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The Art of Posing

By Vineet Kanabar | September 23, 2008

Split Magazine: The Art of PosingA notorious subculture that seems to infect every form of art is that of the “posers”. Or “poseurs”, as the music connoisseur likes to call them. Let us explore this often-heard-of species; their existence and the basic premise of the stigma that goes along with them.

How many times have you seen this happen at a music concert? People accusing others of being a poser, literally translating to — “You’re not headbanging or singing along with the band? You don’t know the lyrics? You’re just here to listen to the music and enjoy it? Screw you, dude, you’re a poseur.”

Now, I know what you’re going to say — how can you “just” enjoy music? It’s blasphemy. You have to know everything there is to know about a certain kind of music, and then brand yourself and drip in the flavour of the subculture of your choice, from your hair to the pinky on your left foot to understand the true meaning of the music.

Erm, no. You don’t.

Quite frankly, you just have to like music to listen to it. Whoever made these rules about having to know your music, or having to hate Justin Timberlake or having to brand a guy as a “metalhead” and nothing else but a metalhead, who should be castrated and strung up by his thumbs if he does so much as think of listening to something else?

Can you honestly call someone a poser without being one yourself?

Where’s the freedom? Isn’t that what the music is all about? Enjoying the music, and being free to listen to what you want and do whatever you want while you listen to it?

Simply put, for a metalhead, you can’t just smoke a little bit of pot and think you know and understand all there is to metal. You are, quite clearly, just a stoner. And the same goes for the emo dude whose black heart bleeds for everything around, from world peace to his neighbour’s goat’s milk going sour. There is no need for these subcultures and the stigma that comes attached to them for the passive listener. My advice to anyone who says, “You’re a poseur, fuck you!” — you need to get a life. You didn’t make the music you think you’re defending so obsessively, and I’m sure the musician (or band) who created the music doesn’t give a damn if the person listening to it is a madly-in-love-with-the-music genre maggot or a casual listener who just happened to pick up the CD. They’re making money either way, and you are just wasting time.

Can you honestly call someone a poser without being one yourself?


4 Comments. Post Yours Here.
  1. September 24, 2008, 8:28 pm Sid

    Dude…why the excessive ranting? Is this an online music mag or a blog? This just brings the overall quality of the site down, and puts people off.


  2. September 24, 2008, 9:18 pm melody

    ahhh…yepp…hit the nail on ze head…
    its all abt what you feel about the music, in whatever form it maybe….so far so good all perfect….but then comes alonmg that guy who starts criticizing another persons love for a particular kind of music and then the rest is history……

  3. September 24, 2008, 10:42 pm Azm

    Answering the question, Yes you can.
    When you do come across the person that you have so lavishly described, I don’t think it would be any trouble pointing your finger and saying, “You, Sir, are a poseur”.
    Do you disagree?

  4. September 27, 2008, 7:40 pm pravsemilo

    A person gets used to the subculture of a genre as a process of continuously listening to the genre. So a person indulging himself in the subculture cannot be called a poser. Though its true that to enjoy the music you just have to like it, but embracing the subculture is a matter of personal choice. Having long hair, wearing black t shirts and headbanging doesn’t make one a true metal fan.

    There are people who go to a concert thinking that its cool and are seen there saying the “so called cool” phrases, “Dude, you rock” or “Dude you are a rock star”, and go about headbanging and flashing devil’s horn senselessly. They are true posers and one should learn the art of posing from them.

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