Re: Earnestness in pop music

1

The earnestness of old-timey country is simply a more authentic existential form of irony, a Kierkeggaardian irony. Jimme Rodgers has more in common with Robert Johnson than is usualy acknowledged by the racist music snobs.

Picked up a ten volume history of country western music a few weeks ago. It ends around the death of Hank Williams. I'm even liking the Tennessee Ernie fucking Ford.

Maybe I am fucking tasteless. But maybe, and I can't phrase this latinate bullshit felicitously, as Aquinas said, The beautiful is that of which the apprehension of is pleasing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:21 PM
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Great story. But just admit that you fetishize the odd, young Ben.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:22 PM
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And we can always do worse than trying to follow the Japanese, the culture of the transcendental aesthetic.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:23 PM
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It is a great story, thanks for posting the link.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:24 PM
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2:Ain't nothing wrong with xenophilia, as long as one maintains a universal alienation.

"Everything human is alien to me" = "Nothing human is alien to me." Kierkegaardian irony.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:28 PM
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Great story. But just admit that you fetishize the odd, young Ben.

It was really charming, honest.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:37 PM
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Hey, it's Bob McManus. Bob, you never recommended any particular Anita O'Day records in that other thread. What would you recommend? Please, no box sets.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:42 PM
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I don't want to start a threadjack, though. This article is great, the linked song (Hirano's rendition of "Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia") is great, and it makes me remember that this blog's authors' book was recommended here and I still haven't read it.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:44 PM
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6:I hope there isn't any fucking condescension going on here, any kind of Orientalism.

The Japanese are way smarter than us.

Transcendental Idealism

"...but Buddhists seem to have no explanation of how this is the case, and much of the literature on the aforementioned Buddhists involves straightforward discussion of atoms and minds as if they are separate. This makes their position very similar to transcendental idealism, resembling Kant's philosophy where there are only things-in-themselves (which are very much like philosophical atoms), and phenomenal properties."

An true appreciation of Flatt & Scruggs is a path to sartori. It's zen thing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:46 PM
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7:I am not into jazz right now, and I don't even remember if I have any O'Day over in the boxes. I always like shoving my playlists at people tho, and now I have an excuse. Then I will take my ironic bullshit away. Skipping some obscure stuff and titles, which don't matter:

Appletree Theatre
Eroc
Detroit
Nanci Griffith
Blackmore's Night
Jimmy Rogers (blues, not country)
Linda Lewis
Luttle Walter
Neil Young
JJ Cale
Quicksilves Messenger Service
Jelly Roll Morton
Lou Reed
Blue Oyster Cult
Amazing Blondel
Otis Rush
Maxophone
Rod Stewart(early)
Mashmakhan
Allman Brothers
Wilde Flowers (pre-Softs)
Writing on the Wall (yah Scotsdudes)
Richie Havens

This won't happen again.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:54 PM
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By Sartori do you mean the cheese vendor or the political scientist? I must admit to being puzzled either way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:55 PM
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I hope there isn't any fucking condescension going on here, any kind of Orientalism.

The Japanese are way smarter than us.

Priceless.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:56 PM
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12: don't get him started you wily mystic, you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:57 PM
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For obvious reasons, I don't recommend music. Good night.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 7:57 PM
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12:I have been challenged. Not Orientalism, but an objective difference between a culture based on Zen Buddhism and one based on fucking fundamentalist evangelical Protestantism.

Data:How many Japanese do you think are creationists? Well over half of Americans are.

Yeah, smarter.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:01 PM
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I have been challenged.

Awesome moment from high school: Japanese kid with an accent and fairly deep voice says, "You have raised a good point;" guy on the other side of the room responds in a fake accent: "Now I must kill you."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:04 PM
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Thanks for the richard thompson tickets. My wife and I went but we got there too late for the earnestness.


Posted by: joeo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:14 PM
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Surely Thompson himself must have contributed some earnestness.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:17 PM
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Awesome moment from high school: Japanese kid with an accent and fairly deep voice says, "You have raised a good point;" guy on the other side of the room responds in a fake accent: "Now I must kill you."

Racist, but hilarious. I hope the Japanese kid laughed along, and then beat the shit out of the guy later.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:30 PM
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2 notwithstanding, this guy isn't a novelty act. You'd think so from the description, but he's actually the best current performer of Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams I've seen or heard. You might go to see him for the novelty, but you'd stay because his performance is stunning.

Of course, to appreciate that fact, you have to be able to appreciate that (a) his yodelling is fucking incredible and (b) that's not ironic appreciation of yodelling - if you can't be sincerely moved by yodelling, you won't understand the fuss.


Posted by: freight train | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:39 PM
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20: Cool. Because otherwise the article is pretty damned patronizing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:42 PM
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That guy sounds good! Is he earnest? He didn't sound like he was trying too hard or anything.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:43 PM
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My favorite Yodelling is in Layla. Brings me to tears, every time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:43 PM
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It's like the Paul Pena story, in reverse.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:44 PM
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Oh those wacky Occidentals, with their strange fascination with Tuvan culture. A whole country of people like that, can you imagine?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:49 PM
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Are we talking about music again? This link goes to a ~120MB zip file containing 19 mp3s of old school soul and funk. 79 minutes of thumping bass, horn blasts, burbling Hammond organ, and growling vocals, guaranteed to make you shake your shiny, tiny hiney. Converted to CD audio, it should just fit on a blank, though it wasn't easy paring it down to CD length.

Track listing:
01 Bobby Rush - Night Fishin'
02 Ohio Players - Fopp
03 Darrow Fletcher - Improve
04 Derek Martin - Soul Power
05 Little Milton - Grits Ain't Groceries
06 Allen Toussaint - Goin' Down
07 Ohio Players - Far East Mississippi
08 Les McCann - Us
09 The Dells - I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself
10 Harlem River Drive - Seeds of Life
11 Howard Tate - 8 Days on the Road
12 Funkadelic - Good to Your Earhole
13 Bobby Byrd - Try It Again
14 Junior Walker and the All-Stars - Home Cookin'
15 Al Green - I Gotta Be More (Take Me Higher)
16 Average White Band - Person to Person
17 Fenton Robinson - She's a Wiggler
18 The Fatback Band - (Hey) I Feel Real Good
19 Funk Factory - Rien Ne Va Plus

Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip and get on board the apostroship.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:51 PM
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I just called to activate my phone, and the corporation's automated reponse affected a sexy breezy manner. "Hey there, just want to give you a 'heads-up' that our activation centre is now closed."
A heads-up. This is my first cell phone; do they all say stuff like that?


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:54 PM
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Thanks, apo!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:55 PM
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Yay! Thanks, Apostropher!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:57 PM
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Yay apo, and your 4 hours of sleep! Thanks.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 8:57 PM
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27: The activation center employess are all busy chillaxin'.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:00 PM
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I just called to activate my phone, and the corporation's automated reponse affected a sexy breezy manner. "Hey there, just want to give you a 'heads-up' that our activation centre is now closed."

Eeeurgh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:01 PM
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Racist, but hilarious.

Gah, not racist, just mockery.

Awesome moment from jr. high, band edition: Large white kid has been making fun of Korean kid's accent for months. Korean kid finally snaps, and takes a wild swing at the honky with his clarinet case, and it catches annoying honky kid flush on the side of the face. Totally drops honky kid. A satisfying amount of blood on the pavement, around which we later chalk a body outline.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:02 PM
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Nice, apo. Good to see some Go-go up in this joint finally. I have to revise my opinion of liberal blogger's taste in music now, don't I. Well, darn.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:04 PM
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Needless to say I misplaced an apostrophe.

Okay, I'm going to try and post a mix that most of you will hate, but possibly -- just possibly -- one or two of you will enjoy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:06 PM
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Good to see some Go-go up in this joint finally

Chuck Brown gives me a chubby.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:07 PM
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I love the go-go. Man, it would be great to get a job that would put me back in DC.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:10 PM
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Thanks, apo.

