Pretentiousness: a response

Talk about the band, the records, the shows.

Moderators: Moderators Emeritus, Moderators

User avatar
miss michaela dee
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:05 am
Location: brooklyn, ny
Contact:

Post by miss michaela dee »

guest wrote:The plainest words can indeed be the finest. So can the largest words, depending on the instance. Striving for the appropriate words is key – to find the most succinct way to communicate. Not to search for the simplest terms to avoid being called pretentious, and not to employ the floweriest terms to elevate yourself above the possibility of retort.


Point taken, guest, and well-stated.

You must forgive me, for I get hung up on the succinct; I am a writer -- albeit a boring one -- in real life.

I have a little scrap of paper with "the plainest words are the finest" scotch-taped to my computer monitor. It gives me something to focus on when I'm having a slow-word day -- so as you can imagine, I was happy to have a moment to employ my adopted credo somewhere besides in my day-to-day writing activities.

This conversation is utterly fascinating, btw. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's little treatises.

I'm guilty as anyone of dabbling in pretension; I feel like anything I might have to say may be slightly hypocritical -- to start with, I'm horribly affected. And that's just the tip of the iceberg!
User avatar
esatnik
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 6:20 am
Location: Old Machias
Contact:

Post by esatnik »

I don't nearly completely understand what is being said here, but whatever it is I choose to disagree completely. A person on a stage cannot, by definition, be *real*. That being said, certain musicians (like Kris Kristofferson and, of course, JR) have some very sincere moments. They are all pretentious, doubing to be so would make them just arrogant.

Bacharach and David used to write his favorite songs/
Never, never, never would he worry, he'd just run and fetch the ball/
But the hiphop and the white funk just blew away my puppy's mind...
User avatar
meg
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:01 am
Location: morningside
Contact:

Post by meg »

esatnik wrote:A person on a stage cannot, by definition, be *real*.


Would you mind expanding on this statement...? I believe most theater theory backs you up, but it's a slippery slope when you're talking about musicians, I think, who spend large percentages of their lives onstage performing their own works. They may speak in character, but those characters are real; they are real characters, performances. Dig? It's a mind game, I guess, but there's nothing particuarly Matrixy about it, it's not like the stage is an alternate level of existence, it's just your job. The social theorist might argue that every encounter with another person is a stage, that every movement outside of your own body is a performance. Dividing up what's "real" and "not real" is as dead end as using the word "pretentious" as a judgement call.

Now I'm going to quote another post, out of order. Ready?

John wrote:Our humble endeavor is to make another small place where it's safe to talk.


The use of the word "safe" here made me stop for a moment and wonder what else makes the world feel "unsafe" for thought, and here's a theory and I want to know if anyone else can take it somewhere. We've been talking about the decline of culture and the 'dumbing down' of society, but what about the information overload of same? In addition to feeling let down by the lack of stimulation in my culture, I am made to feel nervous by the speed my society digests that culture. Everything is easy com/easy go, and the Internet (god bless it) speeds that process to the point where fangirls and fanboys can write off entire television shows and rock albums via spoilers and file-trading before they hit the rest of the population.

Now, to be fair, I love moving fast, I love getting something quickly and moving on, and I've always been the type to "get over" things faster. The rub is that the more involved I get in my own writing, the more I realize that my society is all-too-prepared to spit me out--first strike, desire to stimulate, second strike, desire to ruminate. So I wonder if part of the problem ends with me; if I change my own behavior and learn to linger (not fixate) on art, on the things that might teach me, that that's a step to creating a safer environment.

I've made myself late with this so I'm going to run without an edit, and I hope I'm not completely freaking y'alls out--really, I just want to hear what makes people feel intellectually unsafe or uncertain--too much communication, not enough, the culture's too dumb, it's too smart, it's too plastic? Bring it.
User avatar
Dan
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 10:04 pm
Location: Jamaica Plain, MA
Contact:

Post by Dan »

Let's presuppose, of course, that commercial rock and indie rock have suffered an inalienable schism that can only be bridged one way. For all the AFIs that have suddenly achieved mainstream success after years of struggle (and whatever you think of AFI, and I'll back you up on your negative assertions, the fact that they've been a functioning unit for twelve years and just now are achieving something on the order of success is a small miracle), there are dozens of bands that can't quite break (and generally get the bum's rush as a result - pointed look in Rufus Wainwright's direction), and hundreds of bands who can manage to make a few hundred dollars every night on a national tour, and thousands of bands playing out in their hometowns, and thousands more who will never make that $15 at the Rialto on a Monday night. But once you're on a major label, you're tainted; no conversation about Modest Mouse can ever be had without someone reminding us that they're on Epic now. It's as inevitable a part of indie-rock discourse as claims of pretense.

