Tuesday, November 29, 2005

flux part II

well, I'm off this thursday into the great unknown. I'm doing seismic exploration in the Canadian Wilderlands. I think first stop is some Uranium exploration in Southern Alberta. I will be gone till about the end of December, then home for a short spell. I'm looking forward to it as its new and different, and setting my will against the onslught of a Canadian winter will be a new experience. I'm unsure of the internet situation wherever I get to but hopefully I can provide some updates of my experience. Once again, I leave on short notice so goodbye to all, see you in '06!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

pop culture and other unmentionables

Well, everyone's doing it so I thought I'd weigh in on this one. While I find it difficult to disentangle qualitative merit from sentiment, there is a distinct difference in the time periods we are discussing. The difference is the mode of cultural dissemination. Its tempting for me to notice that recent pop music has a more visual quality to it. Of course the early eighties had a visual component with the advent of the music video, but one only needs to look at how much money was spent on videos to realize how much more important it has become. It is not at all uncommon to spends millions attaching an image to a song/band. Couple this with the importance (from the industry's perspective) of getting music on a movie soundtrack, with the emergence of commercial advertising as a new medium for emerging music and other new outlets for image, and one realizes that image is undeniably become more important.
Captain Orange notes the importance of music in identity formation. If we then note that recent music has a more visual component to it, and the power of images in identity formation is strong, then its a small jump to support Swept's argument that recent pop music can generate a similar appetite among youth as earlier pop music, without relying strictly on its musical component.
I think this argument is important because it shows that in the abstract, declining musical merit could be cruched by its image facet and that this was more difficult to do once upon a time (though it would be foolish to think that image was never important). This allows us to avoid disentangling ephemeral aesthetic issues from sentiment.
If I were pushed into making an objective assay of pop through the decades, I would suggest that any song that allows itself to be hummed with ease will linger on and meme itself into an extended cultural shelf-life that transcends its role as an accompaniment to self-customization.

Monday, November 07, 2005


I just finished Silverlock by John Myers Myers. This book is really wonderfull and surely I will make it my QE 16 pick. I just finished tracking down the near thousands of literary references contained in the book. My thoughts of Myers's literary knowledge approaches awe.