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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 15:20 GMT 

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Long Johnny wrote:
...the notion of the individual artist/genius is a concept that emerged at a particular historical moment but is now accepted as somehow timeless and "the way it's always been" by most people. History shows otherwise, and it is a potentially useful thing to point that out.


And from the first post:

Long Johnny wrote:
...new writing gained value from its creative affiliation with existing works, or what Martha Woodmansee describes as "its derivation rather than its deviation from prior texts."


Sphinx, please read both of those statements a few times. They're excellent points that you may not be fully considering.


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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 15:22 GMT 

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duck, here comes the flame!


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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 16:14 GMT 
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njison83 wrote:
Tweedle Dee is almost a direct musical copy of Uncle John's Bongos, LJ summed it all up with the comment that it was "something that someone else appropriated from someone else ad infinitum." In the genre of music that Bob works in, that being folk, country, blues, ect., this is exactley what happens and has always happened. Until the last 20-30 years, artist did it constantly and no one cared. All of the sudden, when money is the primary focus, it's a huge deal to some people.


This will be a thread-veer, probably. (surely?)

Drunk Driving: laws are written and enforced in order to control it. Yet one law will never be written, though it would end drunk driving instantly: outlaw automobiles. There's little danger (to anyone but the drunk person themself) in drunk walking, drunk bicycle riding, drunkback horse riding. There'd be no need for an organization called "Mothers Against Drunk Pedestrians.'

Similarly, the laws, codes and concepts which codify issues of authorship/ownership/intellectual property rights are all predicated upon the MASS REPRODUCTION/DISTRIBUTION of singular efforts, 'graven images'--replicants--and the moneys gotten therefrom. Remove mass reproduction/distribution from the equation and things would be as they once were: non-issues--just as 'drunk driving' was a non-issue when daily personal transportation meant walking or riding horseback.

Before the book publishing biz, before the sheet-music biz, before the recording biz, any moneys from writing/composing/performing were gotten by those who did it best, attracted the largest crowds. Nobody much cared who-wrote-what.

It was like busking. Devoid of superimposed or elaborated context between artist and audience. Sidewalk performers who got some sparkle and savvy get the coins. Those who don't have the knack will go home with empty pockets--even if their 'material' is 'superior' stuff. A lively version of some 5-note wing-ding will attract more passerby's attention & coins than will a spiritless rendition of a 'classical' masterpiece composition.

Those storytellers who could captivate audiences made a dent, could 'make a career of it.' Those who couldn't returned to weeding their turnip patch.

Some among a storyteller's audience would decide to become storytellers themselves. Repeat the same stories, adapt or modify, invent new ones; imitate the style of the storytellers who'd inspired them or devise their own style.

So, once upon a time, it was the singer, not the song. Individuals communicating directly to audiences of individuals. Whoever seized the day prevailed.

No Medea in sight, no middlemen, no policing agencies, no 300,000 identical posters of the latest fave-rave adorning walls. No royalties, slices of the pie, or Under-Assistant West Coast Promotion Men.

Thou shalt not worship Graven Images. Graven Sounds. Graven Texts. Graven Silicone Chips. Graven vinyl. Graven gilt-edged pages, handsomely bound in genuine cowhide.

Our Western World/Modern Times Titanic is steaming towards an iceberg, and just beyond the iceberg is a waterfall, a mile high, boulderstrewn at the bottom, littered with wreckages of previous vessels, previous planets, previous species, previous Big Bad Ideas.

Call me Ishmael. All the peg-leg captains are stark raving mad and that white leviathan is gonna smash every flagship, whaler and gunboat to bits. Then toss the splinters over that waterfall yonder.

On the other hand.... I might as well live in 1623. I make my living doing things that were 'state of the art' back then. Make paintings, sell 'em. Play some music, get paid for it. Originality? Seems besides the point. Looking at my own paintings, I see every artist whose work inspired me. Quotes and robberies all over the place. Looking at the paintings of my inspirations, I see who THEY swiped from. It's a chain of visual thievery stretching back into olden times.

The key difference between painting and writing/recording is MASS REPRODUCTION. Painting doesn't deal in mass reproduction. Painters make and sell singular objects, each one different and distinct from the each other. Oh sure, there's posters and prints of the originals--but they're cheesy, souvenirs, dim blurry alleged-echoes of the real thing.