My first week in Japan, I went to this bar and got talking to a young salaryman whose English was nearly unintelligible. He excused himself (to go to the bathroom, I assumed), and while he was gone 'Love Me Tender' played on the sound system. I realized soon after that upstairs they had a karaoke setup (a new concept to me at the time), and this guy with the impenetrable accent had done a phoneme-perfect imitation of Elvis.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:14 PM
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Not Orientalism, but an objective difference between a culture based on Zen Buddhism and one based on fucking fundamentalist evangelical Protestantism.

You might want to ask all of Japan's neighbors how much Japan's objectively different culture and greater smarts marked an improvement on Western-style Imperialism. Just sayin'.

And seriously? If your sentence above and pretty much all your comments in this thread about Japan aren't examples of Orientalism, then I don't think the term has much meaning.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:16 PM
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This obliquely reminds me of Petty Booka. The first time I heard their cover of "I Fall to Pieces", I like to cried. They too seem like just a novelty act, but damn, they're really touching and good.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:19 PM
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Woo-hoo! Quentin Jackson vs. Dan Henderson starting right now!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:27 PM
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Free TV no less! Woop, woop!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:28 PM
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Channel??


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:28 PM
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Spike


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:29 PM
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Sweet, thanks.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:31 PM
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Wow, that knee could've been a problem. Some literal saved-by-the-bell action.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:36 PM
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Some good grappling out of Quinton.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:42 PM
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Brutal. If it were me? I'd be pretty tired.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 9:55 PM
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Rampage has it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:02 PM
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Rampage won it, but not by a bunch. Good rematch potential.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:10 PM
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Possibly, but if his grappling stays that good, I'm not sure who of the oldsters in that division could really take him; he had Henderson's number on the ground for 3 of the 5 rounds, which is no small thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:15 PM
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Also, Matt Hamill got robbed. Homer judges.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:18 PM
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Ya think? I was okay with it.

O (current) T: I have posted my mixtape, hated though it will be, here. Apo is duty bound to download it, is my opinion.

As are the rest of you.

Track list:
01 Leo, the Lord of Lights - Mort Garson
02 Cassetto - Neu!
03 Beau Mot Plage (Freeform Reform Parts I&II) - Isolée
04 Easy Love - MSTRKRFT
05 Gasolina (Crookers Crunk) - Bonde Do Role
06 Sweat - Juiceboxxx and Dre Soul
07 Get (Before the Night is Over) (Mauricio Bubellini Mix) - Global Deejays feat. Technotronic
08 Tits & Acid - Simian Mobile Disco
09 Rapture (Freelance Hellraiser Mix) - My Robot Friend
10 (Just Like We) Brekdown (Booka Shade Vocal Mix) - Hot Chip
11 Saturate - Chemical Brothers
12 Days To Come - Bonobo
13 Notemoves - Grovesnor

No idea if the archive will work correctly, apologies in advance, &c &c.

Download it, bastards!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:26 PM
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39:You are literally out of your mind.

Orientalism

"Eastern art and literature were still seen as "exotic" and as inferior to Classical Graeco-Roman ideals. Their political and economic systems were generally thought to be feudal "oriental despotisms" and their alleged cultural inertia was considered to be resistant to progress. Many critical theorists regard this form of Orientalism as part of a larger, ideological colonialism justified by the concept of the "white man's burden". The colonial project, then, is not imagined as a process of domination for political and economic gain, it is figured as a selfless endeavor carried out to recuperate the Orientals from their own backwardness and self-mismanagement."

If you cannot distinguish between a concept like "barbaric backward feudal cultures that must be redeemed by white Christians" and "I think Zen Buddhism is a more sensible philosophy and cultural base than Jerry Falwell's Christianity"...if you consider both the same colonialist condescension, than you are incapable of understanding any culture, including your own.

Bernard Lewis wants Iraq to be more like the US. I want the US to be more like Iraq, or what Iraq would be like if the true Orientalists would get out of its way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:32 PM
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You might want to ask all of Japan's neighbors how much Japan's objectively different culture and greater smarts marked an improvement on Western-style Imperialism. Just sayin'.

I suspect it might be an aspect of Orientalism or cultural imperialism to say that culture has some direct relation to militarism or imperialism. It is frankly much harder for me to connect Zen Buddhism to aggressive foreign policy than to connect evangelical Protestantism, although, as I said, the attempt in itself is likely misguided and wicked.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:41 PM
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Zen Buddhism is not the only religion in Japan, you know.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:42 PM
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And of course, Japan was not in any way aggressive toward its neighbors, for millenia, until it came under the influence of Western Capitalism. One of the least imperialist nations in history before that.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:44 PM
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And yet the Japan you're talking about, the one whose people are smarter than us, has been heavily influenced by Western Capitalism.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:46 PM
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56:Shinto, yeah. I'll go look it up, but my impression is that it is mostly a kind of "cold" (Levi-Strauss) animism that does not lend itself to aggression. Plus some Confucian imfluence.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:47 PM
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Christianity was also very popular in Japan when it was first introduced (in the seventeenth century). So popular that the government eventually banned it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:49 PM
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58:Not necessarily. The Meiji to WWII period was an aberration, the Japanese tradition of using aestheticism to defuse political and social tensions is very very old. As is the appropriation and appreciation of other cultures.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:52 PM
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60:I told you they were smarter than us.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 10:52 PM
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And of course, Japan was not in any way aggressive toward its neighbors, for millenia, until it came under the influence of Western Capitalism

The people of Korea and Okinawa would likely disagree.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:02 PM
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Not to mention the Ainu.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:11 PM
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The Conquest of Ainu Lands.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:12 PM
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63:Korea just once, around 1600, before Westernization according to Wiki.

"During this period, Koreans played an important role as a transmitter of cultural advances, aiding the formation of early Japanese culture and politics. Census records from early Japan show that most Japanese aristocratic clans traced their lineage to the Korean peninsula. The current Japanese Emperor stated that "it is recorded in the Chronicles of Japan that the mother of Emperor Kammu was of the line of King Muryeong of Baekje," and "I believe it was fortunate to see such culture and skills transmitted from Korea to Japan." [7]"

So the relationship was always pretty close.

OTOH, China was constantly a threat and problem for Korea. Yet we don't view the Chinese as inherently aggressive.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:14 PM
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Yet we don't view the Chinese as inherently aggressive.

We don't?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:19 PM
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I mean, I don't, and I assume you don't either, but then we don't view the Japanese as inherently aggressive either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:19 PM
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But there are people who do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:20 PM
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Aw hell, if you guys are considering the extension of hegemony from a city-state to its close contiguous neighbours as imperialism, so that the relationship of Renaissance Florence to Sienna is comparable or equivalent to that of Britain to India and China...then okay, Japan was fucking Rome. Jeez.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:23 PM
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I see no reason to not consider that imperialism. And you still haven't addressed the Ainu issue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:24 PM
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People, the Protestantism that this country was based on was in no way fucking Evangelical. In the north, it was quite the opposite: people were either chosen by god to be saved, or they weren't. A person's religious life was thus dedicated to figuring out if they were saved or not, as evidenced by both behavior and fortune.

In the south, it was more straight-up Church of England, where if you were baptized and confessed your sins, you'd do OK.

Evangelism was much more important to the Spanish, and capital-E Evangelism is a modern fucking movement.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:25 PM
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64, 65: True, and the Kurils and the rest of the Ryukyu Islands. The Japanese took what they could get.

I've never thought of the Chinese as any more or less inherently aggressive than the Japanese, or a lot of other people.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:26 PM
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As if "inherently aggressive" ever came down to more than who had bigger sticks handy.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:39 PM
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72:No 19th Century American missionaries in China etc. I though the movement was reasonably large, but I stand corrected.

73: I do think perceived history does have an effect on a nation's psychology, one of the best examples being the thin little eastern strip that was revolutionary America.

And there is a difference between Edo reaching to Kyoto, and the Hans and Manchus eating at least one entire fucking continent.

The Manchus attacked Japan twice, and the Japanese built walls. I really doubt "they took all they could".

