u 2 can live ego-free with these five easy steps

1. Get over yourselves. Who cares about U2? They are a huge band that sells millions of records and sells out football stadiums on their concert tours. I loved them just as much as the next over-priviledged, white, guilt-ridden Christian youth group escapee looking for meaning…BUT that was from 1985-1989 and then I got on with it. Besides, have you heard the new Mariah Carey album? She can sing WAY better than Bono.

2. Freedom of opinion. Jimmy’s not kidding when he says heTRIED to like U2. He gave it an honest effort. But he also tried to wear linen dress pants and shop at Banana Republic. You can imagine what a failure that was. I don’t have black hair and tattoos and he doesn’t like U2. Is it really that difficult to believe?

3. humerus, isn’t it? how much important are spelling and grammar and proper terminolology? i dunno. i guess, sometimes they matter and sometimes they doesn’t. But i don’t be thinkin’ you can get too riled up about getting a shitty grade on a graduate school paper if you’re not willing to submit to some types of propers educational standardizationalism?

4. Eschatologically speaking. I dunno if I can post on a blog that uses the word eschatological more than one or two times. After all, I”m just a girl living in captivity.

5. For your consideration, Bush. Wouldn’t it be easier if we just all found a common enemy? Couldn’t we just all get along?

20 Comments

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  1. Dang… talk about five-finger exploding heart technique! Glad I wasn’t on the other side of THAT blog!

    As for linen pants and Banana Republic…well… I really am speachless just thinking about it…

  2. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, or, let’s say, their preference – this is indeed true. (e.g. “I enjoy listening to Sting more than The Police.”) But, though we often confuse the two, preferences are not the same as taste. (e.g. “My taste tells me that The Police made music that was far more innovative, important, etc, than Sting.”)

    Here’s what Gadamer says: “The concept of taste undoubted implies a mode of knowing. The mark of good taste is being able to stand back from ourselves and our private preferences. Thus taste, in its essential nature, is not private but a social phenomenon for the first order.” (Truth and Method, p. 36)

    This, I believe, allows me to claim that the following statements are indisputably true:

    1) Mariah Carey has an amazing voice; her music is crap.

    2) Hardly a “no-talent ass-clown” (as claimed in Office Space), Michael Bolton has an amazing vocal talent; his music, too, is crap.

    3) Bob Dylan’s voice is crap (literally – I think an autopsy of his vocal cords would reveal them to be of the consistency of excrement); he makes music that can be described as “divine genius.”

    4) Another “divine genius” is Tom Waits, and anyone who cannot appreciate that lacks musical taste (which is not to say that everyone must enjoy his music); the question of whether or not his voice is crap is highly debatable and, I suspect, more a matter of preference than taste.

    5) U2 writes excellent pop songs.

    After this comment thread, I hereby propose (since I am not one to impose) a 2 week “U2-moratorium.” This is more in the spirit of: “Let’s see, just for the challenge, how long we can go with out any referecnce to or mention of U2”, than in the spirit of: “Holy hell, enough already! We’re all grounded.”

    I feel like I’m trapped inside Championship Vinyl with Rob, Dick and Barry…

  3. While I applaud your call for a two-week ‘U2 moratorium’… I must remind you that while you are in GMT, those of us in PST have a certain ‘date’ with HRB (His Royal Bono) in Seattle on April 24th which includes a World Vision prior to the concert in downtown Seattle to support http://www.one.org and DATA…

    So the thought of shutting down and shutting up with this seismic event smacks of a proletariat smackdown by the upper class…

    lets try May 2nd – after May 1st (May Day) which is International Socialist and Workers Party – to begin this moratorium… at least for the peace of the world and the peace of this blog!!! 🙂

  4. Here, here. From one who is not only going to the rally (and has been trying to get some traction on getting Bono to show up at said event), who is debating spending his entire year’s entertainment budget on scalped tickets for Seattle show #2, and who is carrying around One wrist bands to hand out to any and all who will wear them I think starting the moratorium after the week of the 25th would be much more reasonable. Though it might, much like giving up coffee for Lent, have all the more power to get my fleshly nature under control if we were to start the moratorium now. Hmm.