I've often wondered if Bob's persistent touring has been done, deliberately, from a desire to pursue a similar approach--a large-scale kind of busking. Each performance is something unto itself:

"I'm gonna play each night in a different town, take it right to the folks in 3-D and in real-time, THAT will be my 'masterpiece'--the sum-total of my minstrel skills, inspirations and imagination, in the flesh. My artform IS my performance. The records and songs? Souvenirs: by-products of my core-essential minstreling."

Surely there were other storytellers when Homer was working his craft. But Homer was such a good storyteller that his name is the one which remains known, his stories were the ones that've been passed down through time, accurately or adapted and morphed.

The Souvenir Industry. Even my 'craft': painting. I'm just selling souvenirs. The BEST thing about any painting can never be sold, it isn't material, has no form or tangibility: what it feels like to paint a painting, to watch it happen, to go into that trance of being an eye that thinks without words. 'Art Collectors' just purchase the residue of the process.

Money changes everything.

Relevant film: Throw Mama From The Train


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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 16:50 GMT 
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queenjane wrote:
Drunk Driving: laws are written and enforced in order to control it. Yet one law will never be written, though it would end drunk driving instantly: outlaw automobiles.


I had a cousin who had almost the identical theory. The best way to stop crime is to make every crime a capitol offense. Murder = death, mugging = death, jaywalking = death, and so on.

Same plan, different words.


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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 17:01 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
"Frankfurt School lite"??? Who mentioned Max Horkheimer? :shock:

Look... all that was being discussed before some Egyptian clodhopper showed up and ruined it is that the notion of the individual artist/genius is a concept that emerged at a particular historical moment but is now accepted as somehow timeless and "the way it's always been" by most people. History shows otherwise, and it is a potentially useful thing to point that out.

What's yer problem with that, bub?


No problem at all, it's jolly interesting, bub. I just see a claim that something is so ridiculous that it doesn't need scrutiny and think that maybe it does. That rhetorical move usually covers something rich and meaty.

Particularly this one, actually.

The idea that the Romantic Author figure emerged at a particular time, and out of a particular set of economic circumstances is interesting, and all the more so because the notion persists so strongly today even in the face of the theory summarised so eloquently here.

I agree heartily that BD is a good vehicle for that discussion, as he manages to embody and defy all sorts of artistic descriptions. He can be cast as the olde aural troubador, the romantic centre stage author-genius, the Modernist, the wily pomo, and be dressed in a bunch of other costumes - in that sense, yes, his output may well be 'readerly'.

I was thinking about the essay Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm, in terms of the Frankfurt School, a great turning-away-from-the-possibility-or-currency-of-romantic-art.

And then the Death of the Author stuff which lurks in this thread.

So, I am not sure that the concept of the artist/genius is as new as is claimed. I suspect that is a kind of modern crit-truism.

Magic and art were close friends, and the figure of the magician has always been a potent one - a sort of author/genius there. Oracles were exalted even as they spoke with another's words. The praise of creative individuality is not new to the age of individuality. Trade (pre-dating capitalism) priced artifacts of beauty according not just to their physical reality but to their makers. Bards and painters were praised.

The idea that an individual can be especially gifted, and can seem to channel/encapsulate something beyond the capabilities of most, some special acuity and insight or ability to render something which chimes with something in reality in a way not previously achieved... these are old notions that persist strongly, not a modern invention.

So I think they do deserve attention, and cannot be dismissed.

Other questions here, about originality, are interesting too, and I suggest that ideas about what originality is and how important it is fluctuate in place and time.

Everything is historical, and there are outlandishly creative people, who can come out of small towns and sing to the world about itself.

But yes, interesting, but I distrust the argument that because something is historical it is somehow to be dismissed as unworthy even of scrutiny. See the entry on Romantic Love.


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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 17:06 GMT 
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Oh, QueenJane, I read your post after I'd posted my link to the Benjamin essay about just that subject. Neat.


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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 17:10 GMT 

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Excellent post, queenjane. Remove money from the equation and we seriously have no problem here.

Does anyone disagree with that?


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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 17:54 GMT 
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Pockets wrote:
I distrust the argument that because something is historical it is somehow to be dismissed as unworthy even of scrutiny.


