I cannot decide whether to be saddened or amused by Peter Margasak’s silly, pointless, and inexplicably mean-spirited missive on Jae-Ha Kim’s job change at the Sun-Times [Post No Bills, July 25]. On one hand I am saddened that Mr. Margasak has nothing better to do with his time than take bitter cheap shots at a fellow reporter. On the other, I was perversely amused by his nonsensical blatherings. The reason I switched my allegiances with regard to alternative-music reporting from the Reader’s often clueless (and thankfully departed) Bill Wyman to the refreshingly original and entertaining reporting of Jim DeRogatis (and later Jae-Ha Kim) was a desperate need to escape the cloyingly pretentious pomposity that the Reader’s tiresome music critic(s) frequently exude in industrial-strength portions. Mr. Margasak’s epic whine was a gleefully amusing reminder of what I am not missing.
Conversely, Ms. Kim seems to recognize the pop-culture worlds of pop and alternative rock as the surrealistic corporate circuses that they are and reports them as such–rather than adhere to the dogmatic listen-to-band-write-about-what-they-sound-like formula Mr. Margasak appears hopelessly (haplessly?) enamored of. Shame on Jae-Ha for injecting a little lightheartedness into the oh-so-serious old boy clique of Chicago music reporting!
Mr. Margasak’s meaningless, boorish bout of “literary” spit-ball shooting represents a new Chicago Reader low in “journalistic” character assassination, and is the very embodiment of the pap he accuses Ms. Kim of writing. Perhaps Mr. Margasak should spend less time slagging other critics for supposedly having “nothing to say about music” and use his poison pen for more constructive purposes–like writing about music.
Ronald D. Stock