28-08-08

Joe's Garage

"JOE: (somewhat exhausted)
These executives have plooked the fuck out of me
And there's still a long time to go before I've
Paid my debt to society
And all I ever really wanted to do was
Play the guitar 'n bend the string like
Reent-toont-teent-toont-teenooneenoonee
I've got it
I'll be sullen and withdrawn
I'll dwindle off into the twilight realm
Of my own secret thoughts
I'll lay on my back here 'til dawn
In a semi-catatonic state
And dream of guitar notes
That would irritate
An executive kinda guy..."

Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage Acts I, II, III, Act II Scene Fourteen Outside Now.


'Nah, it was funny while it lasted - but it won't be something that endures', say those who go for classical music preferring classical to music. I say: let 'em have the opera created by the classical equivalent of "executive kinda guys". It clearly makes them feel better than the rest of us & if that's what it takes to be rid of them, so be it. Let us enjoy their serious connoiseuring faces whilst watching these pot-pourri's of over-the-topness, this attempt at creating art via the military strategy of shock & awe. Let them listen to music that was composed to achieve the popular effect of fireworks so we can be free to associate creativity with something a tad more original than nudity on stage & in front of a classicial orchestra playing bombastic.

Left to ourselves we opt for a bit of independence in taste and creativity. Sure! - this will last because it has had its knock-on effect. Once the knock-on effect realized, it can't be stopped anymore. We listen to more F. Zappa nowadays than he could ever have imagined &, better still, there are a great many dwindling off into the twilight to think their secret thoughts. There is no need for executives to build palaces of 'OK'-scrutinized music in an attempt to make this music the everlasting classic standard, at least to make it the only serious music such as to allow the easiest identification of serious people i.e. the people in the palaces of 'OK'-scrutinized music.

'But,' so say the ones that sincerely believe people can only be trusted if they buy in to their type of exclusivity, 'modern music is mostly popular music controlled by that type of marketing executive decried by Mr. Zappa.' It is not. Modern music is mostly what is being invented all over the place by semi-catatonic Joe's trying to pay a debt to society in ways allowing them to irritatingly fuck over those bastards that insist on them paying debts to society at the expense of the time they can put into the secret thoughts they love to have. Even the marketing executive music (as if "their" music, the "OK"-scrutinized music did not survive because of publicly funded, or millionaire funded which comes to the same, marketing executives) is not controlled because - in the very worst case - it sparks new Joe's to invent new Joe's that'll blow the stale-mate away. There is after all not the protection of central scrutiny in popular music, less & less at least and that, my dears, is our fight: to break more & more a central scrutiny & leave it go, dynamically as it should.

The combination of independence & mainstream is what makes the case for rational optimism. Independence to be allowed to be original - even if (specifically if) it does annoy the scrutinizing non-motherfuckers trying to control taste into their static, safe status quo. Mainstream to ensure many people get it because what isn't understood doestn't get noticed & therefore doesn't mean a thing. If sufficiently mainstream - it will knock-on & once knocked-on it'll always be there in what it knocked on.

Independent & mainstream, what could possibly be a worse combination for those happy cocksucking few executive kinda guys?


Whilst writing this I was listening to Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage Acts I, II, III  

& Yes, it was great fun to listen on the bus to 'On The Bus' instructing my son to leave his seat to an elderly woman ;-)

14:49 Gepost door Guido Nius in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: decadence, dynamics, pop culture, tones |  Facebook |

22-06-08

Decent consultation hierarchy

"Of course, a decent hierarchical society has never had the concept of one person, one vote, which is associated with a liberal democratic tradition of thought that is foreign to it, and perhaps would think (as Hegel did), that such an idea mistakenly expresses an individualistic idea that each person, as an atomistic unit, has the basic right to participate equally in politicial deliberation." J. Rawls, The law of peoples, Harvard University Press (1999).


 

