Saturday, 25 April 2009

Interim post #2

"Beginning to think is beginning to be undermined..."

I haven't posted on here much lately, mainly due to a two week stretch without the internet. It was shocking to realise just how reliant I am on the internet. Without I felt like I was paralysed, unable to work effectively. While I haven't been posting much lately I have been thinking about what I want to achieve, particularly in terms of music criticism.

If a degree of critical distance is not included in music criticism then music journalism could just be boiled down to a series of recommendations, and the reviewer a cheerleader for their own subjectivity. Whereas this can be valid and relevant, without positioning music within a broader social and cultural context or investing any level of critical inquiry then you can't tell your audience what really counts.

I'm not necessarily purporting that all music need take an oppositional stance – it is essentially there to be enjoyed, and it can be hard to take an objective view on something as cerebral and subjective as music. But music constantly evolves, retrocedes – there is no reason why music journalism cannot do the same. So much journalism these days is lazy; the internet has killed off objective reportage. Music is essentially a discovery of self, and music journalism I believe should initiate the same interrogation of self. Cogito ergo sum and all that.

So, sometime in the near future this blog will find a tangible home. It will exist in cyberspace in order that my various writings have a forum, but a physical object you can hold and love will be appearing this summer.

I also have had a couple of short trips this month that have encroached on my writing time; one to Falmouth, Cornwall where I spent three years studying and another to Euro Disney.

Disney should stand for everything I find detestable, and that my rational side should not enjoy. But here lies the nub – suspension of disbelief. In the Magic Kingdom a nefarious magic is at work. Enjoying Disney is learning to forget. Once inside you are infantilised as the endless procession shuffles around the parks. It is experience imprisoned, a simulacra. Memory is a double image; inside our own memory, memorialised on film, another memory of a culture experienced through film and television is secreted. Western frontier towns are recreated. Jingles implore you to 'Remember the magic'. As if we would forget. Nostalgia has a geometrically precise, physical location and it is Main Street, USA. I dread to think how insane the park in Tokyo is. I suppose it doesn't matter – the whole point is that you could be anywhere geologically, as long as you are transported to a specific point in liminal memory. But I will be back, amongst the mullets and bumbags (or fannypacks if you prefer). I am a sucker for memories. Even constructed ones.

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