plenty of outbursts happening on both sides of the Twitter fence… From those who genuinely had no idea who SOME BECK GUY was, and others who guffawed at the ignorance of ye foolish youth.
In “Why giving a Grammy to Beck was a perfect, wrong choice,” Maclean’s writer Adrian Lee provides an interesting take on how the fallout of this Grammy moment has created a timely and relevant display of our current culture: one of polarized division and extreme reactions. Lee writes:
That’s why, by shining a light on this needless division, the Academy inadvertently made a perfect pick for, as Gwyneth Paltrow said, these complicated times: one that ignored matters of race or class or generation and shone a light on the outrage-riven, online-driven divisions we needlessly have, all over a bunch of metallic gramophones. By making everyone mad, we see a little better our own blindness to the cruelty of Internet outrage, and that’s something that we can really talk about, beyond the controversy over Iggy Azalea or one song over the next. In that way, Beck is a pick for our times.
Music has long had the power to draw passionate reactions and opinions out of its diverse fan bases, but throw social media into the mix (at the Grammys’ grand scale), and we have to wonder how much people are actually arguing over the music.
I can only hope Beck’s classy and humble response garners as much attention as Kanye’s boisterous behavior and statements. But I’m afraid the latter will win in the contest of memes and likes.