We need to understand why a small city-state in Italy conquered the world, or one island nation beame something the sun never set on, and another never even sent a scouting party due west.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:39 PM
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And, 57, et al:
To paraphrase Chris Rock, a culture is only as imperialistic as its opportunities.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:40 PM
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Also, I saw a pitch-perfect Elvis impersonator in Thailand, and he rocked. Worked a crowd like I've never seen before, and in two languages.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:41 PM
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The Manchus attacked Japan twice, and the Japanese built walls. I really doubt "they took all they could".

I wonder who was running China in 1896.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:45 PM
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I really doubt "they took all they could".

So what could they have taken but didn't?

We need to understand why a small city-state in Italy conquered the world, or one island nation beame something the sun never set on, and another never even sent a scouting party due west.

We do? Why?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:46 PM
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Axe handles.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:50 PM
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78:Again, I prefer to tak about Japan before it was corrupted by the West. Fascist Japan wasn't really Japan.

79b: So we can understand America.

76 & 79a:It is actually quite easy to attack, rape & pillage. Barbarians and bandits have been doing it forever. Japan certainly could have sent raiding parties west, just as England & France attacked each other for a hundred years. It is easy.

What is very hard is holding, defending, and making secure natural or appropriated territory. Chris Rock is mostly wrong. Imperialism isn't about opportunities.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:54 PM
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Longer teofilo@79.2: History is a waste of time/total drag.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 8-07 11:55 PM
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I'm enjoying the mix, Tweety.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:01 AM
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81.2 makes me gag. So the ultimate goal of history as a field is to better understand America? Blogger, please.

81.3: Banditry is not imperialism. Imperialism is the extension of sovereignty, nominal or actual. Compare the economies of Puerto Rico and Basra if you need a demonstration.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:01 AM
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78:Again, I prefer to tak about Japan before it was corrupted by the West. Fascist Japan wasn't really Japan.

So Japan didn't conquer places that were already occupied by people with stronger armies (but did incorporate the Ainu, whose existence you haven't acknowledged, but whose relations with the Japanese can be seen as an example of a process similar to the territorial expansion of the United States and the European colonies that preceded it, and which could also be compared with the Russians expanding into Siberia and the Caucasus, or the Prussians on the Oderbruch, or a number of other examples). And the current Japanese emperor, quoted in a Guardian article quoted in wikipedia demonstrates that relations with Korea were close. Therefore, Japan: inherently not aggressive. When Japan did conquer places it wasn't really Japan, because you know what is and what is not Japanese, and what is Japanese is some kind of essential identity that could not have changed after the mid-19th century. Also, the Japanese are smarter than "us." Ok.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:11 AM
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I don't think 82 is a reasonable interpretation of what I said.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:12 AM
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Japan: inherently not aggressive. When Japan did conquer places it wasn't really Japan, because you know what is and what is not Japanese, and what is Japanese is some kind of essential identity that could not have changed after the mid-19th century. Also, the Japanese are smarter than "us." Ok.

Yep, not orientalist at all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:13 AM
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81.2 was a response to 79.2 and not about history as a field but about understanding imperialism.

I can understand why people would think that the history and theory of imperialism was irrelevant to present American politics and foreign policy.

Japan's bad period was mostly a consequence of Commodore Perry sailing into port and saying:"You're asses are mine, little yellow guys. Get to work turning your cherished culture into cheap export trinkets." So the Japanese looked at China, and what Americans (like H Hoover) and the British (Hoover's financiers) did to China, and said we gotta be able to fight America or become their bitches. They are now America's bitches, having lost the war.

America has always been scum, and is responsible, directly and indirectly for most evil in the world for two centuries.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:15 AM
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Seriously Bob, when people get on this kind of jag about the superiority of east Asian cultures, IME they have spent very little actual time around people from said cultures, or have some ridiculously rose tinted glasses on.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:16 AM
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Retroactively, Commodore Perry told Hideyoshi: once you've united Japan, invade Korea.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:18 AM
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86: Of course you don't, because it isn't. What it is is an invitation to expand on what you meant when you implied that understanding the bases of the Roman and British empires is unimportant.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:20 AM
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And really, people do this kind of thing about all kinds of cultures. It's been done with Native Americans, east Asians, etc. People are opportunistic, and they are willing to dominate and take stuff from others if they get the chance. Whitey just happened to make all the guns.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:20 AM
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America has always been scum, and is responsible, directly and indirectly for most evil in the world for two centuries.
Fuck that noise.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:20 AM
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America has always been scum, and is responsible, directly and indirectly for most evil in the world for two centuries.

You must be kidding.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:21 AM
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93, 94: Yeah, we aren't anywhere near that efficient.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:25 AM
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This isn't what I had hoped for with this post.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:28 AM
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93,94:Less than you imagine. America was the number one iron maker by the time of the American Revolution. I personally think our treatment of our indigenous population in the pursuit of resources during the 19th century showed the world what we were, and were willing to do. The American Civil War astonished everyone.
America took Japan, and grabbed their share of China from the British.

The threat and future has been obvious for centuries, and the world knew what would happen when we hit the coast. Defending themselves from the military economic cultural monster has been a priority leading to fascism and communism, and a losing proposition. You think the present world wasn't predictable? It was predictable by 1680.

Rome never attacked Carthage directly before the wars, but Carthage always knew its days were numbered.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:32 AM
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I contributed music, Ben! But then it magically turned into a Far East thread.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:33 AM
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96 -

I swear to God, if we start up with authorial intent now ...


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:34 AM
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In accordance with The Ben's wishes, I will note that Sifu Track Four is unparsable. It's not that that I can call it bad, it's just that I lack the faculties to assess it at all. I was well on my way to seconding 83.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:34 AM
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it magically turned into a Far East thread.

Bob is Unfogged's Magic Hippie.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:34 AM
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And who brought English to Japan? Ranald MacDonald. Globalization works in mysterious ways.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:36 AM
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96 - yeah. But Toshio Hirano sure is great. Actually, to tie it together, part of how he's so great is that when you're listening to him, you don't think about the cultural implications of a strongly-accented Japanese man imitating ostensibly authentic American roots music; or the questions that raises about culture and authenticity; or who's imposing what cultural hegemony on whom. Instead, you're just lost in the beauty and power of his music. Good times.


Posted by: freight train | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:37 AM
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Sneaky, if you ask me.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:41 AM
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What it is is an invitation to expand on what you meant when you implied that understanding the bases of the Roman and British empires is unimportant.

Fair enough. I don't mean to imply that understanding (or, perhaps more realistically, trying to understand) the bases of those empires is unimportant, but I did mean to dispute Bob's contention that it's necessary.

Necessary for what? To understand America, he says. I doubt that, except perhaps in the broad sense that studying one instance of imperialism or hegemony is important to the study of others. Plus, as you noted in 84, this isn't the point of history at all.

There are of course other things that the study of these empires could be necessary for. Understanding the basis of the Roman Empire is surely necessary for a full understanding of the Roman Empire itself, but that's tautological. It's necessary for fully understanding the state of the world at the time the empire existed. There are plenty of things it could be necessary for.

But even granting that, the question remains: necessary for whom? Bob says "we" need to understand these things, but whom does that mean? "We" Americans? "We" commenters at Unfogged?

I don't deny that understanding these things can be useful, but I don't think it's necessary for any reasonable interpretation of who "we" are. But I'm no historian myself.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:41 AM
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Fascist Japan wasn't really Japan.

Bob, that's just crazy talk. You know who shares your argument? The Japanese far right, who might reasonably be described as fascist and who pride themselves on their Japaneseness.

it magically turned into a Far East thread

The Far East is mysterious like that. Witness how the thread has become silken and inscrutable.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:41 AM
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106a:2 fucking o'clock.

You what Orientalism is? Thinking that freedom of religion, free press, free speech, free markets, democracy etc, especialy in their Western forms are universal values applicable to every nation and culture.

Exactly what kind of Japan would you like that was significantly different from America? If pre-Meiji Japanese reconstructionists are fascists, my guess is that Japan has to look like Berkeley.

