Written Elsewhere: Grantland’s Battle For the Best Song of the Millenium

If you don’t know Grantland.com you can probably make it through your life on a day-to-day basis without feeling like you’re living in a state of abject deprivation. Indeed, you can probably live more fully than if you’ve never read The New Yorker, Atlantic, or Harper’s (can you see my prejudice for traditional left-leaning print media?). But you haven’t had the opportunity to sample some of the more thorough, engaging and clever writing on the internet.

What does Beyonce have in common with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Wait for it…

Grantland.com is the brainchild of ESPN’s Bill Simmons whose quirky combination of fan-perspectived sports writing and pop-culture-referencing took him from one-time blogging (before it existed) bar tender, to super media personality (editing, sportscasting, writing, podcasting, etc.) His website and quarterly magazine brings together authors from myriad backgrounds to talk about, you guessed it, sports, pop-culture, and whatever else occurs to them.

(And because of his love for Boston sports, we have a special place in our heart for him. Even if he has stopped writing completely.)

I love this song. If Beyonce wins tomorrow the world knows no justice. Because, you know, justice means agreeing with me.

Right now they are engaged in an insane but at least vaguely amusing attempt to derive the best song of this millennium through a sports-bracket style single-elimination tournament. There are essential weaknesses such as the song selection, the fact that the original rounds are broken up by years and something like genres and the fact that people voting will decide the contest between “Crazy in Love” and “Maps” (I bet that “Crazy in Love” will win”; but “Maps” should. (And what messed up world matches these two songs?).

Yet, in the style of the site, the comparisons are by nature provocative and by necessity invite reflection on what it is that makes a song successful and unique. At the same time, it prompts the reader to make knee-distinctions which would or could be justified through some type of perverse argumentation. The fact is that we decide to like one song over another all the time. This manic, twisted and almost purely modern tournament forces the issue in another way.

Anyway, check out the article for their flimsy (and entertaining) justifications and vote for the songs you like. I’ll be out of town over the weekend, but you can bet I will be venting my spleen by the quarter finals next week. Oh, and if Bill Simmons were still alive and not just some sort of podcasting persona, he’d be betting money on how people would vote. Big Money. And, he’d probably be upset that he can’t vote for Pearl Jam.

Some other horrors: Timberlake’s “My Love” vs. M. I.A.’s “Paper Planes”. The latter is better, but the former will win. Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” vs. Vampire Weekend’s “Oxford Comma”. What the hell? That isn’t even VW’s biggest song?

2 comments on “Written Elsewhere: Grantland’s Battle For the Best Song of the Millenium

  1. […] over the weekend while I was escaping my 35th birthday Grantland’s contest to find the best song of the century continued without me and without my very valuable commentary on the matter. For the time being, or […]

  2. […] is my third and final post about Grantland’s competition for the Best Song of the Millennium. My predictions have failed and the final competition is between Adele’s “Rolling in […]

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