Keeping it real is irrelevant when you're four-tracking in your roommate's bedroom at two in the afternoon, because no record executive is going to swoop down tonight and ask me to open for Norah Jones. Unless you're very lucky, very good, or very attractive, the game is almost impossible to win. And thus, I ask the question: what quantifies the validity of art?

Every song you've ever heard, from "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith to anything by Jandek or Merzbow, emerges from emotion of some kind. I highly doubt Ja Rule is coming from the same confused stew of depressive feelings as Chan Marshall, but does that make what he creates less valid as art? Pop music, as classically defined, is all "low art;" there are precious few artists operating in a pop realm who create what might be mistaken for classically structured, orchestral work, and virtually none of them ever experience recognition. It has been argued in the past that the definition of "high art" needs to be refined for a world in which classical music is relegated to mere oddity status; the kids are not clamoring for the new Kronos Quartet CD, so why continue to foist so much critical attention (in Eastern print media, anyway) on chamber music, classical music, and ballet? As art forms, they have been eclipsed. So why aren't Matmos or the Polyphonic Spree playing Carnegie Hall?

Witness the great duality of indie rock, post-Malkmus: it's built around a central notion (and a highly welcomed one, for barre-chord fumblers like myself) that you don't NEED to be virtuosic at your instrument, and yet it is mostly populated by people who skew toward the right side of the bell curve. How many indie rock musicians have never gone to college, even a semester or two? Startlingly few. There are exceptions to every rule, but on the whole we're not dealing with a bunch of Tommy Stinsons. Nor are we dealing with a shitload of David Bermans; the reality fits somewhere in between. Concurrently, how many indie rock fans live in trailers and sell waterbeds? A small percentage; there are exceptions to every rule, but the reliance on authenticity in indie rock does not jibe with the general education level or intelligence of indie rock fans, despite the gape-mouthed, hands-folded, scenester-starred poses you'll see in full effect at any Interpol show. If you went to art school or, worse yet, worked in college radio (both of which, hey! I do!), how can you possibly criticize someone for being inauthentic or putting on airs? My college costs $31,000 per year. While that does not speak of how much disposable income I have at my behest (anyone want to help find me a job in Boston so I don't get kicked out of my apartment?), it represents the wager I am willing to take based on the precept that I will have the ability to repay it. Somehow.

And I guess I'll never obsess over anyone's authenticity, because it strikes me both as pointless and irrelevant. You may be Fred Durst - you may come from a broken home in a shitty town and resent your parents - but far from the bad-ass you strive to be, at the end of the day you look kind of silly strumming a guitar and singing about it. If it were a clarinet or a harpsichord instead of an BC Rich "Warlock," nobody would give the slightest thought as to whether a metal guitarist looked hard or not. It's still art, which compared to many of the physically taxing, menial jobs people in this world have for themselves, is an effete and fanciful way to make money. The "Jenny From The Block" paradox is one of the nuttiest ideas in popular culture - no one would applaud my parents for being solid, proud, working-class citizens, but when Jennifer Lopez rolls into Hunts Point in a stretch Navigator, she's "keeping it real." What's real about living in a mansion? It's a Barbie dream house life; it's the very antithesis of reality. 50 Cent doesn't keep it real; he performs onstage with eight bodyguards. Puff Daddy doesn't keep it real; he takes the Concorde to fashion openings in Paris. Paul Westerberg doesn't keep it real; he incorporates a couch into his stage set and dated Winona Ryder. Conor Oberst doesn't keep it real; he dated Winona Ryder. Beck doesn't keep it real; he dated Winona Ryder. Pete Yorn doesn't keep it real; he dated Winona Ryder. Evan Dando doesn't keep it real; he dated Winona Ryder. Modest Mouse doesn't keep it real; they signed to Epic and have the immense, immutable promotional force of the Sony Corporation behind them at all times. Karen O doesn't keep it real; that thrift-store dress cost her $500 in Williamsburg. Sunny Day Real Estate didn't keep it real; they toured by bus, and chose not to risk death in an old Econoline at 10,000 feet. Hot Hot Heat doesn't keep it real; they signed to Epic, too, and they're getting spins on WFNX. The Dismemberment Plan doesn't keep it real; they signed to Interscope and should have known better. The Trail Of Dead doesn't keep it real; they signed to Interscope and they're going to know better soon enough.

