imomus (imomus) wrote,

Hello! This is Click Opera.

1. What's this? This is the last entry in the blog called Click Opera, which means that, in the funny through-the-looking-glass world of blogs, it's the first page future internauts and web adventurers will come to. So think of this not so much as an ending as an entrance. What you've reached is the door to "probably the best-written blog on the Anglophone web", according to Warren Ellis. "It doesn't get any better than Click Opera," said novelist Dennis Cooper.

2. Who's behind Click Opera? The best introduction to who I am is this article in The Guardian Review. I'm a Scot, a musician, a writer, and -- according to this page, gulp! -- the 4697th most significant contemporary visual artist working today. My Wikipedia page is here. You can download six of my early albums free here. Books I've written are here and here. I want to write more books, so if you're a publisher email me! That goes for people wanting to reproduce bits of this blog in print, too.

3. Where can we find out what you're up to, post-blog? From my "personal digital assistant" Maria Wolonski, who announces my engagements in the charming, ringing tones of a talking clock. From the Momus concerts page on LastFM. From my Flickr page and my two YouTube accounts, momasu and bookofjokes. I may even revive my old website (1995-2003),

4. What do you plan to do now? I want to write books and articles. Maybe teach at an art school. Deliver lectures in many lands. Make some more records. Play concerts. Walk around the world. Learn to speak Japanese and live in Japan. Write my own regular newspaper column of cultural commentary (I've written for people like Wired, The New York Times, Frieze, Spike, The Wire, 032c). Hold some more art shows. If you can help me realise these dreams, email me, please!

5. If I want to stage a Momus concert, what do I need to do? Tell your friendly local promoter (or it could be an art gallerist, store owner, festival director) that all I require is travel expenses (from Berlin), accommodation, plus a fee of around €1000 for a regular Momus show (festivals tend to pay more). If that works for the promoters, get them to drop me a line and we'll take it from there. I also do art performances -- live storytelling and unreliable tours.

6. Will you keep the Click Opera archive up indefinitely? Yes, I will. If you feel like helping with the modest LiveJournal and PhotoBucket hosting costs -- or compensating me directly for some illegal mp3s of my songs you've downloaded -- you can make a donation via PayPal here.

7. What's the best way to search the Click Opera archive? Simply type the word imomus plus your search term into a search engine, then follow the links headed "Click Opera".

8. Will you keep reading and responding to comments left under this entry? Yes, I will. Leave your email address if you want a personal response.

9. Why did you stop updating Click Opera? Not because anything went wrong or it got unpleasant. Quite the reverse, in fact. Click Opera was just too damned good: too compelling, too time-consuming, too satisfying. It took over my life. It became my job, the main topic of my conversation, the hub of my self-mediated fame: "Aren't you that guy from the internet?" (Read the piece called Clickswansong if you want to know more about why this blog came to a "happy ending". Or listen to this radio interview with KCSB's Colin Marshall.)

10. Can I step through the door now? Please do! There's a lot to read! You can browse backwards from here, or start at the beginning (Thursday January 15th 2004) and work forwards. The calendar is your friend, or you may prefer to read through the titles displayed in the month view.

Thanks to everyone who's contributed to Click Opera, this big vineyard! You've given me years of pleasure! Happiness, as T.E. Lawrence said, "is a by-product of absorption", and blogging -- the best hobby I ever had -- has been absorbing indeed.


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February 10 2010, 23:46:57 UTC 10 years ago

Thanks NIck



February 11 2010, 00:23:45 UTC 10 years ago

Bye Cick Opera. You made my interest in Japan remain fresh and vogue even when I got past my youthful William Gibson-influenced Orientalist stage and felt a little disenchanted. And now: Hello Momus. Come visit sometime when you're learning Japanese.
(and happy birthday to my favourite birthday Grinch)

Happy birthday, Nick.
Will see you still.

x, Culture Pirate

m(_ _)m


February 11 2010, 02:47:55 UTC 10 years ago

Dear Whiskery Asian Grandma,

10,000 thanks for these long years of Internet companionship. I
haven't posted a single worthwhile response to any of the entries
you've written, but your essays (and the free-for-all discussion which
often ensued in the comments section) certainly gave me a lot to think
about. As luck would have it, I've ended up living in many of the
same places as you over the past decade: Japan, France, Berlin, and
the United States. I even saw you once or twice at social functions,
for examble that offbeat rice cracker soy sauce printing press
exhibition a few years back at Staalplaat...floating around in an
eerily parallel geographic orbit, I found myself confronting and
musing over a lot of the same cultural phenomena. Your blog was
always there to point out curiosities and dwell on the details of
these places, all the while mixing it up with a healthy dose of art,
literary recommendations, and philosophical banter. Whether I agreed
with what you said or not, it was great to feel challenged by the
content of a blog, and to be able to look forward to having a
well-written, engaging lump of media to digest almost every day of the
week for years. Considering the relentless barrage of criticism which
any blog featuring even slightly debatable content is bound to
attract, there is no question that your perseverance deserves
acknowledgment (cue "Pomp and Circumstance"). As is often the case
in ceremonial circumstances, the Japanese know how to say it best:


