[I]t’s music you dislike in theory and get off on in fact that keeps you growing—everything else is spiritual maintenance.
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s response to the events of May 1968 was highly controversial. He sympathized not with the student revolutionaries but with the police. The real victims of society, said Pasolini, were not the students, the spoilt products of corrupt bourgeois culture, but the police, the sons of the proletariat, forced by lack of educational opportunity and chronic unemployment to take the jobs nobody else wanted. Pasolini interpreted the confrontations between students and police differently from most left-wing intellectuals, not as the first steps in a liberation but as confirmation of the extent to which bourgeois ideology had taken control of every aspect of existence.
Welcome to the bougie dynamic. Prejudices are thought of as nasty and tasteless and unrefined and bad, and of course all of us white middle-class people aspire to taste and refinement, and also to having a whole lot of smooth jazz CDs, and so we imagine that racism and sexism and homophobia and the like are only engaged in by dirty poor people, also known as White Trash.
Jewish life in America has become, _for reasons of security_, so solidly, rigidly, restrictedly and suffocatingly middle-class that behavior within it is a pattern from which personality can deviate in only a mechanical and hardly ever in a temperamental sense. It is a way of life that clings even to those who escape from in in their opinions and vocations.
No people on earth are more correct, more staid, more provincial, more commonplace, more inexperienced; none observe more strictly the letter of every code that is respectable; no people do so brilliantly what is expected of them: doctor, lawyer, businessman, school teacher, etc., etc. (The fault is not theirs but that is immaterial for the moment.) The reaction of the unexceptionable Jew to the exceptions proves how exceptionable these are. The result of this situation, paradoxically, is to increase further the pervasiveness of the autobiographical in American Jewish writing. The Jewish writer suffers from the unavailability of a sufficient variety of observed experience. He is forced to write, if he is serious, the way the pelican feeds its young, striking his own breast to draw the blood of his theme. (This is perhaps responsible for the exhibitionism in so much American Jewish writing.)
What to call the people in this film (coming to NWFF in a couple of weeks)? They’re white young Portland people who are part of that peculiar, self-infantilizing tribe whose patron saint is Miranda July. The kind of people who live together in beautiful old houses, are fond of beer and cocaine, play with keyboards and drums, and fetishize the totems and styles of their youth. They play kickball and dodge ball. They wear bright striped socks, v-necked sweaters, and poofy parkas in primary colors that are adult versions of their elementary-school wardrobes. They are responsible for the explosion of childish foods in trendy neighborhoods: hot dogs, corn dogs, cupcakes, ice cream. They are the reason you’ll find tater tots and elephant ears on barroom menus. (Up next: cotton candy.) They like crafts and domestic projects that remind them of the chemistry sets, microscopes, and portable tape recorders of their childhood. (Remember when tape recorders were primarily for recording things and not listening to things? Back when you used to make little radio shows for yourself instead of listening to other people’s music?)
They aren’t rockers. They aren’t hipsters (if that word even means anything anymore). They’re latter-day children, the Regressors.
Nothing is ever more boring and dismal than the present.
“I miss how carefree the 50s/60s/70s/80s were! We were so unconcerned about littering and seat belts!”
More like, “I love that fuzzy recollection of memories where the epic mistakes and sorrow of my life is masked by my forgetfulness and nostalgia.”
Why do people act like movies and TV dramas are genuine reflections of what life is or was?
Other tests at Stanford, an important center for research in this fast-growing field, showed multitaskers tended to search for new information rather than accept a reward for putting older, more valuable information to work.
Dr. Aboujaoude also asks whether the vast storage available in e-mail and on the Internet is preventing many of us from letting go, causing us to retain many old and unnecessary memories at the expense of making new ones. Everything is saved these days, he notes, from the meaningless e-mail sent after a work lunch to the angry online exchange with a spouse.
Ed Ruscha, Every Building on the Sunset Strip.
“Ruscha’s books are comprised of photographs, sometimes with or without text, but they should not be confused with photography monographs. In Ruscha’s words, the books were not created ‘to house a collection of art photographs—they are technical data, like industrial photographs.’ The bound book, as opposed to a print portfolio, allowed Ruscha to play with the ideas of linear order and audience expectations.
“Unlike his works that use the codex form, Ruscha’s Every Building on the Sunset Strip has an accordion-fold and stretches to twenty-seven feet in length. The book documents both sides of a two-mile stretch of Los Angeles’s Sunset Boulevard. Similar in some ways to today’s digital mapping programs such as Google’s ‘Street View,’ Ruscha’s images capture a particular moment in time in the history of that one street. As Ruscha would later say of the work, ‘I have a belief in this idea of the time capsule. I like that very much. I had that same feeling when I first photographed Sunset Boulevard in 1966…Time, as a property, seems to be important to me.’” (via Archive Fever, Aug. 1, 2008)
Page 1 of 2