None of your business? You are an American, wearing imported shoes and commenting on an imported computer. You don't have that option.

Of course the Japanese like Jimmy Rogers. We devalued their indigenous culture in the way most world cultures have been eaten by global capitalist consumerism. Why admire the losing traditions?

Can you hear much traditional Japanese music in Japan anymore? Are Kabuki and Noh anything more than museum stuff for American tourists?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:53 AM
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Can you hear much traditional Japanese music in Japan anymore? Are Kabuki and Noh anything more than museum stuff for American tourists?

Well, can you? Do you know?

You what Orientalism is? Thinking that freedom of religion, free press, free speech, free markets, democracy etc, especialy in their Western forms are universal values applicable to every nation and culture.

So when you praise Japan, what criteria are you using? Please explain why those criteria are applicable.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:55 AM
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"So when you praise Japan, what criteria are you using?"

They press really good vinyl and cd's, and have for decades. Where did I read that astonishing number, I think Tyler Cowan, that the Japanese buy 40% of the world's high quality consumer goods. Like fine-grained lumber from the Northwest.

It is the aestheticism, the taste, the class.

Now mention the manga and hentai as if it refutes me.

Goodnight.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:06 AM
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Actually, I've seen both Kabuki and Noh, and no (couldn't resist!), they're not museum stuff for American tourists. And you can hear plenty of traditional music, just as you can here. Even 1000-year old gagaku which, incidentally, is awe-inspiring, as is Noh.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:08 AM
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105:
Is understanding history necessary? I could give you the routine that one history teacher or another has given you, but you could've figured that out on your own.

It is necessary to me. John Crowley best expressed the emotional connection I feel to history as follows: "Why is the world as it is, and not different?" I suppose the vigorous response I have towards this question is an emotional one, and if you do not share it, you are free of an obsession. I, however, am not.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:13 AM
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Getting in bob's good graces is apparently as easy as consuming a lot of luxury products and not believing in evolution.

I saw a gagaku ensemble play a concert for Pierre Boulez' birthday. It was one of the best parts of the concert, even though a lot of people left before it began (it was the last on the program and there was an intermission right before). Mystifying; it's not as if there are lots of such performances in those parts.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:14 AM
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Dear Sifu,

This mostly-lurker would like to express thanks for your bouncy fun mix. It's getting me through my late-night work commenting on a student's paper.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:18 AM
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112: It's easy, you just need to know the terms for the different types of tentacle porn, and have a cheat sheet to know which are the good ones.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:18 AM
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I agree with the duck.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:20 AM
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Is understanding history necessary?

I don't think so, no. Plenty of people go through their whole lives without understanding a thing about what happened before, and while you might say their lives are the poorer for it, they wouldn't all agree. Which is not to say it's not important.

Now, on a personal level, certainly there are plenty of people (you among them) who believe that understanding history is necessary for them, and I'm not going to argue about that. On a larger scale, though, I don't think "necessary" is the best way to characterize the importance of history.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:22 AM
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112: I think you want to strike "not" from the first sentence.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:22 AM
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Right. Not believing in creationism.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:25 AM
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It is the aestheticism, the taste, the class.

Now mention the manga and hentai as if it refutes me.

I love the classiness of segregating train cars by gender because something like 2/3 of women say they've been moletsted on trains.

Again Bob, I wonder how much time you've actually spent around Japanese people. I haven't traveled there like some of the other commenters, but I was raised in a heavily east Asian suburb of L.A. Believe you me, east Asians of all stripes are just as fucked up as everyone else.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:41 AM
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Well, it is necessary to me.

Like the first half og the 19th century. The British tried whaling, and tried clippers, and America kicked their asses in whale oil and tea. (better lumber, partly) Our frigates kicked their butts. So much for Britannia rules the waves. So they had to find a different kind of empire, what Sidney Schamberg said was the "bad empire".

As early as the shore of Tripoli. The Europeans paid the tribute to the Barbary Pirates, the Americans just went over and stomped them. Did this send a message? Does this relate to Iraq? Of course it does.

Why are we in Iraq, and why will we never leave? Why are we still in Germany and Korea and Cuba and 50 other countries? All Bush/Cheney/HRC, I suppose, and just 3 more Senators and 5 more Congresspersons and we will become Sweden.

We are the worst nation in the history of the world, and we will go down in flames, and take the world with us. God Damn America.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:41 AM
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116: You are tempting me, sir. I, however, recognize my failings as an earnest drunk; I am incapable of irony, and a revelation of my position would leave me defenseless. Still, though, you're asserting a proletariat.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:47 AM
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119b:What the fuck does this mean? There are no cultures, no nations, just individuals? Well, whoopee PC. I have met very few individual Americans I didn't like, yet America has helped kill million Iraqis, and caused the suffering of at least 5 million more.

Is it all Bush? Bullshit.

Of course there are fucked-up Japanese. So what?

112a:Consuming a broad range of high quality (not a lot of BigMacs) consumer products and believing in evolution does go pretty far with me. Being an American, the bar is pretty low.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:52 AM
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bob is the very opposite of me in every way.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 2:05 AM
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Ack! I've been snookered!

In the course of defending the value of the study of capital H History (105) I've been asked to defend the value of history to the Common Man (116). The Common Man can speak for himself: there are enough of him to organize, and God knows none of them would want me as his spokesman. I gave my bit in 111, and that's all I have to say.

Whence the confusion? I blame McManus.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 2:17 AM
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123:What, shy and not opionated? I also don't drink. Napped thru the heat today, and the drugs aren't working.

Need to calm down with a movie. Watched a Korean thing, Saving the Green Planet last night, and an old Samurai movie this afternoon, 1977, Tagyu Machiavellian machinations. IFC has class.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 2:17 AM
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What the fuck does this mean? There are no cultures, no nations, just individuals? Well, whoopee PC.

What it means is that the rest of us of us aren't seeing the supposed superiority of the culture, either on a historical, or a first hand basis. Re-read 89.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 2:25 AM
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The history of the progress of mankind is the history of its leading minds. The masses, left to themselves, are hardly capable of progress, except material progress, and even that imperfectly. Through the long course of history, a few men, to be counted by scores or by tens, have planted in the world the germs of a growth whose beneficent vitality has extended itself through all succeeding ages; and any one of these men outweighs in value to mankind myriads of nobles, citizens, and peasants, who have fought or toiled in their generation, and then rotted into oblivion.


Posted by: f parkman | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 3:02 AM
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108,89:quoting the original to save scrolling

Seriously Bob, when people get on this kind of jag about the superiority of east Asian cultures, IME they have spent very little actual time around people from said cultures, or have some ridiculously rose tinted glasses on.

1) I don't think I mentioned any East Asian cultures other than the Japanese. Emerson can tell you about the Chinese, I know very little about them, let alone the Koreans, etc.

2) To whatever degree there are cultures that can be associated with nations, personal experience with individuals or small groups are not going to be of great assistance in assessing them. So I spend a week with Holbo, then one with go to an Unfogged meetup, then spend a year in Waco. What have I learned about America?

I have lived almost thirty years in Dallas and other parts of Texas, but I let the rest of you opine on Texas. It has seemed to me that y'all in NYC have access to the right kinds of information, publicly available & archived, that is more useful than the thousands of individuals I have personally met. They just confuse me.

No, we Texans don't all wear cowboy hats. But we do skimp on social spending, are too religious, and execute a whole bunch.

I put much less value on what most people call personal experience than others do. Book larning's better. Tried to research the Int'l charitable aid, cause I think Japan as a nation per capita, has always been near the top, even during the recent economic slump.

And I recognize the faults and vices of Japan, and do not wear rose-colored glasses. They just haven't killed millions lately. They are better than America.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:23 AM
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I am very far from an authority on Japan.

But for another example, I am not sure how you assess the credibility of a Lewis vs Said, or Cole or Lynch or Martin or Ulrich, and Cole & Lynch's primary, if they are primary, sources. I don't believe everything I read in a Cairo newspaper. They sure don't.