I don't think anyone said that, or if someone did, I don't agree at all. Rather, I think that scrutinizing prevalent cultural norms historically has an effect of revealing the extent to which things that are complex, arbitrary, tangled webs of various relations can, over time, come to seem somehow natural and eternal.

In the context here, I think the result that I see as potentially rewarding (in the sense that our understanding ins increased) is to shift focus away from the author and onto the text which is really (Milkcow aside) why we're drawn here.

The Benjamin/Adorno debate over whether art retains its "aura" in the face of mechanical reproduction applies more to collecting rare Dylan albums.


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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 20:49 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
queenjane wrote:
Drunk Driving: laws are written and enforced in order to control it. Yet one law will never be written, though it would end drunk driving instantly: outlaw automobiles.


I had a cousin who had almost the identical theory. The best way to stop crime is to make every crime a capitol offense. Murder = death, mugging = death, jaywalking = death, and so on.

Same plan, different words.


I don't understand how my post and yer cousins are 'same plan, different words.

But, regarding yer cousin's theory: cops/lawyers/judges know that many (most?) crimes and 'offenses' are committed spur-of-the-moment/heat of passion/accidentally/while intoxicated/by very dumb folks/by sociopaths etc...so foreknowledge of consequences & punishment doesn't influence their misdeeds at all--they just aint thinking too good to beging with...we already have extreme penalties, including executions, but folks keep on doing the crime anyhow.


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PostPosted: Mon January 4th, 2010, 23:51 GMT 
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It's a comparable plan because it's a comparable over response. Stop drunk drivers.... take away everybody's car, no exceptions. Stop crime.... execute anyone who breaks a law, no exceptions. Both are really bad ideas (though the 2nd one would be easier to implement).


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 00:51 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
It's a comparable plan because it's a comparable over response. Stop drunk drivers.... take away everybody's car, no exceptions. Stop crime.... execute anyone who breaks a law, no exceptions. Both are really bad ideas (though the 2nd one would be easier to implement).


You overlook that I'd stated that banning cars could never be implemented.

My (implied?) point was that problems regarding authorship and ownership of intellectual property rights are predicated upon assorted artificial 'divvy-up-the-money' systems & codes. Kinda like legalized protection rackets. Join ASCAP and we'll make sure you get a few pennies on every dollar earned. Etc.

The artificial nature of such systems created all the problems inherent within them (houses built upon sand et al). Thus, all the contemporary wrassling over copy-protection, illegal downloads, authorship, sampling, re-mixing etc in this Brave New Digital World. The same folks (meaning the non-creative folks--not the artists, but the publishers, record companies, etc.) who profited from codified revenue-stream systems flowing from reproduction & distribution of creative works are now all going batshit trying to cope with 'product-control' gone uncontrollably viral via digital technology.

I don't care much how it all plays out. But it's KINDA interesting to observe. Part of me thinks 'good riddance' that the era of 'major labels' is vanishing, part of me thinks SOME good things were lost. (like: now EVERYONE has a myspace page, a self-produced cd or downloads, a print-on-demand book etc...and so what? Most of 'em are just vanity projects. Hobby stuff. Third-rate or worse. No earthly reason for most of them to actually exist, in terms of artistic quality or innovation. Back 'in the day' the legit 'talent scouts' sought only the truly-worthy stuff.

I often feel bad these days when encountering young musicians who IMO really got it happening. Where can they perform, hone their skills? What paths can they hope to tread in pursuit of their dreams? How can they find or build a legit following? In an age where instead of crowded, sweaty, stinky EXCITING music venues, most 'audiences' prefer to sit at home cocooned, staring into screens, wearing headphones, accessing the world via circuitry and tinselish electro-icon imagery?

Who cares if they have myspace, youtube or itunes downloads? So do twenty zillion other folks. Wading through 300,000 websites and 2,000,000 possible downloads or vids is nigh-impossible. Better 'back in the day' when there might be only 50 new discs or acts a month (or year) to check out--because the 'record biz' had already acted as a pre-filter for worthy talent. For better or worse. And when most 'acts' had already 'paid some dues'. Performed a heap, actually impressed living, breathing 3-D audiences. Ya know? If Epstein hadn't signed the Beatles, somebody else would've. They coulda been deaf, but all they hadda do was visit the Cavern, seen the crowd response, and smelled BIG MONEY TO BE MADE.

