Oct 13, 2013
I love teenage girls because even if they hate themselves, they love other people. I remember how I felt, seeing other girls go through what I was going through. It ruined me. I wanted so desperately to help them out of the muck, but when you’re submerged yourself, there’s not a lot you can do. Teenage girls understand, and they want to make sure no one else feels the way they do. I see it on websites like Tumblr all the time. It’s fucking beautiful.
Oct 13, 2013
Well let me tell you why it wasn’t The Internationale [that became the song to unite the human race]! If you think about it, it’s a marching song [taps out a rigid marching beat on the table] – a song with certain kinds of social relations suggested within its structure, and these are social relations emphasising uniformity. A march is a uniform beat: you become one. There’s no space for individuality. And the lyrics are all about the ‘we’: there’s not a single ‘I’ in the song, and I’m quite glad it didn’t unite the human race because I think that’s kind of dangerous as a way of being. Who gets to define that ‘we’? And a nice point of contrast roughly at the same time as the Internationale was being promoted as the song to unite the human race is the musical form of swing. There’s a rather brilliant book by Joel Dinerstein on swing music [Swinging The Machine], and he suggests that swing is a way of accommodating the pace and rhythms of railways and the assembly line, but giving space for the human voice to interact with it. So when dancing to swing there are periods when you dance collectively, but there’s a breakaway moment where there’s space for individuality – and then you come back to it. So this speaks to me as a beautiful culture that acknowledges the importance of collectivity and gives space for individuality, and as a political vision I think that’s a beautiful vision.
Oct 13, 2013
With regards to gender – it seems that women have been more likely to sing than men in factories. Men are more likely to hear the sound of their machinery as affirming their masculinity and so not sing over it. And when you come into broadcast music, the people who are more likely to complain about music are men who want to hear the sound of their machines.
Oct 13, 2013
What happens when self-destruction is taken as a means of interference; to be a decomposing presence over the ‘adjustment as accomplishment’ that neoliberal times demand? To manipulate precarity and be radically vulnerable within the limits of work, or non-work. To think of time-wasting, narcissism, melancholy and boredom as collective subversive practices. Self-realisation and happiness is no longer confined to the workplace, but extended to the realisation of fully functioning and mechanised social and personal relations.
Oct 13, 2013
Can social media be created that doesn’t ask us to work ourselves into as many identity-containers given that humans and identity itself are fundamentally fluid and ever changing?
Nathan Jurgenson, “The Liquid Self
Oct 13, 2013
When mainstream music tries to be “edgy” or “raw” it fails in ways which, in their very failure to secure those all-too-human qualities, often produces results that actually are weirder than the supposedly “weird” music that fills the “Out” section of hipster record stores. This winner’s circle of abject deep cuts from platinum artists — think Guns N’ Roses’ “My World” from Use Your Illusion II, or Michael Jackson’s “2000 Watts” from Invincible — is now joined by Cher’s vampire ballad “Lovers Forever.” It’s my favorite song on this album, and it sounds like Anne Rice sinking lysergic fangs into Patrick Cowley’s neck during a gothic rave inside the Cirque de Soleil. Well, maybe not, but its lyrical marriage of utopian politics to vampy theatricality hits a kind of nadir-as-high-point in which Cher’s do-gooder urges finally succumb to a darker agenda. Taken as a whole, the guitar solos, spiraling synth arpeggios, and raunchy orchestral stabs of “Lovers Forever” go so far beyond normative taste categories as to achieve a kind of deliriously tacky sublimity that perhaps only weapons-grade mainstream music can deliver. I guess sometimes it really is better to be further from the truth.
Drew Daniel of Matmos reviews Cher’s latest album
Oct 3, 2013
It is awesome to contemplate the sheer quantity of European and American images of the Indians, to consider the constant fascination and inspiration these images have held for five hundred years, and to recognize how terrifyingly irrelevant this overwhelming hoard of images has been to what individual Indians actually were, and therefore how relevant these fantasies became to forming white attitudes toward those individuals, to forming the prisms, the icons, through which we perceive Indians; and how responsible these fantasies are for what was done to those individuals. This is what Ford is about.
Tag Gallagher, “Angels Gambol Where They Will: John Ford’s Indians
Sep 13, 2013
Any series of events that is unfolding for the first time, or in a new way, or with unanticipated intensity or duration threatens to overrun or elude the framing conventions of the recording artists (the cameramen and directors). This element of surprise is always in conflict with the image of smoothness, which has the semiotic function of marking the producer’s competence by emphasizing his mastery and control, his grasp of events. The signs of unpredictability and surprise are discontinuities and ragged edges that mark the boundaries of that competency by puncturing or lacerating that grasp. The image of smoothness depends always upon the appearance of the unimpeded forward course of the producer’s intention, of facility, which means that there must be no doubt in the viewer’s mind that what is transmitted is what the transmitter wants to transmit. And the only ways to achieve this were through (a) repeated preparation of the events, (b) very careful selection of highly predictable events, or (c) deletion of unexpected and undesirable aspects of events, which meant editing a recorded version of these events.
David Antin, “Video: The Distinctive Features of the Medium
Sep 11, 2013
Online is not a bewitched place to treat with mystical apprehension. Like other modes of human experience—sex, the sacred, memory—one should develop a relation to it that is intentional and empowering rather than overwhelming and addictive. One step is to redefine the debate away from its current dilemma and toward an understanding of being human that contains being online.
Greg Pollock, “Digital Connection, Language, And Family
Sep 4, 2013
Much of the show’s downfall and the bad vibes endured by the entire production was due to the technical tedium of the puppeteering. The 20-minute footage took around 20 hours to film. Imagine saying scripted dialogue over and over again to a glove. Remember that this was before the laugh-track was supplemented, and your lines are followed by the depleted patience of your would-be family members. Perhaps it was a real family after all. And yet, the actors’ hatred for Alf could never be fully actualized, cathartically, for Alf was, of course, not real. And it would have been irrational to hate on Paul Fusco, the puppeteer, who definitely suffered the most: non-ergonomically crouched under tables and counters hours at a time, moving his hands to the tune of heard voices.
Jimmy Chen, “Revisiting Alf