Who do I trust for an assessment of America & American culture? Honestly? Not Americans.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:38 AM
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This whole concept strikes me as so weird. How can the "culture" of an entire nation be "smarter" than another? Like, in math? Please don't bother explaining. Masterful troll, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:43 AM
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131:I am just considered a troll here because I don't hijack the threads into butt-fucking. It's a fair judgement on this blog.


Posted by: 131: | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:30 AM
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Right, you hijack the blog away from discussions of butt-fucking (that is, music) into earnest discussions of simple-minded cultural stereotypes. Which, sure, that's somewhat the opposite of how every other blog works. Comity, after a very strange fashion!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:34 AM
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Not Orientalism, but an objective difference between a culture based on Zen Buddhism and one based on fucking fundamentalist evangelical Protestantism.

So, I occasionally teach Eastern philosophy. And all the students generally on the first day have wide-eyed ideas of the beauty of the Eastern mind, and how much wiser and gentle and silken they will be as a result of having studied it. You can practically hear the cherry trees blooming in their minds.

And then we begin to read the texts. Start with Confucius. Peaceful. Attentive to duty and filial piety. Against warfare and all of that. The Beautiful Eastern Mind.

And then you ask: if Confucius was surrounded by peaceful silken men, why did he write this book? Then you ask: if there was a Confucius, whom did he serve? And they think, and you teach them a little bit of history, and they realize that Confucius is a minority intellectual in a minor province calling for peace in a world of swords. And it's kind of neat to watch as they move from thinking about the Eastern Man (carved out of jade, no doubt) to thinking of human beings.

There are differences between cultures. But it's a mistake to think of all of China or all of Japan adhering to a perfect pacifistic ideal until the West came and ruined it. The ideal was either a minority view or about as well adhered to as Western philosophy in the West.

It would be just as incorrect to point to Socrates as the embodiment of Greek culture and to blame anything that wasn't dictated by Republic on the corrupting influence of, oh, I don't know... the Persians. Because the Greek mind, you see, was dominated by such higher thoughts that we lesser men.....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:45 AM
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The Republic is creepy.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:18 AM
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Oh, come on. Women in common, living in caves, what could go wrong?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:22 AM
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They just haven't killed millions lately.

Neither have Italy or Germany. Or the Mongols.

it's a mistake to think of all of China or all of Japan adhering to a perfect pacifistic ideal until the West came and ruined it

Yeah, I have the same reaction to all the people who seem to think that absent China's influence, Tibet would return to its natural position as the world's leading exporter of good karma and spiritual wisdom


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:29 AM
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133:"...earnest discussions of simple-minded cultural stereotypes."

Waal, It kinda started obliquely about why it was a Japanese channeling Jimmie Rogers rather than a German or Brazilian, and why the Japanese have such an appreciation of Western & American music of so many varieties. Over at the Valve there was a comparable discussion of why the French don't rock out.

The point about cultures is to me really really important. I, and say Arthur Silber & Stirling Newberry in different and definitely better ways, think America's Rape of Iraq is not simply a temporary problem of poor leadership to be solved via process liberalism and elections. Those who want to avoid "cultural sterotypes" I am afraid are going to someday end up as heartbroken as myself, forty years after Vietnam.

Lastly, "Earnestness in Pop Music" ??? Like Pete Seeger, Rosalie Sorrels, Baez? James Taylor and Jackson Browne? Sex Pistols & The Clash? Is irony so common that earnestness and sincerity are interesting phenomena? What was the post supposed to be about?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:34 AM
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If it weren't for simple-minded cultural stereotypes, I would be unable to think positively about anyone.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:34 AM
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Over at the Valve there was a comparable discussion of why the French don't rock out.

A discussion only intermittently informed by knowledge of actual French music, if I recall.

And I'll bet if you go into any city in Europe, you'll find a venue for country music.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:45 AM
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139:A discussion only intermittently informed by knowledge of actual French music, if I recall.

I thought about jumping in there and mentioning groups like Ange and Ophiucus and Pulsar (w-lfs-n might know those names) but my knowledge of French rock is really limited, and those groups ain't exactly Van Halen anyways.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:52 AM
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If I recall correctly, the Valve discussion was really about why the French don't do accessible catchy pop.

http://www.thevalve.org/go/valve/article/why_couldnt_the_french_go_pop/

Which of course, the French do really well.

If it had been about why they don't rock out, it'd have been a more useful discussion, maybe.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 8:00 AM
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That's how I interpreted it. Most successful pop has some rock to it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 8:30 AM
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Most successful pop has some rock to it.

Really? Seriously?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 8:33 AM
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You might want to ask all of Japan's neighbors how much Japan's objectively different culture and greater smarts marked an improvement on Western-style Imperialism. Just sayin'.

There are definitely hard feelings, but Korea and Taiwan both profited from their century of occupation by Japan, and many of the E. Asian Tigers follow the Japanese model. In Taiwan when I was there the official position was anti-Japanese, but I encountered popular pro-Japanese sentiment several times. The KMT were invaders in 1948 and behaved very badly, and democracy was only starting to appear in 1983 when I was there (there were still mysterious killing of dissidents and their families.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 8:39 AM
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Miscellaneous responses:

Bob is trolling, you know. Teo seems to be too.

Japan was very isolated before 1850. Okinawans are a kind of Japanese. The conquest of the neighboring Ainu lands is a stretch to call imperialism. By that standard the Bulgarians were imperialists went they colonized the Balkans.

The Mongols invaded Japan twice. I don't think that the Manchus ever did.

One of Miles Davis's guys from the electric period said that the Japanese audiences were the best they ever had.

I don't think that imperialism is a national trait. It emerges in history based on geographical, demographic, economic, and institutional configurations of possibilities. (I was trying to be mushy when I said that). Nations which have been imperialist at one point or another include the Swedes, the Danes, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Lithuanians, the Czechs, the Swiss, the Hunhgarians, the Greeks, the Persians, the Arabs (various sorts), the Berbers, the Bantus (various specifics), the Amharas, the Turks (any examples), the Manchus, the Mongols, the Chinese, the Armenians, the Serbs, the Egyptians, the Tibetans, the Nahuatl, the Maya, the Afghans, the Javanese, and so on.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:00 AM
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There are definitely hard feelings, but Korea and Taiwan both profited from their century of occupation by Japan

See, Emerson, if you would just apply this capacity for cheerful rationalization to the actions of your own country in Iraq and Central America, you would be soooo much happier! And so would your fellow Americans. This is precisely the problem the right has with the blame-America-first left.

it's a mistake to think of all of China or all of Japan adhering to a perfect pacifistic ideal until the West came and ruined it.

I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who thinks this. Doesn't the popular stereotype of Japan run more to Samurais and ninjas than "perfect pacifistic ideals"? Of course, Eastern warriors are very noble and self-disciplined, but they're mostly about cool swords and silent killing.

You can practically hear the cherry trees blooming in their minds.

Great image. What exactly does this sound like?


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:02 AM
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143: Rockingness (and as I said, buttheadedness) is what French pop lacks, but for some reason even pretty French pop doesn't travel. There may have been a French Carpenters or a French Captain and Tenille, but no one seemed to listen to them outside France. Contrast ABBA (cursed be their name).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:03 AM
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Kind of a pleasant chiming twinkle with little bloop-blips when the blossoms open.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:04 AM
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re: 147

The likes of Daft Punk rock. OK, not in a 'with guitars' way, but it'd be wrong to say they didn't rock anyway. Ditto lots of the music that comes out of the North African diaspora -- Rachid Taha, and the like.

And there are people like Phoenix making fairly orthodox FM radio-rock [with the usual French twist].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:07 AM
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In a lot of respects Taiwan was far ahead of most of China in 1948 when the KMT arrived, and they built on that with American (imperialist) help. This is pretty much factual, and many Taiwanese would agree. (When I was there, KMT loyalists were a distinct group, not tiny but far from a majority, and most people were pretty skeptical of large ideological and patriotic claims.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:07 AM
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re: 148

You missed an obvious one-hand clapping joke, there.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:07 AM
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I love Afro-Euro pop when I hear it, whatever its real label is, but I don't credit the French. Maybe I should.