Not often, maybe three times a year, I see/meet some young solo artist or band in 3-D, realize they're somebody with bonafide talent. And its heartbreaking. They all have similar 'career' outlines. Random 'showcase gigs' or open-mic wanderings. Got a cd for sale, a website/myspace/facebook/twitter page, some youtube vids....and a grand total of 100 people have actually paid attention to them. They've no way to develop 'buzz', make person-to-person connections with 'biz' types.

It's as baffling as if every person in the phone book was an 'aspiring artist' and one had to wade through all those listings in hopes of finding a gem.

The more things get wonderful the more they get awful. Everybody is now all inter-connected and webbed-up and the din is so bedlamic it's nigh-impossible to clearly hear/identify/locate any one individual vision therein.

Sure, there will be exceptions. A few will still rise to the top. But most who do so nowadays seem even more plugged-into 'having the right connections' than ever before--not less-so, as promised when the 'digital age' was a-borning. This seeming democratic free-for-all seems more a vast corral of trapped creative aspirant cattle, all bellowing for attention at once, and nobody much listening.

Andy Warhol got it wrong: In the future everybody will be seemingly-famous for 1 minute, max. And even so, nothing much will come of it for either audience or artist.

Welcome to the digital age of phantasmic, miragelike, stillborn, can't-be-gotten pseudo-fabulousness. Babel On Inc.

Happy Fata Morgana, y'all.


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 02:24 GMT 
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A short article in the Sunday NY Times noted a recent study indicating that 1 in 4 adults report having no close confidants in their lives, up from 1 in 10 in a 1985 study. So all the digitizing, mediating, social networking, leaves us with more contacts and fewer friends, more data and less emotional connections. This is social decline, not social "networking" and leaves most people more easily manipulated, controlled, and economically exploited. That is the ruling purpose of digital culture, which is a business strategy first and foremost.

Regarding the question of authorship (and I freely admit to skimming many of the posts in this thread) and individuality, while it is true that many ancient literary works represent a kind of collective production process via oral transmission, scribal transmission, and hazy creative boundaries, it is also true that Homer, Aeschylus, Plato, Heraclitus, Virgil, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, and other familiar names were individuals (I consider both Homer and Jesus as real historical personalities), were thought to be the authors of their works (spoken or written) and originators of said works contents to at least some degree. Longjohn's initial post seems to paraphrase without quite mentioning Pope's formulation of the task of the poet to say that which has been said before but never so well, in contrast with the Romantic/liberal notion of the individual artist with her peculiar genius and vision.

Most good writing of any era is based on good reading/listening and will show some relationship to a literary culture or cultures. That these relations somehow mean the individuals are absolved from responsibility for the products of their tongues/pens/typewriters/cell phone keypads makes no sense to me whatsoever. Regarding Dylan's position as an author of a body of work, it is terribly compromised by something I consider laziness tantamount to dishonesty at times. Were he simply a pop singer doing whatever necessary to sell some records and concert tickets, his penchant for plagiarism, pastiche and recombinant cliche wouldn't matter in the least.

I'm no longer interested in the work of Bob Dylan. I had a good long run with it, decades of study, admiration, fascination. The work itself cured me of all this. Intellectually, I have no trouble recognizing his place in musical and literary culture. That place no longer gives me pleasure, just twinges of nostalgia for how his art used to matter to me, quickly relieved by picking up my mandolin or listening to Doc Watson or Louis Armstrong. I'm baffled by the claims of greatness made for Modern Times and Together Through Life, the enthusiasm for the awful if well intended Christmas album, the willingness of people to pay to hear him "sing" live or on record in that desperate and exaggerated style that seems to be the product of a Bob Dylan Simulator and devoid of human feeling and experienced emotion. Not by people liking those albums, or even loving them, but by the laudatory blather that follows personal preference without any close examination of the artifact in question or the experience of that artifact by the author of the response or the context of creation and reiteration. Dylan's methods are increasingly transparent with the ability of listeners to google every phrase and line to find his "sources." Sharp ears were doing this from the very start of his career, and the practice of basing one song on another song or songs is probably as old as songs themselves.

Does knowledge of his methods and sources diminish the songs? In my experience, it has. The copying is too blatant, the reliance on cliche too persistent, the half-realized images and awkward diction too common to excuse or rationalize or turn into some tedious sign of post-modernism at work. It is much simpler to face an obvious truth: Dylan is capable of writing badly just as much or more than he is capable of writing with depth of feeling, originality of idea and creativity of diction. If he could still sing, would I feel differently? Perhaps. If he could really play his guitar, would I overlook the vocals and lyrics? Maybe.

