Dead Again: MP3s And The Dissolution Of Pop | FreakyTrigger

The other great thing about MP3s is the way in which they reinforce the best aspects of the music fan community and erode the worst. The MP3 is made for trading, and at no loss to the trader to boot. And the MP3′s status as a datafile eliminates the element of swagger and strut that the physical fetish status of a record or CD brings with it. There’s no peer pressure in the world of MP3s, nobody to know that you’re buying and listening to something uncool or out-of-date or ‘trashy’ instead of something hip or worthy: gradually the MP3 prises music from the fingers of its mummified, tasteful custodians. The trading aspect also counteracts the downside of MP3s, the way that at least for the moment, with the Rio portable player prohibitively expensive they’re the most hermetically private way of consuming music yet devised.

Tom Ewing em 1999.

via Dead Again: MP3s And The Dissolution Of Pop | FreakyTrigger.


Trap feliz

Ontem, revisitei o Essential Mix de 2012 do Rustie e ainda acredito que este seja um ótimo testamento do trap enquanto som mais ou menos sério, antes que o “estilo” (numa conotação extremamente fashion da palavra, trazendo consigo todos os seus tecnicismos) tenha finalmente acabado no “trap feliz” (hm). Enfim, não digo que aprovo tal expressão, mas, ainda, o mix vale a pena.

[Mary Ruefle]

At headquarters they asked me for something dry and understated. Mary, they said, it’s called a statement. They took me out back to a courtyard where they always ate lunch and showed me a little tree that was, sadly, dying. Something with four legs had eaten it rather badly. Don’t over-emote, they said. I promised I wouldn’t but I was thinking to myself that the something-with-four-legs had certainly over-emoted and that the tree, in response, was over-emoting now, being in the strange little position of dying. All the cops were sitting around eating sandwich halves and offered me one. This one’s delicious, said a lieutenant, my wife made it. Seeing as it was peanut butter and jelly I thought he was over-emoting, but I didn’t say anything. I just sat looking at the tree and eating my sandwich half. When I was ready I asked for a pencil and they gave me one of those little golf pencils. I didn’t say anything about that, either. I just wrote my statement and handed it over—it was a description of the tree which they intended to give to their captain as a Christmas present—I mean my description—because the captain, well, he loved that tree and he loved my writing and every one of the cops hoped to be promoted in the captain’s heart and, who knows, maybe get a raise. Still, after all that sitting around in the courtyard eating sandwich halves, I had a nice feeling of sharing, so when they asked me if I had anything else to say I told them that in the beginning you understand the world but not yourself, and when you finally understand yourself you no longer understand the world. They seemed satisfied with that. Cops, they’re all so young.

Mary Ruefle, “Little Golf Pencil”

Vi no Tumblr mais cedo. Realmente bonita esta fração de consciência.

Coisa breve

Dia desses, lendo sobre Dugin e toda aquela história de como uma quarta teoria política seria uma forma um tanto quanto covarde de lidar com derrota (nada a ver com derrotismo porém, e isto fica para outro post), mas depois vi isto e decidi que é melhor dar uma olhada nas referências de rodapé.

[Evan Kindley]

For all these reasons, Let’s Talk About Love must be accounted a success—a milestone, even. Still, why return to the scene of the triumph a mere seven years later? The 2014 edition of Let’s Talk About Love boasts a new subtitle (Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste), a new afterword by Wilson, and 13 additional essays by divers hands. The least essential of these are by performers, including the actor James Franco and the musicians Krist Novoselic and Owen Pallett, which have their moments but ultimately feel beside the point. Better are the meditations on related themes of taste, shame, and sentimentality by the critics Ann Powers, Daphne A. Brooks, and Sukhdev Sandhu and the novelist Sheila Heti, Wilson’s ex-wife, who makes a couple of uncredited cameos in the original text. (Powers’s essay, a reflection on her mother’s death that posits that “[o]rdinary women’s unsolicited opinions and preferences are hugely influential within the broad experience of material culture,” is particularly lovely.) Other pieces respond more directly to Let’s Talk About Love. The producer and critic Jason King fills out the somewhat underdeveloped musicological aspect of Wilson’s book, while the electronic musician and literary scholar Drew Daniel updates his analysis by pointing out that Dion’s music is already being reclaimed by the same subcultures that previously spurned it—an index, perhaps, of her declining mass popularity: “the result of this downgrade from superabundant superstar to passé icon is that she is now (over)ripe for hipster re-appropriation.”

