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click opera
February 2010
 
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Mon, May. 25th, 2009 10:06 am
Being boiled

To reduce and essentialize, we could say that all language tends to reduce and essentialize. For instance, we just reduced and essentialized language right there, but there's a silver lining: though we threw away a ton of truth, we summed up language quite neatly.

It's actually great fun -- and very telling -- to reduce and essentialize things and people; to try to catch their nature with the bare minimum of strokes, as a caricaturist or a Japanese calligrapher does. Aki and I were sitting in the bamboo backyard of Supercore yesterday playing a game in which you have to sum people up in five adjectives. Aki summed me up with: transparent, forward, light, cautious, chewy. I boiled Aki down to: charismatic, energetic, callous, talented, asexual.



I just discovered a rather wonderful thing, a satirical Twitter feed of Click Opera called Twit Opera. Since April, someone has taken it upon him- or herself to make a daily parody summary of my blog entries, tweaking them to make me look pervy and self-serving, narcissistic and sweeping. Naturally, according to Humperson's Third Law of Meta, this means that the Twitter feed is, itself, even more pervy, me-serving and sweeping. Satire usually ends up not just embodying all the things it seeks to pillory, but making them harder, better, faster, stronger.

Twit Opera is even more me than me, just like Dram Queen Adonis Du Licht when she's dressed up as "pretty Momus". Like Adonis Du Licht, Twit Opera is the platonic essence of Momus (and, to sum up Plato in two essential adjectives, the man was wrong but amusing). The first entry reads: "As a childless hipster working on the fringes of the art and music worlds, I am a model for all humanity." The second says: "I do like Jap vag. I also like 1972. Everything was better when I was 12, even sex."

Other pithy entries: "Slums are cool." "In Brooklyn, I'm scared. In Manhattan, I'm famous." "Roberta Smith loves me. I love Roberta Smith. I am the most interesting thing in New York right NOW." "Every lie creates a parallel world; a world in which 80s pomo schtick is true." "Once I slagged off Vampire Weekend. Now I hang out with them." "Pregnant Japanese chicks are hot."

Now, these are pretty fair summaries of the Click Opera entries in question. Sure, they leave out the really interesting things in the entries, the things that make them worth writing and reading in the first place: the diversions, the passing insights, the pithy asides, the felicities of style. But as unfair reductions of things that are themselves unfair reductions of the world, they're quite apt, deft and neat. Hey, there's the line whoever writes Twit Opera can sum up today's entry with: "Someone's doing an unfair parody of my blog as a Twitter feed. Since I'm an attention whore, I've decided it's apt, deft and neat." (And with that suggestion we pull off what Humperson would call a "meta snooker".)



As perhaps the last person likely to agree with our best British lyricist's line "Jesus save me from pity, sympathy and people discussing me", I'm also pleased to find a slightly more measured summation of my essence going on over at bulletin board I Love Everything, where a chance encounter with rock writer Scott Seward on a Massachusetts street the other day triggered fond and unfond summaries of "the essence of Momus" based on the days (2001 to 2006) when I used to contribute to the board (in 2006 I started feeling lost in the wilderness of opinion and stopped).

Here a more nuanced caricature emerges, with an interesting nebulousness. Rather than being a set of clear attributes and attitudes, Momus here is seen as a kind of mirror or litmus, a statement about you. "He had his troll-like tendencies," muses poster Masonic Boom, "but in the best possible way. He's one of those people who says outrageous things in order to force one to confront one's own prejudices and one's own thought patterns and beliefs... One's reaction to him said as much about the reactor as it ever did about him."



Tracer Hand adds: "I disagree with a lot of things Momus says but I like that he says them. Even when he's wrong wrong wrong it's like Oliver Wendell Holmes said about friends with strong opinions, they're like rough tree bark you can scratch yourself against."

Over on Twit Opera, that might become: "Scratch my back, I'll rub you up the wrong way." In the bamboo backyard of Supercore it might get boiled down to five nouns: outrage, provocation, mirror, litmus, bark.

(Momus tries to sum himself up with a three-hour retrospective at Johnny Brendas in Philly tonight.)

34CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)

10 Euros say that you are writing Twit Opera yourself and just "meta'd" yourself via self-reflecting narcissism unto another plane of existence.

That "Humperson's Third Law of Meta" link cracked me up.


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qscrisp
qscrisp
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)

How can I be the first to comment here?

I noticed the Momus mention in the Morrissey article.