My favorites have been Zap Mama and Tarika Sammy. Maria Daulne (Afro-Belgian) is a genius. She seems to have been commercially watered down, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:10 AM
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133 is brilliant. I face the same problem with teaching British poetry; they all want to believe that poetry is somehow a direct expression of, like, culture "back then" or something, so they're totally shocked by how impious and sexual a lot of it is. I keep reminding them that poets are rarely in the ethical/religious mainstream, and are usually expressing something against received norms, that if we wrote the history of England through its poetry, you'd pretty much think it has been a society of bisexual satanist fornicators obsessed with classical literature, death, and apocalypse.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:11 AM
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a society of bisexual satanist fornicators obsessed with classical literature, death, and apocalypse.

That pretty much is a description of the upper-classes of England since about 1600.

In the same way that we Scots spend our time nobly striding across the hillsides; staring boldly into the distance before returning to our villages to drink heavily and fight each other.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:13 AM
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Pirated from a dead thread (a development of my CT intervention):

I'm adding Zevon to my list of rock musicians whose careers suffered because of their inability to access the butthead chakra. He was crazy enough but not stupid enough. Others include Richard Thompson, Frank Zappa, and Randy Newman.
Successful non-butthead rockers are Steely Dan and Leonard Cohen.
I don't know what the term would be for sensitive buttheads, but emo is stupid, stupid, stupid.
Bob Dylan is hard to categorize in my system. He was and he wasn't. Mick Jagger pulled it off even though he's not actually dumb. Bill Wyman was dumb, though.
Jim Morrison is the King of Buttheads.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:14 AM
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In the same way that we Scots spend our time nobly striding across the hillsides; staring boldly into the distance before returning to our villages to drink heavily and fight each other.

Isn't this at least half right?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:20 AM
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Yeah. As is AWB's 'satanic bisexual fornicators' quip.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:24 AM
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Actually, I've seen both Kabuki and Noh, and no (couldn't resist!), they're not museum stuff for American tourists. And you can hear plenty of traditional music, just as you can here. Even 1000-year old gagaku which, incidentally, is awe-inspiring, as is Noh.

Have to agree with Jesus here. I expected the Kabuki to be museum-y and was totally wrong, huge audience appreciation, very vocal participation (positive and negative). And the Noh, which was awe inspiring, drew an all ages crowd when I saw it. I think our classics are in way more danger of becoming museums.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:43 AM
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Ooh, I have another story like that. A former roommate studies early modern England, and one day she got in a discussion with someone over age of marriage in the days of yore. Apparently, age of marriage fluctuated based on things like war and economic prosperity, and so you might find that sometimes people married as teens and other times not until their mid-twenties.

Her interlocutor argued against her on the grounds that poetry and stories always had the girl to be very young, fourteen or fifteen. And I will always remember my roommate's response: That's like constructing a history of American police departments by watching TV and concluding that under the American system, justice was always meted out by a rogue cop working against the system.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:45 AM
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155 is fantastic and applies to a lot of areas of human endeavor. The Dylan-esque ability to make a seamless fusion of blunt stupidity and profound sophistication is where the deepest genius lies.

poetry is somehow a direct expression ofculture "back then" or something, so they're totally shocked by how impious and sexual a lot of it is.

I know I'm pre-pwned by 154, but English culture before about the Victorian period really was very violent and sexual by our standards. I don't know about "impious", though, more like religious in a different, less hypocritical way. English poetry is strongly religious as well (even when in some cases its displaced religiousity), I wouldn't call it impious.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:45 AM
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159: I think that he age of marriage varied locally according to the specific needs of the family. Saint Jadwiga, Queen of Poland was married at age 12, and she was almost married at age 11.

I'm putting myself in the creep zone here, but a lot of 13 year olds seem hot to trot. Early marriage is bad for a lot of reasons, but I think that our combined hyper-sexualization of public life / taboo on anyone under 18, is insane.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 10:00 AM
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Technically speaking, St. Jadwiga the Queen was the King of Poland before her marriage, becoming Queen when her new husband became King.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 10:07 AM
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combined hyper-sexualization of public life / taboo on anyone under 18, is insane.

As I said once in another thread, the two are related. This culture needs somewhere to put its sex taboos.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 10:12 AM
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Sex, alcohol, tobacco, driving cars, freedom, and voting are all pretty much the same thing, kiddies, and they're all for us and not you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 10:15 AM
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Sex... and voting are... pretty much the same thing

If only. Turnout would be much higher.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 10:36 AM
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hyper-sexualization of public life

Street fashion, here in the UK at least, is going through one of its periodic hyper-sexualized phases.* Sometimes I see people at the moment and I'd swear they were dressed in clothes explicitly intended to be some sort of satirical comment on the type of clothing being worn. In much the same way that fetish-wear references actual uniforms, say, or Halloween costumes do the same [see slut-o-ween threads of yore].

* this isn't a 'get of my lawn' comment, I'm not *that* old ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 10:45 AM
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I finally clicked through that link. Holy shit, what an amazing story. And yet another tribute to the power and genius of American rural blues, which inspired so much great music in so many countries over the past century.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 10:54 AM
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And yet another tribute to the power and genius of American rural blues, which inspired so much great music in so many countries over the past century.

Orientalist.

Seriously this sounds like a tribute that is simultaneously exotifying the object of tribute. Besides, how is Jimmie Rodgers, an example of rural blues, or are you talking about the music that inspired Jimmie Rodgers?

That may be too snarky, but there are a lot of people who want to abstract away the details of musical traditions and just speak of them as golden ages which, as we know, helps obscure rather than preserver the actual traditions.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 11:10 AM
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French pop song 1

French pop song 2

Pretty similar to what we had in this country around that time (2002).


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 11:31 AM
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168: of course Jimmie Rogers is an example of the rural blues, what other genre would he be? Have you listened to his music? Unless one is adopting a racialist classification which insists that all white music is "folk" or "country" and all black music is "blues".

I don't understand your overall criticism. What does "exotifying" even mean in this context? If exotic is distant and different, than of course American music from the 1920s is distant and different from our world today. If it means patronizing in some way, then it's just misplaced. I do know a lot about blues tradition, history, etc. but should I have to repeat them all every time I mention the word in a blog post? Any time you reference an entire tradition (especially one this complicated) using a single word you necessarily abstract. And abstract a lot. Carolina blues and Delta blues are both American, both rural, both blues, but they are extremely different.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 11:39 AM
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I do know a lot about blues tradition, history, etc. but should I have to repeat them all every time I mention the word in a blog post?

No, but I could only respond to what you wrote. I concede, you may well know more than I do about the history of the blues, it's not something I feel well particularly well versed in, but I stand by my response that the comment I was responding to was sufficently blithe to warrent my comments.

As far as Jimmie Rodgers being rural blues, I have listened to his music and I wouldn't call it a representative example of any tradition. It has recognizeable influences, but what he did was really different than what anyone else was doing.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:02 PM
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And all the students generally on the first day have wide-eyed ideas of the beauty of the Eastern mind, and how much wiser and gentle and silken they will be as a result of having studied it. You can practically hear the cherry trees blooming in their minds.

I met a stoner the other day who told me to avoid Eastern philosophy. "That shit will fuck you up, man. It fucked me up." Apparently he believed in things until he studied Eastern philosophy, and then the cherry trees choked all of his beliefs. And now he's a nihilist.

"A true nihilist?"
"I dunno. I believe in music, man."


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:06 PM
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Disambiguation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmie_Rodgers_%28pop_singer%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Rogers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmie_Rodgers_%28country_singer%29

Probably not necessary, but anyway.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:11 PM
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If you stare into Jim Morrison long enough, Jim Morrison stares back into you.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:11 PM
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"A true nihilist?"
"I dunno. I believe in music, man."

I am reminded of a backpacker I met in Samoa (he missed the last bus out of my village) who explained to me both that "The Red Hot Chili Peppers are shamans, man," and that he'd arrived at this insight in a Cherokee sweat lodge. In Honolulu.