All of these essays feel like extensions of the methodology and reigning assumptions of Let’s Talk About Love, salted with occasional praise for the original book. A little of this goes a long way, and the pitfall here would be to fill up the back half of the new edition with what amount to extended blurbs. To Wilson’s credit, though, he seems to genuinely want to “keep the dialogue in motion,” as he puts it, and to that end he includes some pretty thoroughgoing critiques of his project along with the kudos. In her essay “The Easiest Thing to Forget,” the novelist Mary Gaitskill (who claims never to have heard Céline Dion before reading the book) gets in some entertaining jabs at “the horrible baroque language of modern criticism, a layering upon layering of poses, assumptions, interpretations and second-guesses trip-wired to catch the uncool.” While she writes that, reading the book, she came “to like and admire Wilson for his empathic and imaginative willingness to pick his way through the dark maze of signifiers and referents,” Gaitskill also admits that she “wanted to say [to him], ‘Good grief, man, music is about sound; that social-meaning shit is … basically shit.’” Referring to a passage in which Wilson puts Dion’s emotional reaction to the looting after Hurricane Katrina in the context of her humble French-Canadian origins, Gaitskill responds:

While there have always been and always will be stunted creatures who make fun of people for showing emotion that said creatures are uncomfortable with, why does a plainly sophisticated, generous and intelligent critic need to marshal lengthy cultural analysis to explain to his equally sophisticated cohort why a person might get emotional and even cry at the sight of her fellows wretchedly suffering day after day after day? Really, you have to explain why that is “culturally sound”?Gaitskill’s dismissal of cultural studies and the sociology of taste as “that social-meaning shit” is blunter but otherwise not far from the position, taken by Marco Roth and the editors of n+1 (hereafter Roth) in their much-discussed 2013 polemic “Too Much Sociology,” that “[f]ew things are less contested today than the idea that art mostly expresses class and status hierarchies, and only secondarily might have snippets of aesthetic value.” “Think back to the first time you heard someone casually talk of ‘cultural capital’ at a party,” Roth writes, “… or use the words strategize, negotiate, positioning, or leveraging in a discussion of a much admired ‘cultural producer’s’ career.” According to Roth (speaking, here, for many humanists), such inside-baseball conversations miss the point of art, allowing a cynical explanatory discourse to take the place of sympathy, appreciation, or, for that matter, formal critique.


Of course, the fact that transcending oneself won’t solve all the world’s problems doesn’t invalidate it as a spiritual exercise. We could all afford to try transcending our own points of view a little more often. Nor is Wilson’s vision of “a more pluralistic” or “dialogic criticism” a non-starter simply because it’s based on a liberal chimera (what Drew Daniel nicely calls “the fantasy of taste on behalf of being better at understanding others”). Inviting other writers to participate in what Wilson calls “a cocktail party in prose” is one way to strive toward that dialogic ideal, and probably a sounder one than the heroic process of self-overcoming represented by Let’s Talk About Love. There’s no denying that the book is a virtuoso performance on multiple levels, still more so in this generous new edition. But I hope Wilson’s next book will be less concerned with the dialectic of self-flagellation and self-congratulation, and more willing to talk openly, without shame, about what he really loves.

Uma resenha bastante justa do livro de Carl Wilson, este último que já pode ser considerado um clássico das batalhas que o popismo luta há algum tempo já.

World Cup 2014: Why Did Borges Hate Soccer? | New Republic

According to Borges, humans feel the need to belong to a grand universal plan, something bigger than ourselves. Religion does it for some people, soccer for others. Characters in the Borgesian corpus often grapple with this desire, turning to ideologues or movements to disastrous effect: The narrator of the story “Deutsches Requiem” becomes a Nazi, while in “The Lottery in Babylon” and “The Congress,” small, innocuous-seeming organizations quickly transform into vast, totalitarian bureaucracies that dole out corporal punishment or burn books. We want to be a part of something bigger, so much so that we blind ourselves to the flaws that develop in these grand plans—or the flaws that were inherent to them all along. And yet, as the narrator of “The Congress” reminds us, the allure of these grand narratives often proves too much: “What really matters is having felt that our plan, which more than once we made a joke of, really and secretly existed and was the world and ourselves.”That sentence could accurately describe how millions of people on Earth feel about soccer.

via World Cup 2014: Why Did Borges Hate Soccer? | New Republic.

A chatice que o materialismo provoca.


Se eu falo que meu nome é Sexworker, as pessoas acham engraçado, mas na verdade o nome vem de quando eu morava aí no Rio, andando de carro na Avenida Atlântica à noite olhando pela janela e vendo prostitutas numa cena decadente, digna de uma faixa do Burial. Na minha mente esse nome tem uma conotação melancólica.

Um tal de Nicholas Amaral na Noisey.