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POP GOES THE WEASEL WORDS #3: 'ICONIC'



Writers! Use the word 'iconic' when NOT talking about religious art of the Eastern Orthodox Church?

THEN STOP WRITING. NOW. AND NEVER WRITE ANYTHING AGAIN. I MEAN IT. CLOSE YOUR LAPTOP. WALK AWAY. YOU HAVE SURRENDERED THE RIGHT TO EVER USE THE WRITTEN WORD AGAIN. YOU MUST NOW COMMUNICATE PURELY THROUGH A SYSTEM OF GRUNTS AND FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND PRAY THIS WILL ENABLE YOU TO SURVIVE. YOU HAVE EXCOMMUNICATED YOURSELF FROM THE WRITING AND INDEED THE HUMAN COMMUNITY AND FURTHERMORE YOU ARE A LAZY HACKNEYED CLICHED DICKSPLASH FOR WHOM SHOOTING IN THE FACE WOULD BE TOO MILD A REBUKE. STOP WRITING. I MEAN IT. YOU ARE SCUM. YOU ARE DERMOT O'LEARY. YOU ARE CHRIS MOYLES. YOU ARE FIRST AGAINST THE WALL WHEN WE THIN THE HERD AND YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY ROARING AND ROTTING IN THE HELL THAT SURELY AWAITS YOU. LIKE THIS DIPSHIT.



I first started noticing 'iconic's increased use in the gruesome deathspiral of non-vegetative thought that was the late 90s, together with other soubriquets of meaningless cheerleading like 'legendary', 'top' and 'quality'. Its rise to linguistic pre-eminence can be closely traced to the simultaneous rise of stercoraceous fucknuckles like O'Leary and Cowell and Moyles and Vernon Frigging Kay and Fearne Pissing Cotton and Edith Shitting Bowman, that generation of pop's curators who supplanted the tedious old likes of me and replaced our windbag tldr verbiage with a checklist of approbation they could rotate on pretty much a permanent basis no matter what poopamadoop they were playing/boosting. Legendary. Classic. ICONIC. LEGENDARY.

What these thick bastards needed was a word that could perform a dual function.

1. In use, give the appearance of aesthetic appreciation and cultural understanding while handily being as close to meaninglessness as possible.

2. Laminate and varnish something as so assuredly beyond critique that any further discussion of it could now STOP,  safely placing it in an untouchable roped off zone which enables no further interrogation and prohibits any further explanation.

A sanctifying, censorious word despite its facade of fanboy rhapsody. A word that makes its user appear articulate while handily offering the chance for no further articulation. And because there's so much fucking laziness out there now, because there's so much shite to generate for so little money, 'iconic' is perhaps now the most overused word in pop critique. In Cotton and Kaye's world, the NME/late-MM world, the Radio 1 world,  which is now the grisly matrix of prosaic confines and dumbed-down poverty-of-expression that pop criticism exists and excels in, EVERYTHING anyone makes is BRILLIANT and EVERYONE who makes ANYTHING is a GENIUS. New Kings Of Leon album? GENIUS. New Ed Sheeran single? BRILLIANT. Noel Gallagher's pinched off another sweetcorn-laden rhombus of ordure to send down the pipe to his record company? LEGENDARY. Adele seen out shopping at Primark? ICONIC. After so many years in which so many of these enemies-of-humanity have been overusing 'iconic' to such nauseating effect we now have restaurants serving 'iconic Vietnamese cuisine', lists coming out of our arses of the most 'iconic . . . ,  the word basically seen as interchangeable with the words 'old and 'famous' and synonymous with 'well-known'. We have music writers so terrified of actually having to think and write about music that they reach for 'iconic' like a junkie reaches for his works - feeling the blissful hit of tranquility when 'iconic' delivers its numbing mind-paralysis on thought and expression. ANYONE still using this word after even the Daily Telegraph and Beyonce have spotted its ubiquity doesn't just need to stop writing, singing, doing whatever it is they do - they need to go to a dark lonely place with a bright shiny gun and seriously consider if their paltry worthless existence is worth not rubbing out altogether. If you read 'iconic', rip it out, burn it down, eject that writer from your world firm and fast. It is nought but an immediate signifier that the person you're reading is a copper-bottomed cunt and what they've written only has one intent - the death of truth and the victory of Satan.

Keep em peeled.

Comments

  1. 'stercoraceous fucknuckles'. Sir, you should be carried about on a golden chair and worshiped as a god! That you consistently manage to force your disappointment and disgust into such interesting shapes is a source of joy. All power to you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Sir, you should be carried about on a golden chair and worshiped as a god! "

    Or, an icon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Isn't it iconic, don't you think... A little tooooo iconic.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great article. If there's a Spanish you around somewhere, I hope I get to translate him/her one day.

    ReplyDelete

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