|THE PILL BOX|
A CATALOG OF CULTURE & BARBARITY
this is one of the strange qualities of pop -- from any era ever -- that yr indifference or impatience with it at the time (a dislike often pretty easy to justify) will (eventually) be trumped by the way it speaks back to you in 10 or 20 or 50 years
the pop-commentary industry -- and obviously i include include all avantist fanboyism, political and/or nerdy, in this -- has as a result of this known quality tended to shape itself as a pre-lapidary tipster mob second-guessing where this trumping shall arise: ie always asking WHAT WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME?
but this is a rotten question and produces very unsatisfactory results -- a better question *might* be "what can't possibly stand the test of time?" -- to pay attention to the MOST evanescent* stuff, not bcz it will "go down in history" (and by predicting it, you get to snuggle up with history and go down on er in it yrself), but just bcz it is the veiled map of what the predigested history-of-the-immediate-future industry are likely to be missing (?)
except i'd be circumspect i think about ANY "surefire technique" for making out these kinds of voices (everyone knows that hauntings never happen in the presence of a. jaded hacks and b. qualified scientist)
another bad habit is every time to frame the question as "what are the voices whispering on the edge of THEIR dreams" -- where "their" is the set of lame, stupid, deluded and/or evil people "you" like best to lambast -- bcz a better, deeper, more scary question is "what are the voices whispering on the edge of MY dreams" (which you can extend to "our" if you like by examining the overlap between the good "me" and the ugly "they" -- THAT's the terror-but-one creeping slyly up on us)
(i don't mean "STOP DENOUNCING THEM" particularly -- but accept that for good or bad such denunciation is very much part of everyday noonday-sun politics)
*possibly a bit of a misleading word, as it has "gauzy" and "wispy" as a sonic implication -- some of the stuff i mean is right out there and solid and large as you like, in plainest possible sight and hearing, but somehow also invisible/inaudible to the self-appointed critic, mainstream, alt, radical, whatever
**how are you faring with robin hood? i am not yet prepared to admit defeat but i feel i am circling the wagons a bit
rock as in "rocks my world" vs rock as in "petrification" (dylan is a good hoho "touchstone" bcz the petrified dylan litters the landscape, yet the lacunafying dylan has never gone away; nor can all the uncut cover stories in the universe actually exorcise him)
i actually think at a certain point in the early 90s, marcus looked as if he was going to move into a REALLY interesting territory in re the uneasy links between public politics and (for want of a better jargontag) "ghost politics" -- there's some great potential stuff moving about in the shadows of the best pieces in "double trouble"; but i also think there's a strong element of generational failure to grasp the BAD that the clintonistas were doing to and through the "new deal democrat vision" -- an element of, to be be crass and unoriginal about it, boomers once again not getting out of the way -- which has hobbled him (underneath the surface he knows he has to move away from something he feels he can't for big-as-death noonday-sun "resistance to bush" reasons)
I dont know why some folks seem to have such trouble holding two SUPPOSEDLY 'mutually exclusive' positions at once - the DOUBLE mark...Post a Comment
As in, for instance, there is no reason one cannot execrate the despicable tactics the Starr-y eyed Republicans used contra the Clintons... whilst *at the same time* being HIGHLy critical and suspicious of a lot of what the Clintons did or didnt do... (I wish I could rememebr who, but I read a good piece on this last week, and it wasn't Hitchens, about all the lame double-standards that the USA's Left-leaning and feminism-mouthing commentariat applied to Clinton...)
Also, of course, no reason that being critical of G Marcus NOW automatically indicates some sweeping refusal of all the good stuff he has contributed before; I think I indicated this double stance as far back *as* that Tricky piece, in fact... which was what a close reading of Derrida opened up for me: you can *affirm* something's provisional or tactical or 'x' value whilst questioning or un-picking some of its less helpful or in-the-way assumptions or aspects...
PS: agree with Robin; it's kind of lost me.
And Dylan. The monumentalising Scorsese/Marcus approach - Dylan-as-America, Dylan-as-protest, Dyaln as legend, Dylan-as-univocal "icon", whatever - was very happily subtly unpicked by Dylan's own auto-biog, BTW, in very interesting way(s)...