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Siding with Cage against Branca - click opera — LiveJournal
February 2010
 
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Sun, Jan. 25th, 2009 04:02 am
Siding with Cage against Branca

70CommentReply

fan_kuei
David
Sun, Jan. 25th, 2009 12:02 pm (UTC)
"They never lose their cool."

1. I like artists who keep their cool (you, for instance), and I agree that this has something to do with preferring conversation to aggressive posturing, but why make an absolute binary out of this? The way you seem to present it above, one either keeps one's cool or one is to be reviled.

2. We feel a sense of "liberty and fraternity", listening to Gainsbourg and Brassens because the sensual/intellectual discourse is one we enjoy, but many do not and might not even be equipped to do so (and it is not clear that we would still enjoy it if they did). Why do we need to position ourselves against an alternative form of interaction? What defines a moshpit if not "liberty and fraternity"? (Yes, there are bad, involuntary moshpits, but there are also snide and exclusionary conversations..)

3. To me, this intolerance (intemperance borders on euphemism) seems to stem from begrudging another music it's "easy power". It's unfortunate that three stupid, angry chords can be rewarded with as much praise as through composed lieder, but it feels unnecessarily small-minded to therefore invalidate the former. I'm not saying that its just sour grapes, but what if not jealousy or narrow-mindedness provokes the crucial step from merely disliking to condemning and invalidating a genre?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jan. 25th, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)
Re: "They never lose their cool."

Well, this is perhaps the most interesting part of the Cage question. Cage's position here includes both the political desire never to judge anything or anyone ever again and the political need to judge, siphon and discriminate.

I think it's roughly commensurate with the difference between arguments concerning "culture" and arguments concerning "politics". In cultural arguments, nothing can ever be wrong, it's just context and custom and "how they do things in their culture". In political arguments, you constantly make "tough choices" and value judgments. Obama "invalidates" Guantanamo and aid which denies abortion rights. That's his job, that's what we expect him to do.

Art uses both methods -- cultural ones and political ones. It is culture, of course, but it's also a series of choices and decisions with political implications.


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