And All of Us Who Knew Our Place and Prayers
20 hours ago
MJ as classic child star -- identity fixed at moment of first success, unable to achieve a viable adult identity because unable to ever leave this persona as a) wunderkind and b) object of desire behind. Frozen in this pre-pubescent mindframe. This compounded by father's violence and philandering: horror of adult sexuality. Career produced then torn apart by the tension created by this as he ages. Androgyny and surgery as attempt to evade post-pubescence, to remain like a child: asexual and, as a universally worshipped image-vessel of pure potentiality, deracinated too. Surgery as refacialization, denial of his father's paternity and the genetic reiterations of repro-futurism. Billie Jean as apex of this -- rejection of paternity, of sex and its reproductive logic -- (see also Dirty Diana). Then the decline as age renders these contortions impossible to sustain. Atonement for the blasphemy against holy ideology of the child in Billie Jean etc... has children w/out sex, has sexless intercourse w/ children...An outline for a piece on Michael Jackson that remained unwritten. I'm glad I never fleshed it out, it was more a ground-clearing exercise in working out what I actually thought MJ was, before then writing something a little less obvious (and I do think a lot of it is obvious), or at least less pop-psychological. I still like the moonwalk idea though: the choreography of nostalgia, a literalization of a will-to-return, the longing to go backwards though time to a prelapsarian safety. Is the 1969 moon landing / J5 debut connection overstated? Maybe, but then why is it called the 'moonwalk'? It's not as if there's any similarity between Jackson's slip-slide reverse (both feet stuck like glue to the floor) and the big, slow-motion forward bounces which everyone knows low gravity imposes on the normal human gait. [The move, as is well-documented, was not invented by Jackson, but Jackson does seem to be responsible for the name by which it's now universally recognised.]
The moonwalk as attempt to reverse flow of time/space back towards 1969, year of the real moon walk and moonlanding, the year he debuted w/ J5 and was date-stamped, ID-stamped, Id-stamped irrevocably. A survey of the Jackson 5's records could work here too -- as a sort of lost future, an image of the child MJ could not continue to be.
Music [has] changed so drastically that it was more pressing to analyse the widening gap between how music sounded and the terms we used to understand it. When I started writing in 1992, most dance writing was still at the level of ‘kicking’ and ‘banging’. There was a fiercely-held anti-intellectual drive that made writing about dance music more of a challenge. […] You get people writing things like ‘the music speaks for itself’ as if it’s the most admirable thing you could say - but it’s just a cop-out. There’s an idea that the writer’s aim is to empathise, to intuit, on the side of the producer against the world.. . .
For me, it seems far more urgent to understand what computerisation is doing to rhythm than to understand that a particular musician was a bad boy who grew up in care and had a really hard time. […] 99% of writing is still socio-historical and my attempt to totally destroy that is probably doomed to failure, but it’s an experiment to show that it’s viable, using the particular example of black electronic dance music, machine music, computer music.
it never gets mentioned anymore that some of So Solid also went to Elliott. One of them once mugged me in MacDonalds as a 14 year old. He got expelled for something else later on. Though he was always very friendly whenever I bumped into him laterWith heart-warming happy endings like that, no wonder it was declared Britain’s friendliest school. Also some another small corroboration for Owen H’s suggested sympathy between brutalist architecture/grime sonics.
Haven't you heard? Music is dead, a cadaver quivering coldly on the edge of the rave. Music writers, the poor dears, say nothing of note. In the hot, sweaty summer of 2009, this has been the concern of many heavyweight thinkers. Take Mark Fisher's requiem for dance music in the New Statesman, John Harris's elegy for music journalism in the Saturday Guardian, the Drowned in Sound series Music Journalism: RIP? or Simon Reynolds's criticisms of club culture in the Wire and on his own blog. Enough is enough. It is time to tackle these quibbles, look up, and take action.Jude Rogers writing here. It’s possible that the entire thing is a prank: note the close proximity of the words ‘heavyweight thinker’ to the name John Harris.
music is our tool to work with, and we can do with it what we wish, if we engage with it. Critics often forget this. They ignore the glimpses of light that the modern world offers, and prefer to bask in the nostalgia of their formative experiences.There are all kinds of slippages going on here. Who is the ‘we‘? Critics? Listeners? Everyone? (A royal plural?) It seems to be in flux. This working and engaging, is it making one‘s own music or a different kind of criticism? . . . So far as it applies to the errant writers previously named and shamed, Rogers’ argument must be that if they just worked harder at liking things, they would find that they could like absolutely anything. Music being a simple ’tool’, you can make of it what you will (‘You only get out what you put in!’). And that would be better because it wouldn’t get Jude Rogers down so much.
