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Value system. Digress of or degrees in fame.
Superstar DJs for instance - they aren't joking. The degree of NARCISSISM manifested here is truly incredible. They mean it, man. They really do think they are the business, the new gods.

{An essential difference to always bear in mind, tho': there is nothing wrong with psychopathic self regard IF it is tied in to an equally gargantaun talent. But when this is the case you will 99% also usually find gargantuan SELF DOUBT, or, inability to make do, be content, niggling, pushing, bending, risking. Which is just the unbridgeable gap between, say, Richard Pryor and Richard Blackwood. The latter is disconcertingly sure of himself, holds himself in a regard that is scarcely credible for someone who after all - well, what has he done? Exept BE Richard Blackwood, a walking talking advertisment for himself, someone so desperate for success, so SET, so locked in, so driven, while at the same time - he carries this perplexed puppy dog look in his eyes, like, why doesn't the whole world agree with me, why I am not yet crowned King of You All?
But the very thing he is purportedly selling - 'personality' - is the thing he so patently lacks. It is in fact his abiding lack: paradoxically, his most notable feature. (Do you ever get the feeling he is ACTing or PASSing as 'black'?)
Notable too, that he will do ANYTHING to achieve crossover recognition: fame as politics. No 'baby' [i.e. bad reality programme] he will not kiss. No green room too shabby, no gimmick too lowbrow or squalid, no programme too trivial or badly conceived or insulting that he will not immediatley say YES. His horizon/logic seems therefore somewhat pretzel like: surely if he was the talent he sez he is, he would not be down there among the scum and d listers and ex Eastenders? But what choice does he have? For he CERTAINLY doesnt have a spark of that Eddie Izzard Bill Hicks Pryor or Bruce stream of consciousness ease with confession and flight and scorching rage and LOVE. Love most of all, perhaps. Those others want to make the world SCREAM with LOVE. (Not for them, tho, NOT just for them.)

By comparison, someone like Blackwood, or certain DJs, conceive of HAVING MADE IT as starring in a Martin Lawrence or Jackie Chan vehicle or a vieo with lots of hired asses. And you KNOW they would do each and every publicty slot flawlessly. Soundbite perfect. No deviation. Human "pop ups". Yes, they are machines - Warhol would have recognised at least the outward aspect - the aspiration - if not perhaps the specific tone or stimmung.

Their whole life is a 'performance'. But without the madness of true performance, the sacred this-could-go-anywhere flame; rather, it is an autistic kind of madness, smooth, insular, insulated, predictable, mechanical. All reproduction and no aura. Sheer mask.

Warhol's 'screen-tests' of his superstars were something else. Heart rending in a way. The 'inner' made shiveringly fleetingly OUT. (As if Being itself had become a minority category, a shameful secret, and he was 'outing' it.) Fragile, tender, the air itself momentarily bruised by the thin line between presence and absence, lifedeath, fading narcissal echo, dead-eyed despair as the last testament of a terminally mislaid self-love.

{Brief tangent: exactly why Roisin Murphy captured her Glastonbury moment so bruisingly. The current Moloko 45 "Forever More" is a truly painful epistle, ex-love letter, cry of despair: NO - BODY - TO - LOVE. No poetry. No future. Beckett, Lydon ... Murphy. It makes sense, it really does. The set-up, the fanfare, the clothes all indicate 'dance lite', post trip hop knees up, spangly frieze. But the words - and her face - tell a different, bleaker, tale. And, which makes it all the more effective than the pleasantly stolidly glum one-tone Radiohead for me - the songs, her voice, the melody SWIIIIMs, curls, shivers, soars, like being drenched in warm honey. But you catch the undertow of what she is saying - CRYING - in public, and it's very odd indeed: Forever - more. I will forever want MORE now, now that I have known YOU. And it is a more I am almost 99% certain I will never again even touch the poignancy the poetry the pulse of. Forver more, things will be forever less.}

posted by Ian 7/10/2003 12:48:00 PM

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