Sunday, July 09, 2006

No stupid answers, only stupid questions

An acquaintance of mine, who writes for the Norwegian daily Dagbladet is covering this years Quart festival in Kristiansand. Yesterday, she wrote a short commentary after a pre-show press conference with the White/Benson colab the Raconteurs. You see, the Raconteurs had been rumored to have made a music video in Oslo before they headed down south. This had of course alerted the journalists, who were eager to ask the boys whether or not this was true. You see, Norwegians are very patriotic. Any form of flattery thrown our way is wholly swallowed, blown out of proportions in the press, and we can nod and pat ourselves on the back and say "I knew it! We're the best". So, if the Raconteurs had in fact recorded a video in Oslo, that would mean we rule.

Ok, back to the conference, which apparently started with the band confirming the rumors to be true before any of the press corps had been able to ask the question. "No sweat", you'd think, "there are plenty other questions we could ask". But that was the only question the journos had jotted down. The above-mentioned writer seems to be at a loss as to what to ask these visiting artist now, and so may resort to stupidities such as "How do you like Norway" and "What do you think of the Norwegian girls".

I must say, although Dagladet is a tabloid, it is also one of Norway's biggest newspapers and therefore one of Norway's most important conveyor of news about culture. But if the writers really have such difficulties finding good questions to ask bands and artists, we really have to consider whether or not it's worth sending them to cover these events in the first place. A press conference might not be an ideal place for in-depth questions and exchange of ideas about readings of their music, but puh-lease!!!

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