Just because they, like me, are no longer fearlessly young, and not experiencing movements and the draw of musicians for the first time, they shouldn't forget that other people are. What's more, they do little to get up and change things, and instead prefer to get themselves, and us, down.What these writers actually ‘did’ was to word their critiques and publish them, unlike Rogers who has . . . written a critique and published it. Why the assumption that the aim of those pieces was not to inspire any action or change any minds but just to, you know, ruin people’s day?
Later, Jobs dropped out of college. Again, this seems to have been crucial. Alan Deutschman, author of The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, says his lack of a proper education in a world of highly educated people left him permanently insecure, especially in matters of taste. “I think his choice of a minimalist aesthetic comes from his fear of making the wrong aesthetic choice. He was someone who had great wealth from his early twenties. He was worried about not being seen as a brilliant sophisticate, so he had gurus to help him. There was this anxiety about being judged, combined with a natural instinct about the tremendous importance of design.”It echoes, precisely, the connection made by Mark McGurl between Raymond Carver's reductionist aesthetic and his insecurities about his education and class. As discussed here in connection to minimal techno.
Few American writers were able to make a living out of writing books. Somewhere in the 1950s some nut put together the bogus notion that you could haul in some bigwig writer like Ernest Hemingway or Samuel Beckett and get him to teach a bunch of some ten to fifteen young people how to write. [...] The concept of the creative writing program looked good on paper, but it was, in reality, a giant shuck, and the (mostly) poets who were on the lucrative gravy train in the early sixties were, for the most part, a bunch of wasted men who had helped popularize the craft during its glorious moment 1920–1950, when poets like W. H. Auden had the cachet rock stars would acquire in the second half of the century.I came across this passage the other day while reading Victor Bockris's Lou Reed biography, Transformer, and it really struck me, not only because it was such a vehement opinion on the creative writing programme (previously discussed here), but because it is practically the only opinion Bockris offers on anything in the book's background detail. Elsewhere he maintains the studied neutrality of a dutiful biographer, reporting context without judging it. Bockris graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. I'd guess that it had a creative writing programme and one Bockris had a bad experience with. Wonder which wasted bigwig it was that taught it.
I went to the pictures with Brian,when I was at Art School.We saw The Ballard of Joe Hill (my choice).You have to admire how a small,ugly,chain smoking man managed to get it together through sheer ego.He had nothing else going for him.Could be an impostor / fantasist of course, but the reality effect, the telling detail: the film and who chose it... Sadly no further details (popcorn or Revels, did Brian pay) were forthcoming.
Adj.Segueing out of his initial post-Roxy persona as a shadow Bowie, Eno's projects of course fit both these descriptions: the Ambient series, Discreet Music, Music for Films (all of which were continuations of the trajectory implied by No Pussyfooting, Evening Star), plus moments on Another Green World and Before and After Science.
1.a. Of the nature of an instrument (material or subservient); serving as an instrument or means; contributing to the accomplishment of a purpose or result.
Once upon a time (say, for Dante), it must have been a revolutionary and creative move to design works of art so that they might be experienced on several levels. Now it is not. It reinforces the principle of redundancy that is the principal affliction of modern life.Well, porn is only addressed to one 'level' of experience, as are the palliative Ambient records. What is Discreet Music if not a project designed to take the listener out of a modern world whose plenitude 'dulls our sensory faculties', and by resting the senses, aims to make them 'hear more'? 'Against Interpretation' argues for a libidinal sensory phenomenology to take its rightful place over incidental semantic 'content'. Take Eno's lyrics, which he happily admits are nonsense composed only with an ear for their phonetic, acoustic properties: this is precisely Sontag's plea coming to fruition (oo-er etc).
Interpretation takes the sensory experience of the work of art for granted, and proceeds from there. This cannot be taken for granted, now. Think of the sheer multiplication of works of art available to every one of us, superadded to the conflicting tastes and odors and sights of the urban environment that bombard our senses. Ours is a culture based on excess, on overproduction; the result is a steady loss of sharpness in our sensory experience. All the conditions of modern life - its material plenitude, its sheer crowdedness - conjoin to dull our sensory faculties. And it is in the light of the condition of our senses, our capacities (rather than those of another age), that the task of the critic must be assessed.
What is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more.
Our task is not to find the maximum amount of content in a work of art, much less to squeeze more content out of the work than is already there. Our task is to cut back content so that we can see the thing at all.
It's weird how this mix came about. Jesse wasn't in the studio that day and we had to come up with some music to play on the show. I had a CASSETTE in my car and gave it to the producer to play so we could have some music. I mixed these 2 songs together in my basement! No Bull.
'The Light' is pretty much the only Common tune I've ever cared for and such was my antipathy for the rapper that for a long while I considered the track a kind of sample-delivery machine: you wait patiently through the verses for the gorgeous, glistening [sampled] chorus...Simon Reynolds over here in a blog about J-Dilla.