  5. I am somewhat surprised that the proposed “moratorium” comment has generated response while my 5 “true statements” (especially the one about Michael Bolton – come on!) have been passed over without objection or comment thus far.

    That said, the period of silence re: “the band we do not speak of” may begin whenever the blogmunity decides. I’d hate to start a blogmutiny.

    (Our Glasgow show isn’t until late-June.)

  6. First, for Another Bad Pun, the event is a One Campaign (www.onecampaign.org) rally on Sunday, April 24th from 5-6 pm at St. Pauls Episcopal Church located at 15 Roy Street in Seattle. To post an avatar requires that you have a web address with the image and then you link to it in the profile editor (which I’ve not done yet).

    Now, on to Brannon’s comments regarding reaction to the truth list. Well, it’s hard to dispute the truth. I could add to it maybe, but would agree with every word you write. That’s why I suspect you’ve not stirred up much there. Now if you had peddled as the truth that Robbie Williams or Kylie are brilliant vocalists or divine geniuses then you might have a firestorm on your hands. I do not prefer to listen to either of those artists nor do they leave a good taste in my mouth. I also don’t prefer to listen to Tom Waits for long periods of time but do have that one part of my tongue (the divine genius buds) that tell me Waits is very tasty indeed. Maybe it’s back to that whole defining art thing. Waits seems like art to me where Carey seems like, i don’t know, craft? But there are so many artists (or craftspeople) between Mariah and Dylan on the curve I have to ask where does art begin and where does craft end. How about Garbage? If one of us makes a great case for Garbage being high art and the rest of us have no preference for Shirley’s voice do we all through the social phenom somehow get pursuaded to confer good taste onto Garbage? Is there an established criteria we can weigh an artist or song against and easiliy assign a taste factor? I’d love someone to explain exactly how this “mode of knowing” works. I feel like I get it in my gut much of the time but then someone like Kings of Leon come along and I can’t for the life of me jump on the preference or the taste bandwagon (as much as I’ve tried).

  7. the word “truth” has no place in the conversation of “art”.

    look for more words of wisdom in next week’s post entitlled “Spock was an asshole” on the nature and use of logic vs beauty.

  8. it’s your fault, you started on my FAVORITE topic..

    Art is masterbation. If you disagree yer wrong.

    Art can ONY be about satisfying the artist – if it is about anyone else, it becomes something else (interior deisgn, pop music, graphic design, etc, etc). Therefore, the word “art” is more used than “ironic” AND literally” combined.

    Clarification: a “recording artist” is not an artist (per se) – neither is a graphic designer. The definitive aspect of art is the intended audience, and really is objective, not subjective (if I am using those words correctly).

    And, here is where ZooDog’s comment about craft becomes VERY important. I remember Terentino saying “I do NOT make films, i make MOVIES!” This right after I swore he did the exact opposite because Pulp Fiction was such a unique piece fo creative genius, ART. then, I thought about it – his movie was genius – as a unique, creative masterpiece. BUT, it was intended for the masses – his goal was to satisfy me (and make millions of dollars) not satisfy his own need to create.

    Bob Dylan… prophet, not artist.
    Early Clash… artist.
    Late Clash… musical experimentalists.
    Thomas Kincade… Interior deisgner, not artist.
    Duchamp… artist.

    I’m not drawing lines in the sand as territorial pissings. The names chosen were random.

    SO, truth, taste, and prefernce does have a place in this discussion – of great craftspeople, recording artists, authors, etc… but, not in art.

    I’ll take a breath and let you react…

  9. It seems you’re committing the ‘intentional fallacy’ regarding the status of art – that is, it is mistake to think that the ‘meaning’ (or whatever) of a work of art (a text, painting, etc) is what the artist intended it to be.

    I might concede that the only ‘true’ art is birthed from the consciousness of one who is creating only for herself/himself and not for the masses – to exorcize one’s demons, say. (Thinking of Blake, Van Gogh, Nietzsche.) But then what’s going on when a great ‘true’ artist (Jackson Pollack, say, or Picasso) is suddenly embraced by the masses? Does this alter the brilliance or (dare I say?) ‘truth’ of their art? Of course not, but it changes the way it functions by altering the way it is perceived within society.