Keeping it real means keeping it like a secret and never letting it go, because your fans are fickle and they are waiting for any crack in your facade, so they can hate you for denying your roots. And on and on and on and on and on.
User avatar
high_coup
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 8:07 am

new forum rules

Post by high_coup »

far too eloquent
sometimes talk out of my ass
call me pretentious
User avatar
heather
Posts: 801
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2003 9:58 pm
Location: the 206
Contact:

Post by heather »

Pretentious indie-rockers don't really bother me anymore. They'd used to make me feel like shit when I'd go to shows, until I realized that those pretentious indie-rockers will never grow as people, that they'll ALWAYS be pretentious indie-rock kids. That made me feel better. There's nothing like elevating yourself above others.


Conor Oberst dated Winona Ryder?

Is nothing sacred in this town? Jebus.
User avatar
Shawn
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:38 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by Shawn »

My brain hurts. I'd like to have it removed.
User avatar
miss michaela dee
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:05 am
Location: brooklyn, ny
Contact:

Not to be simplistic, but people are afraid of ideas.

Post by miss michaela dee »

I think I'm mostly responding to Meg here. Though Dan, now you've got me thinking about Built to Spill (keeping it real? circle yes or no...), I'm wishing that I had "There's Nothing Wrong With Love" with me. (The Long Winters make me feel the way I did when I heard Built to Spill for the first time. I'm such a sucker for melodic pop. But I'm TOTALLY getting off topic here.)

When I was in my fourth or fifth year of college, I was walking with a good friend across campus -- undoubtedly late for something -- I'm a loiterer (look how I'm avoiding work now!).

"This whole thing," she said, with a sweeping gesture (she's even more affected than I), "isn't really about getting a degree. It's about realizing that we're not going to be famous."

I'm almost certain that this is one of the prime tenets that you learn in your twenties, to be sure. And then, you either accept it or go into total denial.

At any rate, even if we can't be famous, we doggedly and pretentiously cling to our interests, as if they make us special. Which they don't.

"You are not a unique and special snowflake." I generally turn a jaundiced eye to anything penned by Chuck Palahniuk, but he's got a point in this case.

And yet, the entire world seems to be in denial! -- what with the prevalence of reality shows and iconclasts setting up shop on the internet, shouting into the void via blogs (no offense, of course, to anyone who has one -- hell, I have one!).

Thusly, our little creaking society is getting more and more fragmented -- thanks internet and cable TV et. al.! So, yes, Meg, in a roundabout way, that is part of the problem, but also part of the solution. There are fewer things to keep us cohesively together, hence the nearly-unchecked and perilous rise of patriotism and religious fervour lately. On the other hand, you find an oasis like this, a group of people you're sympatico with, and suddenly it doesn't seem so bad.

(Goodness, have I actually contributed anything here, or just rambled? How embarassing.)
User avatar
Shawn
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:38 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by Shawn »

inasmuchas
User avatar
Merlin
Kaiser of Nerds
Posts: 461
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 9:52 pm
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
Contact:

Post by Merlin »

As regards keeping it real, I've made but one modest request of Brocktoon:

When people come calling him wanting to use a song of his (probably "Shapes") in a commercial (probably for VW), could he please just make sure it won't involve feeding a french fry to an infant.

I'm just not sure I could go through all that again.
A Brutaful Smile
Posts: 696
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:58 pm
Location: Seattle, WA (sorta)

Post by A Brutaful Smile »

Dan wrote:Let's presuppose, of course, that commercial rock and indie rock have suffered an inalienable schism that can only be bridged one way. For all the AFIs that have suddenly achieved mainstream success after years of struggle (and whatever you think of AFI, and I'll back you up on your negative assertions, the fact that they've been a functioning unit for twelve years and just now are achieving something on the order of success is a small miracle), there are dozens of bands that can't quite break (and generally get the bum's rush as a result - pointed look in Rufus Wainwright's direction), and hundreds of bands who can manage to make a few hundred dollars every night on a national tour, and thousands of bands playing out in their hometowns, and thousands more who will never make that $15 at the Rialto on a Monday night. But once you're on a major label, you're tainted; no conversation about Modest Mouse can ever be had without someone reminding us that they're on Epic now. It's as inevitable a part of indie-rock discourse as claims of pretense.

