Stephin, Why Do You Hate Black People?
I have a new piece on Slate about the baffling "Stephin Merritt is a racist" meme knocking around the Internets, thanks in large part to the post-structuralist, angry blog-mush spouted over the past two years by the New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones and Jessica Hopper, who writes for the Chicago Reader and elsewhere.
Links to their "arguments" about the hatred that lurks in Merritt's soul--he doesn't like hip-hop; need they say more?--can be found in the piece.
On an unrelated note, I do encourage all comers to have a listen to The Sands, Frere-Jones' band, which is actually quite good. Free mp3s are on the site. I listened in the hopes of finding in his music some ammunition to wield against him--like, What's such an ardent anti-rockist doing in a very pro-rock band?--but ended up just liking it, mostly because it features James Lo, of the late, great Chavez, on the drum kit. Whether the New Yorker's pop critic ought to be shopping around his demo on the Internet is another story.