Saturday, July 23, 2011

Individual charter

The poststructuralists were right about the extent to which our language constricts our discourse. It is a dull instrument that could easily be used as a weapon.

Periodically I watch the top 20 of the pop charts. I get to be amazed that Ne-Yo and Flo-rida are topping the charts. It's as if there wasn't music coming out of our ears. Good music. Great music. Music that can fuel your mood, set your course.

Instead one synthesised blob of gloop followed another, leavened only by white girls with piano backing. Adele is classically good and the way she finished the song jerking back a tear was emotionally revivifying. Likewise Christina Perri brings a satisfying mainstream sass to a thought often expressed in endearing indie-er circumstances.

As with the charts through the ages, we become overly thankful for a song that is that is more soulful than cynical, that grasps a universal emotion rather than one concocted in a meth/od lab. Who wouldn't want Snoop's job? Less is more, more or less. It's just I can see the nudity and bling and product endorsement; the hustling on each other's fame. It's not appealing or particularly promising at speaking out to thoughts ne'er so well expressed. Repetitive shite is a choice, so is strong narrative, clever wordplay, an intricate rhythm, a tune you can hum.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

PC plod

Clearly I'm not as politically correct as liberals. While I denounce Jeremy Clarkson's unfunny attacks on the national character of Mexicans, I'm not quite sure that it is precisely racist to talk about your TV reception as being "like Lenny Henry in a cave". It isn't exactly polite and it's certainly not amusing, but it says nothing derogatory about being black. Perhaps there is a pre-existing sensitivity to the fact that he has a mouth on him like Prince Philip.

I also fail to see why Lars von Trier has been banned for life from Cannes. There seems to be certain conditions for joking about being a Nazi and Lars didn't meet them, despite saying during the actual speech that he was aware that Hitler was "not a good guy". It may not have been smart, it was hardly deftly handled, but it's not as bad as the Michael Richards and Mel Gibson rants, which were said without humour, and designed to offend. And, as one reporter noted, Roman Polanski committed an actual crime, and he's not black-banned.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Demon impulse

Imagine if every pronouncement had to be in verse
Each iteration smartly curtailed by such curse
Before you could ask for assistance
or be rewarded for your persistence
there would be this incessant insistence
that you made your point
and sought to anoint
with rhyming and timing
the appointed hour