Thursday, July 28, 2005

Get Your Mind Right

- The Cookbook: An academic’s thoughts on Missy’s “The Cookbook” including a bold comparison to Dylan (Bob Dylan, not “My five favorite rappers are: Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan” Dylan).

- Crash: I’ve heard some good and bad things about the movie “Crash,” but I haven’t seen it yet. Jeff Chang (congratulations on the award for the brilliant “”) and Sylvia Chan sound off about why—contrary to popular opinion—the movie really doesn’t do much to advance the “race conversation” in America. I should probably see this shit.

- Young Jeezy: Young Jeezy is the blogosphere’s new favorite rapper. The bol Dame at Cultstatus has posted like 100 mp3s. Go get ‘em. The rumor mill proclaims that Jeezy and Santana (no guitar) are working on an official album for Def Jam. Jesus. Gangsta, gangsta. By the way, I still think “And Then What” sucks.

- Holy Fuckin’ Awesome: As if I wasn’t hype enough from the potential Jeezy and Juelz audio beat down, I see that Pharrell has signed on to produce music for the Voltron movie soundtrack. That is fucking awesome! Frankly, I didn’t know there was a Voltron movie in the works, but regardless of how shitty it is (and chances are that it will be on the shitty side), if there’s some “On and On” type of Neptune brilliance backing them Voltrons, shit will be off the meter.

- Awesome: Super fresh flier for Caps and Jones’s gig at Milk in SF in September.

- Darko: A larger than normal freedarko post by Shoalsy. Even the comments section of that site are funny and insightful. Dude says: “I gave Steve (Francis) a ball to sign once and he was still reluctant to pass it back.” Haha!

- Chuck Klosterman: I saw Chuck Klosterman talk the other day with my girl and a couple friends. Shit was hot. Dude was really, really funny and read a passage from his new narrative non-fiction book “Killing Yourself to Live” which sounds pretty funny. I would talk about the night except my dude Drew says pretty much what I would’ve said right here. The gist: “pop-culture” is just as important as (if not more so) “high culture.”



At 7:09 AM, Anonymous ken said...

Without knowing anything about this dude Chuck Klosterman and without placing any value judgments on his work, here is what I think when I here pop. vs. high culture debates normally.

and sorry Emillion for junkin up your blog so much lately, I'm just really bored at work these days (working in a writing center).

okay, the whole pop. vs. high culture which is more impotent etc. debate is really fucking stupid. There is no dichotomy. There is no such thing as high culture. Everything now considered high culture was once popular culture that has since been appropriated. What cult. critics label as high is really just old so more than engaging in a culture war these people are engaged in an agist witch-hunt. Shakespeare didn’t start out as part of a canon, he was a starving artist just like everyone else (yes this example might not be the best nor most thought through). The only shit that ever verged on emerging directly from this so-called high position is crit. and theory, and especially cult. crit. Now this shit (yes, I know it’s what I do too…to a certain extent but only so I can have summers off), which is the only “high” culture there ever really was, decides to champion popular culture while being the only medium antithetical to it. Can I ask please for a little self-reflection?

At 7:29 AM, Blogger emynd said...

Well, I don't know about the geneaology of the "high culture" and "pop culture" debate, but I tend to thnk debate has more of its basis in economics than in cultural criticism. Yes, rich and poor alike went to Shakespeare shows, and somewhere along the line Shakespeare got elevated and canonized as "high culture," but was this really a movement by "cultural critics" or by "cultured" rich people who wanted to separate themselves from the gross, yucky, poor folk with tattered gear and nasty teeth? I don't know the answer to this for sure, but I tend to think the differentiation between "high" and "low" originally (and sort've still does) have a lot to do with economics and elite access to certain "high art."

As for self-reflection amongst "cultural critics," I don't think any "cultural critic" involved within academia is naive enough to think that what they're doing is considered anything BUT "high culture." So, I don't think it's particularly hypocritical for those that practice "high culture" endeavors to state the equality of "high cultre" and "popular culture." In fact, the fact that they are part of "high culture" and they still say, "Yo, this shit ain't no better" gives them quite a bit more credibility, don't you think?


At 8:52 AM, Anonymous caps said...

hey horkheimer, you around this weekend?

At 8:57 AM, Blogger emynd said...

Damn, getting called "Horkheimer" and not "Adorno" is like being referred to as an evil step-sister or something.

Check the Hboard PMs.


At 2:10 PM, Blogger Drew said...

Haven't watched Crash either; all I know about it is that Luda is apparently very good in it and when Oprah wasn't let into that Hermes store awhile back, her publicist called it her Crash moment. That's some bullshit.

I know Steve F. hates to pass, but I still have much love for him. He's that Terps brethren. Actually, he played on the Terps for like a month. Still love the guy.

No guitar? hahaha.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Rocco Chappelle said...

For starters, I haven't seen Crash. The only people that I know that did see the movie in the theaters are, for lack of a better generalization, middle aged middle to upper-middle class, liberal, white people who have felt it necessary to gush about the "power" of the film when checking out some other pseudo-intellectual, indie, art, blah, blah film from the video store I work at. I must admit that I distrust this lot only slightly more than their young, hip, post-ironic, nuevo-bohemian, white liberal sistren (basically, y'all mofos) when it comes to the analysis of "race" and how it pertains to me. I do plan to see the movie but I doubt I'm going to gain any great insight into or be forced to reevaluate my views on race relations in the US.

I don't foresee this lack of introspection to be due to any shortcoming on Mr. Haggis' part. This expectation is born in my belief that the conventional narrative cinema is not an adequate medium to address an issue as nuanced as "race" and its myriad of implied issues. I think the best point made in the Jeff Chang/ Sylvia Chan piece was made by Sylvia, "Racism is structural and institutional more than it is personal and sentimental." In my experience, narrative film handles political policy and cultural meta-shifting poorly. A film can show you people making the decisions and then the implications of those decisions on other people’s lives. A film can tell you why someone partook in a certain course of action directly by spelling it in voice-over, expository dialogue, or leading montage; or it can do the same indirectly by using a bunch of different narrative techniques. Something I feel a film can not do is to supply a world view that informs action.

When combating systemic or institutional problems you can attempt to subvert the machine by asking, "When", "Where", and "How", but "Why" is the only relevant question. "Why" seeks root, complete responses and film simply can't deal with "Why"s completely. The only "why"s that film can answer are very broad and in the case of dealing an issue as complex as "race" ultimately useless.

Why did X walk across the street?
Because of fear.
Why did X punch Y in the nads?
Because of jealousy?
Why did X lay pipe to Z?
Because of lust.

Get it.

If you start asking questions like, why did white X not hire brown Q even though brown Q was just as qualified as eggshell G for the position?
ehhhhhhhhhh.......... because of........ ehhhhhh.

Well what if brown Q wasn't as qualified as eggshell G but they had similar IQs, were raised within a 1.5 miles of each other but were zoned into 2 different school districts growing up. G's school spent $12,000 per student and Q's spent $4,300 per student. Why were the school districts zoned that way?
eeehhhhhhhhhhhhh............ eeehhhhhhh................

You can write a scene that deals with these issues but I doubt it can deal with the true complexity of these situations.

In short my point is movies are for jackin' off, explosions, and witty "banter". Movies need to learn their role.

- Cola

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the voltron gig seems way more fitting for the flaming lips than neptunes. -brains


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