Triple J: Democracy or Snobocracy?

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Taylor Swift is the biggest female pop star in the world. No one in the universe can resist bopping along to Shake It Off, or having a cheeky cry to Red. She is mainstream and she is successful; this shouldn’t preclude her from some Hottest 100 loving.

Triple J’s Hottest 100 purports to be democratic. On these grounds, it should not be allowed to exclude artists who are not to its personal tastes. I personally don’t enjoy Jacqui Lambie’s political sentiments, but I appreciate that she should be allowed to run for office, and that people should be allowed to exercise their democratic rights in voting for her. In excluding Taylor Swift and other mainstream artists, Triple J can no longer call itself a democracy. Perhaps the term ‘snobocracy’ would be more fitting.

Evidently, Triple J is an elitist institution. However, enjoying Top 40 and enjoying Triple J does not have to be mutually exclusive; it is time for Triple J to get off its high horse and recognise this. If mainstream success were a barrier to admittance into the Hottest 100, neither Royals by Lorde nor Get Lucky by Daft Punk would have made the cut. In truth, Taylor Swift is looked down upon because she is a peppy, twenty-five-year-old with high fashion credentials. Triple J and its demographic of listeners like to rock the hipster look; they scoff at those of us who appreciate the mainstream.

I argue there is a middle ground. Triple J shouldn’t alienate those who are attempting to engage with a radio station that purports to represent them. Triple J is about the music that young Australians want to hear. With that in mind, what’s so wrong with #Tay4Hottest100?