Keeping it real is irrelevant when you're four-tracking in your roommate's bedroom at two in the afternoon, because no record executive is going to swoop down tonight and ask me to open for Norah Jones. Unless you're very lucky, very good, or very attractive, the game is almost impossible to win. And thus, I ask the question: what quantifies the validity of art?

Every song you've ever heard, from "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith to anything by Jandek or Merzbow, emerges from emotion of some kind. I highly doubt Ja Rule is coming from the same confused stew of depressive feelings as Chan Marshall, but does that make what he creates less valid as art? Pop music, as classically defined, is all "low art;" there are precious few artists operating in a pop realm who create what might be mistaken for classically structured, orchestral work, and virtually none of them ever experience recognition. It has been argued in the past that the definition of "high art" needs to be refined for a world in which classical music is relegated to mere oddity status; the kids are not clamoring for the new Kronos Quartet CD, so why continue to foist so much critical attention (in Eastern print media, anyway) on chamber music, classical music, and ballet? As art forms, they have been eclipsed. So why aren't Matmos or the Polyphonic Spree playing Carnegie Hall?

Witness the great duality of indie rock, post-Malkmus: it's built around a central notion (and a highly welcomed one, for barre-chord fumblers like myself) that you don't NEED to be virtuosic at your instrument, and yet it is mostly populated by people who skew toward the right side of the bell curve. How many indie rock musicians have never gone to college, even a semester or two? Startlingly few. There are exceptions to every rule, but on the whole we're not dealing with a bunch of Tommy Stinsons. Nor are we dealing with a shitload of David Bermans; the reality fits somewhere in between. Concurrently, how many indie rock fans live in trailers and sell waterbeds? A small percentage; there are exceptions to every rule, but the reliance on authenticity in indie rock does not jibe with the general education level or intelligence of indie rock fans, despite the gape-mouthed, hands-folded, scenester-starred poses you'll see in full effect at any Interpol show. If you went to art school or, worse yet, worked in college radio (both of which, hey! I do!), how can you possibly criticize someone for being inauthentic or putting on airs? My college costs $31,000 per year. While that does not speak of how much disposable income I have at my behest (anyone want to help find me a job in Boston so I don't get kicked out of my apartment?), it represents the wager I am willing to take based on the precept that I will have the ability to repay it. Somehow.

And I guess I'll never obsess over anyone's authenticity, because it strikes me both as pointless and irrelevant. You may be Fred Durst - you may come from a broken home in a shitty town and resent your parents - but far from the bad-ass you strive to be, at the end of the day you look kind of silly strumming a guitar and singing about it. If it were a clarinet or a harpsichord instead of an BC Rich "Warlock," nobody would give the slightest thought as to whether a metal guitarist looked hard or not. It's still art, which compared to many of the physically taxing, menial jobs people in this world have for themselves, is an effete and fanciful way to make money. The "Jenny From The Block" paradox is one of the nuttiest ideas in popular culture - no one would applaud my parents for being solid, proud, working-class citizens, but when Jennifer Lopez rolls into Hunts Point in a stretch Navigator, she's "keeping it real." What's real about living in a mansion? It's a Barbie dream house life; it's the very antithesis of reality. 50 Cent doesn't keep it real; he performs onstage with eight bodyguards. Puff Daddy doesn't keep it real; he takes the Concorde to fashion openings in Paris. Paul Westerberg doesn't keep it real; he incorporates a couch into his stage set and dated Winona Ryder. Conor Oberst doesn't keep it real; he dated Winona Ryder. Beck doesn't keep it real; he dated Winona Ryder. Pete Yorn doesn't keep it real; he dated Winona Ryder. Evan Dando doesn't keep it real; he dated Winona Ryder. Modest Mouse doesn't keep it real; they signed to Epic and have the immense, immutable promotional force of the Sony Corporation behind them at all times. Karen O doesn't keep it real; that thrift-store dress cost her $500 in Williamsburg. Sunny Day Real Estate didn't keep it real; they toured by bus, and chose not to risk death in an old Econoline at 10,000 feet. Hot Hot Heat doesn't keep it real; they signed to Epic, too, and they're getting spins on WFNX. The Dismemberment Plan doesn't keep it real; they signed to Interscope and should have known better. The Trail Of Dead doesn't keep it real; they signed to Interscope and they're going to know better soon enough.

Keeping it real means keeping it like a secret and never letting it go, because your fans are fickle and they are waiting for any crack in your facade, so they can hate you for denying your roots. And on and on and on and on and on.


