Today is one of my favorite days of the year, something that requires a bit of explanation. To set some context, there are a variety of different types of posts I write regularly and each of those as some kind of purpose. The personal posts I write, I tend to do so in order to preserve some sense of personal equilibrium, and few of these posts are popular with others or important to others except those who know or desire to know my personal business. The book reviews I write help me maintain in contact with a variety of authors, most of whom appreciate the reviews, but are seldom popular with readers either. Two very different types of blog entries are very popular with readers, though, one of them being the religious entries I write, especially those I wrote during the first couple years of this blog’s existence, much of of which happened while I was teaching teens and young adults in Thailand, and the other being the series of blog entries I write about acts that should be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
And it is this particular series of mine that makes this day such a wonderful one for me. As it happens, this morning the acts inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame were announced, and this year there were seven such acts announced. Four of them, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, the Cure, and Def Leppard, had been written about in my series , and with Janet Jackson in particular my post on her led to a long conversation with many other fans of hers who were as astonished that I was that she took so long to even be nominated, much less inducted, into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Although my post was only a very small part of that induction campaign, and far greater credit belongs to the #inductJanet campaign, it is gratifying to know that one’s activism, even about something as insignificant as music history, can have at least some small result on the credit and honor that are given to worthy musical acts. Since I do not erase previous blog entries, even those which, as is the case with this series, no longer apply, they can become memorials to the effort that it took for such people to be recognized. And it is satisfying to look at the list and see the names of bands and acts that have been inducted off of that list and whose music has been immortalized in Cleveland.
As might be imagined, I feel somewhat complicated about this. On the one hand, there is a great deal of satisfaction of checking a name off a list, with mission accomplished. Those who are fellow list-makers like I am know that there is at least some sense of accomplishment when something is done. It makes it worthwhile to deal with the occasional trolls who comment on those posts about either my writing or the acts in question when one can say that a given act is worth remembering and recognizing and someone agrees. For me, writing the note on a page where I have written about an act and the worthiness of their case of induction that they have indeed been inducted in a given year is a satisfying reminder of a job well done, and the fond thinking that in future trips to the museum I will be able to listen to their music, even if I have not gotten to visit the museum often given the fact that I live on the other side of the country from it.
On the other hand, my feelings are somewhat complicated by my ambivalence to activism in the first place. For whatever reason, my posts about music history have tended to lead to some people at least considering me an expert on activism, something that makes me feel at least a little bit confused. By and large, I am a private person of very restricted habits. I rarely go to concerts, for example, and review books far more often than I view albums. I am not famous or particularly influential in the world of music, and it is only this particular series, and the follow-up writing I do on social media and in reply to the comments on my blog entries where I interact with the world of music criticism to any great degree. And while for me the induction of an act is checking a name off a list and noting the year of its induction, I do not have any more personal tie to most of these artists except having a respect (and often a great fondness) for their music and a desire that it be properly remembered. I do not know these artists personally and I cannot think of any artists who have personally reached out to me as a result of my writing on their behalf. That said, writing about music history does make me feel at least a little bit less isolated than normal because it allows me to connect with fans of various musicians, some of whom have introduced me to very worthwhile and enjoyable songs and albums and that is something well worth treasuring.
 See, for example: