josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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28 Oct '04 08:05:43 AM

Huh, I think Axl just said 'tangible'. How about that.

28 Oct '04 08:00:31 AM

Oh, the ways that list would be upset, though, if the computers knew about the songs I had burned to disc. Why does the world have to be so imperfect?

28 Oct '04 07:58:24 AM

'Breathe' and 'Yeah' have suddenly broken into the top five this week in my most-played songs on iTunes and my iPod. It's true that I've been deliberately choosing the Fabolous, but the Usher song just seems to have my iPod in thrall. I was getting a little tired of it, really. But now I feel just as excited to hear it again as ever.

As ever? Really? Well, maybe. I don't know. Back at the beginning, it was really exciting. Run-to-the-dancefloor exciting, in my imagination at least.

28 Oct '04 07:50:04 AM

Bothered me in a guilty way, I mean, so that I would always be more aware of who could hear me listening to the song.

(A common worry of mine that has never fully disappeared.)

28 Oct '04 07:45:50 AM

I'm not sure I ever adequately understood what 'My Michelle' was about, in detail, but I think it always bothered me that it was somehow 'bad' and featured my mom's name prominently.

28 Oct '04 07:44:15 AM

It would be interesting to speculate, I suppose, as to whether that casual remark equating 'realistic' overproduction with quote-marks holds up to the attractive response to the advocate of realism in sound recording, that all recording and accompanying production are in some way unrealistic - contrivances that do not simply provide a transparent (audio) window onto 'what actually happened'. Holds up, I mean, in the sense of being able to maintain the insinuation of campiness (which I hadn't really thought through beforehand).

28 Oct '04 07:37:42 AM

Often when I go back to a rock record that I once liked, say in college, or more likely, as an adolescent, the thing I now dislike the most is the drumming (considered separately from the drum production, which I almost invariably feel irritated by, whether it's a record with 80s-throwback airplane hangar drums or 90s 'real drums! see! real!' overproduction - cf. the remark of Sontag's, below, about camp seeing everything in quotes).

This was occasioned by my buying a copy of Appetite for Destruction on CD. (The first time around I owned it on tape.) It always feels so strange, being reminded of how committed to memory the records I used to listen to are. The present tense is appropriate, because they never really go away.

27 Oct '04 07:44:07 AM

I don't understand, at all, how one could always skip 'Mo Money, Mo Problems'. That song makes me happy to be alive. Sometimes I stop listening to the record just so I can hear that song over and over again.

26 Oct '04 08:48:50 AM

'Sincerity has no place in popular music, any more so than it does in cooking.'

Susan Sontag on camp:

10. Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It's not a lamp, but a "lamp"; not a woman, but a "woman." To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater.

42. One is drawn to Camp when one realizes that "sincerity" is not enough. Sincerity can be simple philistinism, intellectual narrowness.

43. The traditional means for going beyond straight seriousness - irony, satire - seem feeble today, inadequate to the culturally oversaturated medium in which contemporary sensibility is schooled. Camp introduces a new standard: artifice as an ideal, theatricality.