Happy 50th, and good luck in your endeavors from here on out~

- patrick


February 11 2010, 03:02:45 UTC 10 years ago

goodbye, momus, for now.

on behalf of anons and lj users we wish you the best and we are hoping to see you blog once more (i have always believed the essay form to be one of your best mediums) and we are sorry for the sorry state of the commenting these days. hopefully, your short-term absence will change all that. we wished you no harm or malice and you have proved ever the gentleman in the midst of the fray. god speed, good luck, and the best of wishes.

-from kansas
thanks so much momus, the songs have always been amazing, click opera has been fantastic, the next stuff is going to be, well... surprising - I guess we can predict that much...

at my own horrible edinburgh boearding school [a near neighbour of the one you attended I believe] my final report from one of the teachers read: 'he was often perverse but never dull' - I was so proud and now of course I think of that wee epithet as highly click-opera-appropriate...

bon voyage!
thank you very much for your time and work and insight

i deeply appreciate, and have for some time, your gift.

so long!


February 11 2010, 07:05:44 UTC 10 years ago

It seems that the long-dreaded moment has come, eventually.
Thank you, Nick Opera! For the past six years of clicky, juicy posts; for your generous attitude towards us readers and your sheherazadian efforts that have made this fabulous opera possible.
Please, keep telling stories!


(Oh, no! Look! The end of Click Opera has already made its first victim!)

Photobucket (

(by the way, happy birthday!)
Clumsy me, I made the pathos deflate! This bad, tautological image link formatting is the visual equivalent to faltering while telling a joke.
Jarod Lanier, Carles from HipsterRunoff, and a pile of others are shouting to anyone who will listen that the human race has overdeveloped infrastructure for spreading ideas, especially those producing high short-term gains for self-interested imitators. So it seems important to balance this with infrastructure for producing new ideas with long-term other-interest.

This is where a published collection of Click Opera posts would come in handy. Some of the more productive recurring threads are those about challenging the social and cultural cognitive mechanisms that underlie restrictive preconceptions, not just the preconceptions themselves. These could be used to circuit-bend some recurring cultural/political/aesthetic debates, or at least make a textbook for conceptual art majors. Since you're not necessarily confined to the linear physical format of a bound volume, different entries or sections could be styled after the Oblique Strategies deck and called up at random.

Of course, the dullest and most dead-end way to use the ideas in Click Opera would be to mindlessly re-apply them instead of re-interpreting them. As I think has been suggested before, perhaps including some of the more interesting comments along with the entries would showcase the vital process a bit better (rather than only using them to polish up the original work and thanking the commenters in acknowledgments that very few read, as in the traditional publishing model). Maybe call it "Click Opera: Selected Blog Arias, with Chorus"?

An obvious assignment for students would be to continue a particular conversation, perhaps in the voice or style of a "real" commenter. This is similar to the way participants are assigned a position to argue in competitive debating, and I don't know how the process could be prevented from degenerating into that or tedious PC / academic cultural philosophy exchanges. Perhaps instruct students to try to have exactly the same conversation about something else, and improvise in character when it starts falling apart.

Or maybe you could forbid the teaching of this curriculum by any but yourself and selected disciples, and become a subculture therapist cult leader à la Carl Rogers or Moshé Feldenkrais, though that doesn't seem your style.

Tom W.
By the way, congratulations on making something this interesting and fun for so long, and good luck in whatever you end up pivoting to.

This is a pretty good send-off / birthday party / funeral you're having here. Do you feel like Tom Sawyer?

(and sorry for the typo above -- Jaron Lanier, not Jarod.)
...happy birthday for yesterday, and thanks so much for writing this blog (so regularly and for so long). I've got some more stuff to send you by mixtape to Berlin, though perhaps this time I'll have mercy and send some kind of digital copy instead of an analogue tape.

All best wishes and thanks once again



February 11 2010, 09:28:44 UTC 10 years ago

Welcome to the 50s!
(No big difference, really.)

It was very nice meeting you in Tokyo in December and hope to see you again some time, here or even in Europe somewhere.

In the meantime, I too will miss my daily dose of Click Opera.

Thanks Momus - my daily reading in Kraków of your blog has been an immense pleasure.


February 11 2010, 11:41:06 UTC 10 years ago

Bye Bye.... we already miss you!!!!!!!

Pedro Félix
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