Has "keeping it real" become the new "sell out" phrase? Because that's basically what it sounds like you are saying. All of those examples of people not "keeping it real" because they have "sold out".
This always seems to be the same arguement...
What exactly is "keeping it real" and what is "selling out"?
Because what you said leads me to think that one must always remain on an unknown label and date your hometown girl(altho she could be winona ryder ;) ).
If it were me I would sign that contract, buy myself nice things and if some hot actor wanted to date me...I'd do it all in a second.
So if The Long Winters signed to a major label and John started dating Winona Ryder would you say they were no longer "keeping it real"?
It's almost as if we don't want people to do well and achieve success/fame/fortune/etc. Personally I think that's sad.
User avatar
Shawn
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:38 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by Shawn »

Merlin wrote:As regards keeping it real, I've made but one modest request of Brocktoon:

When people come calling him wanting to use a song of his (probably "Shapes") in a commercial (probably for VW), could he please just make sure it won't involve feeding a french fry to an infant.

I'm just not sure I could go through all that again.



HILARIOUS
User avatar
Dan
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 10:04 pm
Location: Jamaica Plain, MA
Contact:

Post by Dan »

Merlin wrote:When people come calling him wanting to use a song of his (probably "Shapes") in a commercial (probably for VW), could he please just make sure it won't involve feeding a french fry to an infant.


Or the ONDCP for "Scared Straight." Or the McCormick Corporation for "Cinnamon." Or DeBeers for "Blue Diamonds."

As an aside, there, Brocktoon, if you do have the opportunity to shill for the corporation which profited by sticking its not-yet-hacked-off fingers in a series of bloody conflicts, go to it. The sublime irony will be way better than "the dirt in your fries" any day.
User avatar
miss michaela dee
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:05 am
Location: brooklyn, ny
Contact:

Post by miss michaela dee »



Merlin! Jeezus, I'm still not over that, and you had to go rubbing salt into the nearly-healed wound.

The burning!
Last edited by miss michaela dee on Wed May 14, 2003 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Dan
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 10:04 pm
Location: Jamaica Plain, MA
Contact:

Post by Dan »

A Brutaful Smile wrote:So if The Long Winters signed to a major label and John started dating Winona Ryder would you say they were no longer "keeping it real"?


That's not really my point. I wouldn't, personally, have a problem with it. It would be an example of a musician who has worked very hard over a number of years to achieve something artistically getting his fair shake. I pretty clearly dispute the validity of the concept of "keeping it real."

However, should the Long Winters' ascent to pop glory be so fruitful, it will undoubtedly disillusion a great number of people who will view the band as carpetbaggers or sellouts, despite the fact that one lives a pretty spartan existence in order to commit themselves to their art. It's hard to hold down a job and tour, and it's hard to make money touring in the first place, unless you're lucky enough to be a guaranteed draw coast-to-coast.

When the Apples In Stereo licensed their song "Strawberryfire" to Sony, Robert Schneider put it very aptly: "You know the person who wrote that letter is 18. And they're right, from that point of view. It's part of the sadness of bands getting bigger. You understand it better as you get older. Our band might not be able to keep going if we couldn't do this."

Schneider and his wife have a small child, and their licensing arrangements have meant that they're able to provide him such luxuries as health insurance (which many/most indie rock artists, including Ted Leo, who recently damaged his vocal cords, and Tim Kasher, who last year suffered a collapsed lung, cannot afford - and they're in the enviable position of being able to sell out midsized clubs in most cities!). The sensibility perpetuated by many observers in the indie rock community is silly: that the Apples shouldn't have done that in the first place. It hurt when I saw a Death Cab For Cutie song being used to soundtrack a Sundance Film Festival ad in a movie theater, just like it hurt to see a beautiful song like "New Slang" in a McDonald's commercial, but in the end I can't argue with the logic.

I can't come down solidly opposed to artists who seem to mortgage their credibility for financial success for a reason I touched on earlier: I'm taking out eighty thousand dollars in loans to finance my college education. That predicates itself upon the same amount of hope that any indie rocker worth his salt possesses: that that eighty grand, like someone's $80,000 advance and tour support, is going to pay itself off in the end. They're going to sell enough records to pay their label back and support themselves, and I'm hopefully going to get a decent enough job in the end to pay my student loans and raise a family, or whatever I decide to do. What I'm doing, and what millions of people like me are doing, is not viewed as a deed of questionable ethical merit: it's a means of bettering myself. Attempting to create a successful artistic identity should not be in and of itself a disgrace. Trying to take Elliott Smith down a few notches because he's on DreamWorks instead of Kill Rock Stars is hypocritical when you yourself are five figures in debt to Sallie Mae. (Speaking of which, I need to call about that deferment.)

