Archive for the ‘solipsism’ tag
I was amused that so many folks twittered complaining about their lack of knowledge about Arcade Fire that some wag created a tumblr blog devoted to the phenomenon. For the record, if you pay attention to a certain kind of music critic, you had heard of Arcade Fire. I mean, they’ve appeared on the Daily Show and the Colbert Report fer christsakes. But not everyone pays attention to these sorts of cultural signifiers.
Arcade Fire hasn’t sold enough units to be a household name apparently.
Nitsuh Abebe of the New York Magazine’s Vulture blog ruminates why, and what does it mean to be proud of one’s ignorance?
There are some obvious jokes to be made about people with Internet access using Twitter to complain about not knowing something, as opposed to using Google to look it up. But for the most part, this reaction — all these examples cherry-picked from teenage pop fans and bemused adults — is just plain normal. “Never heard of it”: This has been the natural and traditional response of all sorts of ordinary American humans to all sorts of phenomena. It’s not really about knowledge or information. It’s an argument, for the most part, and a faintly aggressive one — a way of insisting that what you pay attention to really does define the world. What you’ve heard of is real, and everything else is marginal. The center holds, and you are that center. You are normal and aware, and not just some tiny atomized entity that can only hope to know one tiny corner of the universe.
It used to be a little easier to get away with that. You could presume that you were an informed person and anything truly notable would have been brought to your attention at some point — and enough people would share your vantage point that you wouldn’t often be challenged on it. (The truer this was, the more attractive it was to pull the reverse move: that of the music aficionado who’s proud to have never even heard of the most popular artists in the country.) I feel like I can remember people acting baffled, twenty years ago, when some “weird” band called R.E.M. won a few Grammys — and this was an act that had multiple top ten singles, videos on MTV, and all the other monocultural perks that are no longer available to any but the most successful musicians. (They would have also had some underground haters looking at them as over-popular, middlebrow college-rock sellouts who’d stopped being good sometime in the mid-eighties; it always goes both ways.)
But that “never heard of it” chauvinism is harder to pull off these days, and it’s a real problem with talking about music. The funny part is that while the Internet tends to make people feel like they’re more aware of what’s happening in music, and what “everyone” else is talking about, it’s just as effective at doing the opposite — sustaining all different kinds of huge and vibrant music worlds, to the point where whichever one you’re aware of is surely just a single weird corner among many, many more. Look at any forum or comments box where random strangers find themselves talking about music, and you wind up peering into some kind of chauvinistic Tower of Babel: so many people fiercely sure that their vantage point is normal, despite being surrounded by so many staggeringly, radically different backgrounds, perspectives, and frames of reference.
(click here to continue reading Arcade Fire, and the ‘Never Heard of It’ Grammys — Vulture.)
For the record, Arcade Fire isn’t my favorite band, but I like them enough to own three of their records, including the one that won them a Grammy.
Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone
Lens: Salvador 84
Self portrait, taken in the bathroom mirror1
I’m going to use this on the back cover of my third album.
Title borrowed from Al Green, by way of David Byrne and/or the Talking HeadsFootnotes:
- no jokes please [↩]
and yes, it has been ten years, as of next week, that I’ve lived here, by far the longest stretch of time I’ve ever resided in one place.
April 6th, 2000, to be precise. Lots has changed, lots still needs to be changed, but the decade was a good one, all and all.
My photos have been viewed 1 million times.
amazing really. Thanks everyone!
Numbers add up to nothing…
A few interesting links collected August 27th through August 28th:
- Solipsism « Earthpages.ca – Think Free – This is the philosophical position that only the subject exists and all impressions of others and the outside world are illusory.
While many dismiss solipsism as an extreme or strange view, others say it is logically impossible to prove or disprove
- d r i f t g l a s s: Da Mare Would Like To Apologize – "If you've never been to a public meeting where Da Mare or one of his goofs are having their political pipes rodded, let me tell you right off the bat, you should go. Over the years I’ve been to several, and it really is about as purely little-“d”-democratic an exercise as any big city could hope for: In front of Da Mare and the assembled heads of his every office and department, any citizen can step up to the microphone and “Cry Harold”"
Awesome description: I have to go to one of these sometimes
- Review: Snow Leopard Review | Mac OS X – Page 1 | Macworld – if you later try to launch a PowerPC app, Snow Leopard will pop up a window to explain that you need Rosetta and offer to install it for you (via Apple’s Software Update utility). I can only assume that making Rosetta optional is an attempt by Apple to goad users to upgrade their apps and to shame developers who still haven’t recompiled their apps to run on Intel chips. But given that most everyday users have no idea which of their apps are Intel-native and which are PowerPC, this seems unnecessarily harsh.