The ways of the world are not simple, quite regardless of how frustrated we get with its complexity. We mostly look back to find things which were better, or at least which in our perception were better. We mostly look forward in an attempt to predict first the next turn for the worst. Fear & dismay are best of friends when we contemplate our individual situation.
We attach ourselves to particulars, specifically to particulars that tie into our particular situation. The assessment is simple then, the world is about to get much worse. This is the Achilles' heel of the liberal democratic tradition. But it is not individualism, it rather is a craving for a more simple society & a decent consultation hierarchy is an evolutionarily prior (& therefore simpler) escape.
In such a society it are groups, not individuals, that matter. In some form or shape it are groups' representatives that vote. Most current democracies with universal single vote per citizen are still determined by that stage, whether in the form of a party-cracy or 'the candidate for X'. We are not out of the woods yet, in an almost evolutionary literal sense.
Okay, this little rant does not clarify anything with respect to the Rawls quote & my sincerest apologies for that. The situation is this - the general trend is a trend for the better. There are less & less societies treating a big part of their citizens as second rate slaves. There are more & more societies that, at least, pay lip service to equal opportunities for all their citizens regardless of ethnic or economic affiliation of their parents (& the payment of lip service is not the smallest payment that can be offered, not at all). But the evolution from this former state to the latter state is relatively recent, far from well established.
The worst of an, even realistic, utopia is forcing all to comply black and white, from one day to the other. Decent consultation hierarchies, like China for the most part, are not ideal but they should also not be our main worry. They are after all, pretty decent, whilst our own liberal democracies are still far from an ideal, if only because we do not yet have that ideal very clear (Rawls' attempt at realistic ideal is to be applauded but far from ideal).
The idea that we have at all costs to avoid people acting as atomistic units is pervasively present in modern liberal democracies. On the left it often takes a form of 'grass roots democracy', on the right one of 'community tradition first'. The former is not very different of tribal proceedings whilst the latter is, under the guise of 'secularism is part of the western tradition' the biggest insult one can imagine to liberalism & secularism. Right or left, the words 'community' as good & 'individualism' as bad are used ad nauseam.
The solution here lies in philosophy. Here, as elsewhere, philosophy matters; more than merely matter it clinches the way we need to look at it. Individuals are individuals by virtue of their interaction with other individuals. The original version of this interaction, the version of cave (wo)men up to religious society is that of interaction within a well defined, but coincidental, community. This is the version in which the elders, or the priests, or the rich, or the meritorious & so on spoke on behalf of the rest. The universal (or liberal, or secular) version is that in which the rest speaks on behalf of itself. This fact does not preclude that individuals are individuals by virtue of their interaction with others - quite the reverse: because of what individuals are the only way of organizing is the way in which everybody speaks for himself. Every other organization is one in which some traditional or otherwise coincidental relation of individuals takes  precedence over the universal & basic relation between individuals. De facto, every other organization is one in which the few decide the fate of the many.

Too long, but in my defence: I need to think this through. Finding the relation between political philosophy, morality down to basic philosophy is important, but tried to seldomly. Anyway, the imperfections of democracy are no reason to wage war or become militant in an organized way. In a democracy there's ultimately room for just one political organization: the democracy itself. We're not to mistake Rawls' correct nuancing with accepting glaring imperfections in our ideal situation.
Militant organizations can be necessary when we indeed relapse into a more medieval politicial organization. For now, it should suffice to count on a trend of centuries of stable evolution towards the ideal.


 

Whilst writing this I was listening to Jimi Hendrix, In Concert, Starlife.

16:05 Gepost door Guido Nius in Web | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: rawls, convergence, identity, decadence, dynamics |  Facebook |

04-06-08

Orgasmatron

"I am the one, Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore."


Motorhead, Orgasmatron (1986).


Lest you might think I'm soft.

Popular culture is mostly ridiculed, mainly because it is popular. If embraced, it is rarely really embraced but rather 'indulged in'. Such are the backward ways of those in-the-know, those that are true followers of the spirit of churches (& that nowadays often profess to be atheistic).
It is vain and arrogant to believe truth is restricted to some privileged ways of expression. It is obsequious to submit to what has been established as 'true' standard of what is establishing itself. The implication that one needs agony, that the feeling of pain is a necessary condition, for achieving quality is one of the most clandestine views one can have of human life. It is sadistic & it leads to people that excuse themselves for inflicting pain by reference to some form of sacred agony. Hypocrisy made paramount.
That's our Orgasmatron. We should not be fooled by the persistance of those traditional religions in believing religion still is our Orgasmatron. Religion is on its way out but the Orgasmatron has changed colours, but not its essence. It is there condemning decadence, rewarding merit & promoting misery and self-torture. "Work hard, die old. Fuck talent, as what matters is what others have & the value of what I bring lies in the fact others can't bring it. So, fuck 'em, & let me be fucked for profit!" My name is called merit, sadistic, sacred whore.

Let's not have it.  Let's not play the sycophant and revel in our pain. Enough with achievement, it's time to play.


Whilst writing this I was listening to Augustus Pablo, "Dub, Reggae & Roots From The Melodica King", Ocho (2000).

22:14 Gepost door Guido Nius in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: pop culture, boldness, decadence |  Facebook |