A lovely boy, but kind of ditsy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:21 PM
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I would like to make a mixtape on CD for y'all. But a lot of the songs I want to include are on vinyl. I could turn them into a tape, but not a CD.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:22 PM
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I can verify that wearing a sock on your penis can be an out-of-body experience.

One that poor LB will never know, of course.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:24 PM
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Your computer doesn't have a line-in, Ned?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:25 PM
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I was only sort of trolling. In the course of arguing with bob I inadvertently stumbled into implying something that I don't quite believe, but that is close enough to what I do believe that I was able to more or less justify what I said when I was called on it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:31 PM
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I don't think I have whatever software would be necessary to turn the sound coming into the line-in into audio files. Also, my computer is at work and I don't have a computer at home right now. Also, I don't have a turntable right now. What I need is an extreme makeover.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:31 PM
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I didn't think computers normally had line-ins anyway.

I find electronic equipment to be almost unbearably boring and incomprehensible, so I might never get a turntable or computer. I wish I lived in Communist Bulgaria so I would have only one choice for this sort of thing instead of several million.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:40 PM
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re: mixtapes.

I put some stuff together earlier.

http://www.mcgrattan.f2s.com/music_for_not_dancing_mostly.zip

[Mostly a big contrast with tweety and apo's stuff. Chilly and cerebral is more the mood]

Seb Rochford's Polar Bear - Heavy Paws on the Powdery Floor
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset - The Bairns #09] Sea Song
Stan Tracey - Starless And Bible Black
Basquiat Strings - Junk
Gil Evans Orchestra - Where Flamingos Fly
Thom Yorke - Harrowdown Hill (Extended Mix)
Marcin Wasilewski, Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Michal Miskiewicz - Hyperballad
Esther Phillips - Home Is Where The Hatred Is
The Joe Harriott Quintet - Modal
Sainkho Namtchylak - Tanola Nomads
Acoustic Ladyland - Some Other Sky
Rachid Taha - Ya Rayah


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:42 PM
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Computers have line-ins but turntables don't output at line level. You need a phono preamp.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:43 PM
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A lovely boy, but kind of ditsy.

This boy was somewhat lovely, until he told me that I should quit philosophy not only because it will fuck me up, but because "there's no money in it, and bitches only want money."


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:43 PM
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184: Whoa, sounds like he was serious about that nihilism thing.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:44 PM
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Yes. It was pretty depressing. It was literally the first interesting conversation I had upon arriving at college, too. Not a good sign.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:46 PM
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He doesn't wear a cape or a fedora, does he? Or other garment affectation?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:47 PM
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Misognyny is not nihilism. As Ogged pointed out, misogyny is normality.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:48 PM
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Chilly and cerebral

Sign me up.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:50 PM
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No, he looks and acts like a classic lifeguarding pothead. He's a rich, attractive New Jersey nihilist.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:50 PM
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179:I was certainly trolling. I am not sure what trolling actually is, or if it varies according to circumstances or intent, but I am pretty sure I do very little else but troll.

It's the anti-rational anarchist thing. Blame Sorel.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:55 PM
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Blame Sorel.

Julien?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 12:56 PM
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Maybe I should subscribe to iTunes. I wonder how many of the 1980s college-rock songs I want to put in my mix are available from their store. Probably not very many.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:01 PM
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Trolling is OK, Teo -- even wonderful. Only fascists think otherwise. McManus's trolling, B's trolling, and mine make Unfogged a better, happier place.

I troll because I love. As soon as I figured McMegan out, I quit trolling her. I picked it up again briefly when she got her ludicrous promotion (three dumb wingers are on staff there to balance one sharp moderate liberal). It's moot whether I quit trolling her this time, because she deleted my last post.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:01 PM
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To say nothing of Ogged's self-trolling.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:02 PM
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As soon as I figured McMegan out

explain?


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:09 PM
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They aren't dumb wingers, as wingers go.

Although John might posit that it is impossible to be both smart and a conservative.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:10 PM
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McManus's trolling, B's trolling, and mine make Unfogged a better, happier place.

I beg to differ.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:15 PM
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190: Perhaps this is an encouraging sign, that guys like this who grew up in the Age of Bush are straightforwardly calling themselves "nihilists" instead of "conservatives".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:21 PM
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Actually, I usually refer to them as "minimally toilet-trained wingers", not as "dumb wingers".

Teo, you're trolling again. Good!

As soon as I figured McMegan out

explain?

People like her and link to her as a smart libertarian conservative. I ended up realizing that she's authoritarian and not smart. She's a clever gameplayer who writes fluently and doesn't sound like a meathead, but there's no insight, and her libertarianism is totally fake.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:30 PM
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People say that "libertarian = Republican who wants to use drugs". This isn't fair, but it seems to be true for McArdle. Glenn Reynolds doesn't even seem like a pothead, so I don't know what his reason is for claiming to not be a Republican.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:33 PM
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He doesn't wear a cape or a fedora, does he? Or other garment affectation?

This made me burst out laughing. Loudly. Triply: Bwa! Ha-ha!!

Chilly and cerebral music also sounds good, but we don't talk about that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 1:47 PM
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181:

I find electronic equipment to be almost unbearably boring and incomprehensible, so I might never get a turntable or computer.

My brother, who useta be a club deejay, has two turntables on his hands he no longer needs. I believe they're pretty nice. He's put the call out: free. He just has to figure out the shipping, because they don't have, whatcha call 'em, lids. Covers. Tops. They're just sitting there bare like that.

I initially said, nah, what do I need another turntable for? There are two around here already, admittedly slightly the worse for wear. I'm going to take one after all.

Ned, let me know if you'd like one. My brother won't be just throwing them away any time soon; there's time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 2:11 PM
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181: I find electronic equipment to be almost unbearably boring and incomprehensible, so I might never get a turntable or computer. I wish I lived in Communist Bulgaria so I would have only one choice for this sort of thing instead of several million.


Oooooh! A young Luddite!

We won't go extinct for several more decades!

The cockles of my heart have been warmed!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 2:20 PM
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Calling out 'orientalism' or whatever is just a way to delineating who gets into the knowlege elite of a subject.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 3:18 PM
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yoyo is the very opposite of me in every way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 3:26 PM
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I'd like to officially go on the record as enthusiastically supporting people posting music mixes, RIAA be damned. This is great.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 3:54 PM
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207 seconded. I am vastly more funkified than I was this time yesterday. How did you make the link go automatically to a download?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 4:11 PM
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207 thirded with a bullet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 4:40 PM
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Indeed, right on. I just finished downloading the nattarGcM mix and am about to start listening.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 4:42 PM
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I, too, am enjoying the mix, although as a general respecter of IP am wondering nervously when the stormtroopers come and take my computer away.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 4:57 PM
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I'm downloading the others too. Alas, I have a sinking feeling that, like football, the nattarGcM mix may be all too cerebral for me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 4:59 PM
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Right after they shut down every mp3 blog on the planet, along with hypem.com, sendspace.com, the Pirate Bay, every other torrent site, soulseek, Last.fm, and the iTunes store. Then you're in big trouble, LB!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:00 PM
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I liked it, and am about as musically uneducated as they come. (Picture the RCA terrier cocking her head at a Victrola.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:01 PM
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I'd like to make a mix of the old, forgotten originals of popular songs (Joplin's "Down on Me," White Stripes' "Death Letter," "Zeppelin's "Nobody's Fault But Mine," etc.) but it'll be too much work, so I won't.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:32 PM
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Joplin's "Down on Me" is forgotten? Who, to no doubt express startling ignorance, covered it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:34 PM
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I listed the covers, not the originals.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:35 PM
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Well that makes much more sense. So those are all originally by Sebelius numbers originally?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:39 PM
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Originally.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:40 PM
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You mean Sibelius?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:41 PM
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McManus is more of a crank than a troll.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:44 PM
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I don't know; of the grand old cranktrolls, I think Emerson is more crank than troll and McManus is more troll than crank.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:49 PM
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I resent that. I'm every bit as good as McManus.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:50 PM
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I'm listening to Zeppelin right now. On cassette tape.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:52 PM
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Here is a mix I made a few years ago called "Let's Dance with Irregular Rhythms".

