Letters to the Boston editors, May 4, 2012
I'm curious about the inconsistency of the 2012 Boston Phoenix ballot for Best Trivia Night. Of the six nominees, five were trivia nights at individual bars (including mine, at the White Horse Tavern), and one, Geeks Who Drink, is not an individual bar, but rather a national franchise. To this end, Geeks was able to use their national marketing muscle to solicit votes from their fans in Boston and in other markets, and ostensibly for this reason, won the award.
Now, Geeks Who Drink puts on a creative show, and they deserve the good press that they get. But to place their entire organization on the ballot against the work that I do through Stump Trivia in only one bar is simply not fair. I can only solicit the patrons of one bar for votes. Geeks solicited the patrons of dozens of bars in and outside of Boston for votes. Was the Phoenix doggedly determined to honor Geeks Who Drink?
PAYING: THE PRICE
I have a vote for the biggest pain in the ass in music (see "The Biggest Problem with Music," News and Features, April 20). I think that the money spent on promotion and marketing dictates what music becomes popular in the monoculture. In the '90s, the trend trickled down to dictate what indie labels produce and consider "best practices" necessary to maintain or drive profit. This paid promotion and manufactured publicity, aimed at maximizing profit from a handful of bands, feeds into the content requirements of media catalyzing and restricting the music we grow up listening to and then aspire to make. In the loop from pay-to-play hype to real life and back again is an insidious form of recirculating feedback that prohibits innovation and prefers consistent mediocrity over drastic variations in quality. I'm not saying I am any better, I just see it as a flaw of the existing system.
Andrew Marshall Alper
, Boston, News, letters, More