I'm sorry for takin your first breath, first step, and first cryThe whole thing is soaked in human fallibility; but it's never a question of preaching:
But I wasn't prepared mentally nor financially
Havin a child shouldn't have to bring out the man in me
Plus I wanted you to be raised within a family
I don't wanna, go through the drama of havin a baby's momma
Weekend visits and buyin j's ain't gonna make me a father
Happy deep down but not joyed enough to have itThe track was produced by James Poyser: Poyser was part of the Soulquarians (as was Erykah Badu who appears on 'All Night Long'), and it was this connection that brought Common to work subsequently with another Soulquarian, Jay Dee (as Dilla was then known), and it's this wider web of collaborations that keeps both Dilla and Common away from the backpacker wastes. The Soulquarians were essentially soul futurists, and even if they didn't make all that many great records in the end, you can't tar them as curatorial classicists.
But even that's a lie in less than two weeks, we was back at it
PCP's punisher-beats are cunningly inflected, alternating between saturated intensity and stripped-down severity. Above all, creativity comes into play with the timbral density of the kick itself: how thick, how wide, how voluptuously concussive each cranium-denting impact can be.Voluptuously concussive! These quotes from The Mover also grabbed me:
'Mover is dark because it's set in the phuture of mankind. I can't possibly justify seeing a happy end to this stupid human drama. Darkness is not mystical, it's your everyday reality.'...Because they sound like Malefic from Xasthur interviewed here:
'Imagine surveying earth after nuclear destruction and enjoying what you see, that's how it feels when you listen to it.'
Genocide is the ultimate goal, the ultimate dream as is the most fair and deserving thing to solve all the problems and hypocrisies of this world. We are all asking for it, whether we know it or not! This is one way that you might consider it to be subliminal. Behavior is contagious, death is contagious, suicide is contagious, therefore genocide is contagious-- if you really open your eyes and take notice. Destructiveness and negativity is hidden in all of our words, actions (or lack there of), thoughts, and sentences. We help each other fail, none of us are doing anything to rehabilitate this planet, so therefore we are shaping its end. We are all fulfilling a prophecy, once again, whether we know it or not! Hopelessness is the key to the domino effect and it begins here, going beyond good or evil. There is only chaos.Finally, does anyone know of black / death / doom metallers who have listened to gloomcore – and vice versa? Does the Mover dig Burzum?
The form of a Carver short story—ostentatiously brief, emotionally hyper-defended—expresses something. McGurl thinks that the style represents the “aestheticization of shame, a mode of self-retraction.” Literary minimalism like Carver’s—McGurl calls it “lower-middle-class modernism”—is a means of reducing the risk of embarrassing oneself, and is one way that students from working-class backgrounds, like Carver (he was from Oregon, where his father was a sawmill worker), deal with the highbrow world of the academy.So Carver's minimalism was an evasion strategy as much as anything. As a response to the workshop experience and its pack of benign pedants, misreaders, projectionists, Carver develops a style which offers the smallest possible target for his fellow workshoppers. (Of course what looks like an absence of style or an 'anti-'style is no less a style itself, but this is something people often find hard to grasp... the idea that style and content are separable has a limpet-like tenacity, 'style' continues to be characterized as excess and so Carver, by stealth, could slip through the net of nitpicking methodological critique).
Creative-writing programs are designed on the theory that students who have never published a poem can teach other students who have never published a poem how to write a publishable poem. The fruit of the theory is the writing workshop, a combination of ritual scarring and twelve-on-one group therapy where aspiring writers offer their views of the efforts of other aspiring writers. People who take creative-writing workshops get course credit and can, ultimately, receive an academic degree in the subject; but a workshop is not a course in the normal sense—a scene of instruction in which some body of knowledge is transmitted by means of a curricular script. The workshop is a process, an unscripted performance space, a regime for forcing people to do two things that are fundamentally contrary to human nature: actually write stuff (as opposed to planning to write stuff very, very soon), and then sit there while strangers tear it apart. There is one person in the room, the instructor, who has (usually) published a poem. But workshop protocol requires the instructor to shepherd the discussion, not to lead it, and in any case the instructor is either a product of the same process—a person with an academic degree in creative writing—or a successful writer who has had no training as a teacher of anything, and who is probably grimly or jovially skeptical of the premise on which the whole enterprise is based: that creative writing is something that can be taught.end quote 2:
[Carver's] career constitutes a virtual tour d’horizon of the creative-writing scene. Carver started as a correspondence student in an outfit known as the Palmer Institute of Authorship. He took classes at Chico State, in California, with the novelist John Gardner; at Humboldt State College, with the short-story writer Richard Cortez Day; at Sacramento State College, with the poet Dennis Schmitz; and at Stanford, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow; and he taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with John Cheever. His second marriage was to another creative-writing professional, the poet Tess Gallagher, and he ended up as a professor at Oates’s alma mater, Syracuse, where Jay McInerney was his student.