I just started listening to Tannargramat's mix. Nice stuff.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:53 PM
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I might should add that the link in 225 won't actually be valid for another 40 or so minutes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:53 PM
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And commenting via dial-up. Tell Carter to evacuate the embassy before things get too crazy, ok?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:54 PM
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But you have a cute nephew and are adorably grumpy & bespectacled and look like my dad, Emerson. No one wants to believe you're doing it all in bad faith.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:54 PM
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In another 40 or so minutes I may listen to Houses of the Holy on vinyl. If I feel like it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:55 PM
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... you do realize that most of the people reading this won't know what the fuck to do with a tarball, right B-wo?


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:55 PM
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I think Emerson is more crank than troll and McManus is more troll than crank.

Have you been reading this thread, ogged? Say what you will about Emerson, but McManus is definitely a crank.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:55 PM
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After enjoying the nattarGcM mix, I was contemplating listening to Ben's, but 230 scared me. What's a tarball?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:57 PM
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... you do realize that most of the people reading this won't know what the fuck to do with a tarball, right B-wo?

Winzip knows what to do with them, and I assume that mac users have some analogous all-decompressing utility ... or that magical "open" command fom the terminal. But FINE, I'll make a zip archive. This means that I'll have to start the uploading process all over again ...


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:58 PM
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you do realize that most of the people reading this won't know what the fuck to do with a tarball, right B-wo

Not to mention the fact that gzipping it will probably actually make it slightly bigger.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:58 PM
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Hey! Track two on Tannargramat's mix is a Robert Wyatt cover! Like, total coolness, dude.

Everyone ignore the link in 225. A zip file is being uploaded. Sheesh.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 5:59 PM
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And "Rachel Unthank" is a great name. It could only be greater if it were a pseudonym with "Unthank" having been taken from Alasdair Gray's great Lanark.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:01 PM
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Wow, up until 236 I didn't know of anyone else who'd read Lanark.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:03 PM
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Incidentally, everyone who doesn't have it should rush out and get the album on which the original of that Wyatt cover appears, Rock Bottom, a fabulous sui generis work which is not at all chilly and cerebral. If you don't like it you have no soul. Ivor Cutler's two appearances on it (the tracks "Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road" and "Little Red Robin Hood Hit the Road") are apparently what got him his first recording contract.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:05 PM
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I read it, no lie, after reading about it in Anthony Burgess' 99 Novels. Then I went out and gradually got a bunch more of his stuff: 1982 Janine, Unlikely Stories, Mostly, The Ends of Our Tethers and Poor Things. I can't say I cared that much for the latter two. I saw his book of prefaces in a bookstore a while ago but neglected to pick it up.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:07 PM
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Hey! Track two on Tannargramat's mix is a Robert Wyatt cover!

I'd never heard Wyatt or Unthank before now but this floored me, so beautiful.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:34 PM
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Ok people, here it is.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:40 PM
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Later Wyatt is just a little weird in a fey way for me. I of course have Rock Bottom and other early 70s albums, but don't play them. I do like all his Softs stuff, tho. Note the Wilde Flowers at the top of the thread.

I can't click on any videos or mixes because I am listening to Shoot Out the Lights for the 500th time.

Nah, no further confessions or defenses.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:44 PM
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I am actually a very sensible person. Everyone else is weird. I troll in a careful strategic manner, in accordance with a grand plan.

Rockette, have you ever encountered Fabiana Bump?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 6:50 PM
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Rock Bottom Lyrics

I'll try it again. I don't know maybe I don't like poetry. Kinda faux-unsophistication with a particularly British childlike absurdity, I do find it chilly and cerebral in the Canterbury manner. Too much irony.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:22 PM
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I say Emerson is definitely cranky more often than not, but not a crank.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:30 PM
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Chilly and cerebral … in the Canterbury manner? The style that brought you songs like "(Big) John Wayne Socks Psychology on the Jaw" and "Why Am I So Short" ("I've got a drum kit and some sticks / So when I've drunk a bit of it / I find it easy to express myself"), and Pip Pyle's "drum" solo, "Phlakaton"?

I lie in the road try to trip up the passing cars Yes me and the hedgehog We bursting the tyres all day

I love this bit.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:33 PM
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201

"People say that "libertarian = Republican who wants to use drugs". This isn't fair, but it seems to be true for McArdle. Glenn Reynolds doesn't even seem like a pothead, so I don't know what his reason is for claiming to not be a Republican."

Reynolds believes in the rule of law .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:41 PM
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I was thinking Ayers and some Caravan lyrics. Giles, Giles, & Fripp shows that same faux English Music Hall humor. Some Kinks, It's a put-on.

Chilly and cerebral like a fur-lined toilet. Or Stevens not being a different poet in Sea Surface and 13 Ways. It takes a lot of effort to be so simple, and the effort is usually obvious.

I am not a fan of sophisticated college-educated artists writing like 15-yr-olds. Neil Young underwrites, but he isn't winking slyly.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 7:50 PM
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Reynolds seems to be trying to recover his reputation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 8:06 PM
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Shit, just spent some time at Calyx and I feel all guilty. I have had most of that shit on my harddrive and other than the earliest stuff, it never seems to stick. Egg, Ian Carr I just deleted Henry Cow, Gilgamesh, National Health, Hatfield. It is most often background, and I guess it sounds ok, not painful, or I would remember that. KC, Fripp & Eno stick around, Gryphon, Gentle Giant. Various Germans & Italians.

Mixing it in my vast playlist is probably unfair. Putting Wyatt between Joni Mitchell and Beach Boys is just unfair. I should focus on Canterbury for a month, just sit and listen, with lyric sheets.

But I am humour-impaired, and maybe somebody who can't stand Frank Zappa, really detests his musical sophistication combined with Mad Magazine level humour will never get Canterbury.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:10 PM
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175: Who knew LB was from a village in Samoa? You learn something new every day.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:16 PM
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Here is a mix I made a few years ago called "Let's Dance with Irregular Rhythms".

So I'm only on Track 3, but am already thinking that seeing w-lfs-n dance must be quite an experience.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:18 PM
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And that the last sentence of this comment now feels truer than ever.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:20 PM
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252: I don't dance.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:34 PM
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So it's "Let's you and them dance with irregular rhythms"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:35 PM
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The name of the mix comes from a DVD put out by Magaibutsu.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:38 PM
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This one.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:44 PM
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Aw dang, something seems to have gone wrong in the irregular rhythms of my download.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:50 PM
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And now you are great with child.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 9:52 PM
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Lanark is great, and everyone should read it.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09- 9-07 11:14 PM
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re: comments

Rachel Unthank is indeed great.

There are lots of youtube videos of her/them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxLZbJSKRo0

[that's her sister singing at the start of that one and Rachel Unthank on cello]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 12:23 AM
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I agree with McManus about Zappa. That explains everything about us, really.

The name Unthank traced to Frisian and Old English: a very old Scottish /northern English name with various interpretations such as unwilling, angry, undutiful, etc. It would be a wonderful punk name.

There's an Unthank Park in Portland, OR, named after a black MD and civil rights leader named Denorval Unthank.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 5:14 AM
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That explains everything about us, really.

Like why y'all are all cranky and grumpy? He made more instrumental music than stuff with silly lyrics, y'know.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:37 AM
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I'm going to delete my playlist/mix later today, so if anyone wants it, time to get it.

re: Zappa, a lot of his stuff is frustrating though. Silly lyrics or no silly lyrics, a lot of his stuff seems a bit lazy. Punctuated by moments of absolute brilliance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 9:37 AM
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I was there, and I utterly agree. Mr. Hirano rocked, he really did. Made me run out and buy a Jimmie Rodgers compilation.


Posted by: Wendy | Link to this comment | 09-12-07 8:14 AM
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