Obviously, I'll be disappointed if the Land O' Lakes people come calling for "Unsalted Butter," but if it means that nobody in the Long Winters has to worry about finances for a few months, so be it. A financially stable musician is a happy musician.
Last edited by Dan on Wed May 14, 2003 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
royal
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: Ballard
Contact:

Post by royal »

Speaking of songs in commercials, has anybody else seen that Hewlett Packard commercial with a Polyphonic Spree song in it? I'm sure they could use the money, being that there are 26 people in that band...
User avatar
miss michaela dee
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:05 am
Location: brooklyn, ny
Contact:

Post by miss michaela dee »

Dan wrote:As an aside, there, Brocktoon, if you do have the opportunity to shill for the corporation which profited by sticking its not-yet-hacked-off fingers in a series of bloody conflicts, go to it. The sublime irony will be way better than "the dirt in your fries" any day.


"So, you can sell yourself on Canadian diamonds..."

Someone ring up the Canadian Diamond Miners Association or whatever it's called. Perfect!
User avatar
meg
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:01 am
Location: morningside
Contact:

Re: Not to be simplistic, but people are afraid of ideas.

Post by meg »

miss michaela dee wrote:I'm almost certain that this is one of the prime tenets that you learn in your twenties, to be sure. And then, you either accept it or go into total denial.


I'm still looking for that third option. DAMN. :)

The thing is, I'm not particuarly hung up on fame, or even feeling special. I'm pretty secure (I can be scared and still be secure, I think). It's my work that's not so secure. Increased communication means increased connectivity, but it also means that more words are thrown out and therefore disregarded, because maybe we can multitask better now than we used to but we can still only take so much before we shut down. Does that make sense? Our options increase, but does our capacity to hold those options increase? And how much can we fragment internally before everything passes through us without dropping any meaning?

I'm not wishing for some pre-Internet world devoid of choices. I like choices. I like information. I like speed, I like connectivity. I just think that it's possible that one of the skills my generation is likely to lose is the skill of absorption, retention, something like...I sound like an old man all of a sudden, damn these kids and their attention spans.

miss michaela dee wrote:Thusly, our little creaking society is getting more and more fragmented -- thanks internet and cable TV et. al.! So, yes, Meg, in a roundabout way, that is part of the problem, but also part of the solution. There are fewer things to keep us cohesively together, hence the nearly-unchecked and perilous rise of patriotism and religious fervour lately. On the other hand, you find an oasis like this, a group of people you're sympatico with, and suddenly it doesn't seem so bad.


That is true. And you and I have had many discussions about how important these oases are, and how the expansion and development of connective mediums has done wonders for our outlooks and social lives. But eventually we've got to break for it outside of the circles and closed-rank indiekidhipster sniffing and scoffing. 'Least I'd like to.
User avatar
meg
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:01 am
Location: morningside
Contact:

Post by meg »

Merlin wrote:I'm just not sure I could go through all that again.


I totally pulled a Merlin this weekend while Googling around for fan commentaries on the Walkmen...my ears were fancying "We've Been Had" and my short-term memory loss had allowed me to forget the Saturn commercial that uses the song. Google set me straight. Captain Pretention in my head said I'd better pick another favorite Walkmen song, or risk death. I think it was death.
User avatar
miss michaela dee
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:05 am
Location: brooklyn, ny
Contact:

Post by miss michaela dee »

meg wrote:my ears were fancying "We've Been Had" and my short-term memory loss had allowed me to forget the Saturn commercial that uses the song. Google set me straight. Captain Pretention in my head said I'd better pick another favorite Walkmen song, or risk death. I think it was death.


Oh. Oh.
When this ad campaign first arrived, they played that commercial pretty much every break on CNNfn, for like two weeks. We have 20 TVs in our area. All tuned to the same channel. Pain. Pain. Pain.

I nearly went totally postal, and it totally broke my heart, when someone piped up, "God! I HATE this song!! Who IS IT?" and I had to tearfully reply "The Walkmen. Would you like to hear the CD that's from?"

Now that the cycle for that ad has passed, I'm totally over it. Then again, I WAS over the whole Shins thing until Merlin had to bring it up. *sigh*
Post Reply