Here’s a good one: “tradition is based on pride in collective habit, on the conscience that approves the pride, and on the fear that if habit and conscience fail, the result will be social chaos, the fear of which is in turn based on a particularly low assessment of human nature” (Ami-Scharfstein). I am trying to write a novel, which is a fairly traditional thing to do, and I suppose I do have pride in the collective cultural habit of producing novels. My conscience, the moral judge seated in every person (well, almost every person) by the same collective habit, approves this pride, believes novels are “good to think” (as Levi-Strauss put it). I do not think that we would descend into social chaos if people stopped reading and writing novels, however, though I do find the idea very sad. I am fairly certain, actually, that we will grow beyond reading and writing at some point in the near future, though i think we will retain a grammar for things, however we do manage to communicate them. Ah well, time is long.
I managed to write 6,000 words yesterday, then was overcome by the need to go get ice cream. Maybe I can get to 10k today; then again, maybe I need to get some qat.
278) Gogol Bordello: Multi-Kontra-Culti vs. Irony
I have heard that the Rick Rubin produced the latest GB CD, and that it flies out of the speakers in close approximation to their live shows. I can’t believe that, since their live shows are something to behold, but o what a fun band, even if Hutz is faking the whole accent thing…
279) Eugene Chadbourne and Evan Johns: Terror Has Some Strange Kinfolk
Boy, Eugene loves to make scritchy noises with his guitars. Any recording by him will feature: scritchy, noisy guitars; goofy covers (“Achy Breaky Heart”); clumps of free jazz that last 30 sec-2 min; political rants in a comical southern accent. For people who find this approach appealing (like me), it’s loads of fun. Everyone else will leave the room.
280) Huun-Huur-Tu: The Orhpan’s Lament
There’s a lot more to Tuvan music than throat-singing, though the throat-singing is pretty cool. Tone, timbre, mood, all are carefully orchestrated to evoke the mood of the open plain, the relationship of human art to the natural world, and the essential loneliness of human beings. And they play a rattle made from a bull scrotum.
281) Gang of 4: A Brief History of the 20th Century
I like this band more than just about any band that made music between 1978-1985. Why? I’m not sure exactly, maybe just the fact that the idea we could dance our way to revolution seems real when I listen to them…