I think it should be - and I say this as a Morrissey fan - the greatest British lyricist with proven mass appeal, or something like that. Mind you, I think even his simplicity can be deceptive, which is another virtue as a lyricist...


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vikinggreeneyes
vikinggreeneyes
vikinggreeneyeswithgold
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)

I find your thoughts quite "engaging" as they spark my creative sense. My creativity
unlike yours is very secret, and shared currently only with my imagined muses...
Whenever I've read your journal posts I feel that wellspring deep down in my HEARTFELT
self=so you are a real Muse. Of course, I've the regret of anonymity which vicariously
is resolved while reading your thoughts and allusions thereof.

This Twitter thing is like a tick, which does not have the (pardon me for saying) the rapaciousness of an amoeba=so I guess a lit match will do the trick.
I was going to check it out but I'm sure you've mentioned the best parts so to speak...
Well, and the photos of said satirist was enough.

By the way, on a more proverbial topic=how to you keep your eye patch on?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)

Japanese knicker elastic. I know that sounds like a pithy parody, but it's totally true: only the transparent elastic used in Japanese panties keeps its form over time, neither stretching nor shrinking. How I discovered this I leave it up to you to imagine.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
we we we we

Also would bet on Momus being the wit behind the twit.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
Re: we we we we

Nah, Momus could never have had the self-restraint to wait a month before telling us about it if he was writing it.


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jah_zoldat
jah_zoldat
юный негодяй
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)

Very interesting, what will Twitter reply for it ))


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(Anonymous)
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)

Twitter is talking about me. A message board is talking about me. I am talking about me.about 1 hour ago from web


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(Anonymous)
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)

Think you've been busted pimping your own pap again. Still who else will do it for you. When will you relent and get your myspace page up?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)

Adonis Du Licht's parody is interesting, it throws some light on how parody works. For instance, her take on Momus (with its over-the-counter eyepatch, its 90s graphics t-shirt) is a take on this 1998 Momus:



2009 Momus wears a salwar kamiz and a clip-on mullet:



But to make the parody Momus look like the 2009 Momus -- though technically "right" -- would make him look "wrong". A parody mustn't be true-to-life, it must be true-to-lie -- "the lie that tells the truth".


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(Anonymous)
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)

Please explain the whys and wherefores of the clip-on mullet.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand


(Anonymous)
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)

Psssst.. Yo, momus...

This is Ryan Hemsworth, I made a new album,
I hope you can give'r a listen!

http://8tracks.com/ryanhemsworth/ryan-hemsworth--909s-in-the-summertime-2009

or download the zip here:
http://www.zshare.net/download/60498691930106bd/


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(Anonymous)
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
Impostermomus...

Have you seen the picture Twitter guy is using? Momus appears to have an exceedingly large penis!

Is the penis a digitally enhanced imposter? If not, it is most impressive...


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33mhz
33mhz
The Queen of Overdub Kisses
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Impostermomus...

Ask Ms. Plaster-Caster.


ReplyThread Parent
theartoflamb
theartoflamb
josewilliamvigers
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)

I love this so much.

Also, I've noticed that the first comment of most of your blogs are anonymous and slightly hostile.


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33mhz
33mhz
The Queen of Overdub Kisses
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)

Adonis' stubble make-up is amazing. Too many drag kings opt for a flat gray five o'clock shadow or a little pringles moustache done in eyeliner.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)

Nice shot twit opera!


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crowjake
crowjake
crowjake
Mon, May. 25th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)

twitter is pretty apt for parody eh!

140 characters / 5 adjectives

I certainly would not bother reading the bulk of your blogs just for the blatencies which have been parodied... so it's with thanks from me that the parodies are nice and short!

I've often thought it'd be interesting to see a computer generated imomus entry by one of the people who comments about the predictability of the content, but I'd guess it'd take way too much effort to read through! Thank fuck that summaries are short... thank fuck the sky is blue. I like it like that.

:D


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(Anonymous)
Tue, May. 26th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
New York show...

3 hours in Philly?! Tell me there'll be three hours in New York tomorrow night.

Looking forward



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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, May. 26th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
Re: New York show...

The show is about 150 minutes, wherever it plays.


ReplyThread Parent
magick_temple
magick_temple
magick_temple
Tue, May. 26th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)

If I were the satirist running the twitter (and I wish I were), I would so have to have made my response "Someone's doing an unfair parody of my twitter as a Live Journal. Since I'm an attention whore, I've decided it's apt, deft and neat."


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, May. 26th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)

That would've been a nice meta-flip!


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