    I agree with most of what you’re on about – there is a certainly masterbatory quality of ‘true art’. But I think ‘truth’ and ‘taste’ and ‘preference’ must come into play in any discussion about creative utterance – I like this blanket term, because it encompasses both ‘craft’ and what you’re calling art as somehow a separate category. But I think it’s not easy, maybe impossible, for you to make this distinction (although I’d love for you to convince me otherwise). I don’t know how you can ‘qualify’ art based on either A) the artist’s interior intentions (re: audience or whatever), or B) whether it is accepted or rejected by a mainstream audience at a particular point in history (which is, then, always subject to turn in the other direction).

    It’s like the band/poet/etc who thinks, “I must be a genius, because everybody thinks what I’m doing sucks!” Or pretentious people who can only enjoy ‘art’ that no one else does, and who would stop liking, say, the Flaming Lips just because they “got all popular after The Soft Bulletin.” I just don’t buy it.

    A good quote from novelist-philosopher Iris Murdoch: ‘Art tells the only truth that ultimately matters. It is the light by which human things can be mended. After art there is, let me assure you all, nothing.’ (from The Black Prince, p. 416)

  10. sorry… but cant pass this up:

    Isn’t it ‘ironic'(or close to it since only ‘irony’ can define/undefine ‘irony’) that you used a quote from Murdock’s “The Black Prince” which defines ‘truth’… given the fact that the novel unravels at the end under the ‘truth’ that the whole novel has been a ‘lie’ and that the protagonist has lead the reader on a wild goose chase – defining ‘truth’ vis a vis a ‘lie’ within a work of ‘fiction’ proporting to ‘tell the truth’ (?!)

    PS – Alanis is re-releasing ‘Little jagged Pill’ as an ‘unplugged’ project (how 1990’s!) in June… here she comes to give the last word on ‘irony’…

  11. I believe that it is both ironic and true (which, ironically, is also to say that it is both not ironic and not true). {How poetically postmodern…)

    I also believe that this gets right to the heart of truth in art (which I know jimmy doesn’t want us talking about in the first place). Truth is artifice: re-presentational, allusive/illusive/elusive. It is always opening into our universe, rupturing our universe.

  12. i spent 30 minutes posting a comment and then deleted – cuz I’m an artist.

    ha! starting a new thread, hold your horses….

  13. also – one more stab at this – did you notice that you hyperlinked your defintion of “post-lapsarianism” to a definition of “pre-lapsarianism”?

    Things return to the beginning, dont they?!

  14. Yes, I did intend that, sensei, but only because there was no dictionary.com entry for post-lapsarian. I figured all you clever folks could intuit what the post- meant based on the pre-.

    Sorry for the confusion, though.

  15. we fool ourselves if we really believe that we can make a determination, based on this definition of art–created by and for the artist–about what is or is not art. Can we really know what is in a man’s heart?

    i guess no matter that I believe Tom Waits is an artist (btw, have i mentioned that I TOUCHED him?) can i really know for sure?

    Is art truly that solitary?

  16. Exactly – Art is not that solitary (or masterbatory, as jimmy white shoes wants to say), and it is impossible, ultimately, to know what’s in the mind of an artist – I would even argue (following poststructuralist criticism and reader-response theory) that the artist him-/her-self is not completely aware of his/her motivations or intentions in creating the work of art. Of course the artist is not irrelevant, but I can’t accept that their intentions regarding the work of art or their anticipated audience (or lack thereof) is the most important element when it comes to the “meaning” (or significance or Truth or whatever) of the work or its function.

  17. Most “artists” that I came into contact with in my 10+ years in the “business” of “music” were more concerned with how much money they were going to collect from “creating” their “art”.

    And let’s face it – getting paid to masturbate is a good gig if you can get it.

    🙂

  18. But who’s going to defend either pop stars (CCM or otherwise) or academics as “true artists”? I’ve been on both ends of that continuum, and I’d have to say, nobody.

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