His work has been consistently inconsistent since he started recording. Sublime work, ridiculous work. Visionary originality, derivative cliche. Ultimately, it must give pleasure or yield to work that does. After giving his work a major share of my attention for almost 50 years, I'm down to about a dozen songs I care about but listen to no more than once a year or so, maybe I play them on my guitar an equal amount. Is he the author of these songs? His music publisher seems to think so, but I feel very ambivalent about him collecting royalties on snippets of writing stolen from other writers and strung together over another boring blues progression.


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 02:35 GMT 
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queenjane wrote:
Drunk Driving: laws are written and enforced in order to control it. Yet one law will never be written, though it would end drunk driving instantly: outlaw automobiles.
This I would concur with. Could we begin tomorrow?

Long Johnny wrote:
I had a cousin who had almost the identical theory. The best way to stop crime is to make every crime a capitol offense. Murder = death, mugging = death, jaywalking = death, and so on.
This would make me think twice about overtime parking. :lol:

Then again, if queenjane's suggestion comes into place first, I should have to worry about overtime parking. :)


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 02:37 GMT 
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queenjane wrote:
Long Johnny wrote:
It's a comparable plan because it's a comparable over response. Stop drunk drivers.... take away everybody's car, no exceptions. Stop crime.... execute anyone who breaks a law, no exceptions. Both are really bad ideas (though the 2nd one would be easier to implement).


You overlook that I'd stated that banning cars could never be implemented.

My (implied?) point was that problems regarding authorship and ownership of intellectual property rights are predicated upon assorted artificial 'divvy-up-the-money' systems & codes. Kinda like legalized protection rackets. Join ASCAP and we'll make sure you get a few pennies on every dollar earned. Etc.

The artificial nature of such systems created all the problems inherent within them (houses built upon sand et al). Thus, all the contemporary wrassling over copy-protection, illegal downloads, authorship, sampling, re-mixing etc in this Brave New Digital World. The same folks (meaning the non-creative folks--not the artists, but the publishers, record companies, etc.) who profited from codified revenue-stream systems flowing from reproduction & distribution of creative works are now all going batshit trying to cope with 'product-control' gone uncontrollably viral via digital technology.

I don't care much how it all plays out. But it's KINDA interesting to observe. Part of me thinks 'good riddance' that the era of 'major labels' is vanishing, part of me thinks SOME good things were lost. (like: now EVERYONE has a myspace page, a self-produced cd or downloads, a print-on-demand book etc...and so what? Most of 'em are just vanity projects. Hobby stuff. Third-rate or worse. No earthly reason for most of them to actually exist, in terms of artistic quality or innovation. Back 'in the day' the legit 'talent scouts' sought only the truly-worthy stuff.

I often feel bad these days when encountering young musicians who IMO really got it happening. Where can they perform, hone their skills? What paths can they hope to tread in pursuit of their dreams? How can they find or build a legit following? In an age where instead of crowded, sweaty, stinky EXCITING music venues, most 'audiences' prefer to sit at home cocooned, staring into screens, wearing headphones, accessing the world via circuitry and tinselish electro-icon imagery?

Who cares if they have myspace, youtube or itunes downloads? So do twenty zillion other folks. Wading through 300,000 websites and 2,000,000 possible downloads or vids is nigh-impossible. Better 'back in the day' when there might be only 50 new discs or acts a month (or year) to check out--because the 'record biz' had already acted as a pre-filter for worthy talent. For better or worse. And when most 'acts' had already 'paid some dues'. Performed a heap, actually impressed living, breathing 3-D audiences. Ya know? If Epstein hadn't signed the Beatles, somebody else would've. They coulda been deaf, but all they hadda do was visit the Cavern, seen the crowd response, and smelled BIG MONEY TO BE MADE.

Not often, maybe three times a year, I see/meet some young solo artist or band in 3-D, realize they're somebody with bonafide talent. And its heartbreaking. They all have similar 'career' outlines. Random 'showcase gigs' or open-mic wanderings. Got a cd for sale, a website/myspace/facebook/twitter page, some youtube vids....and a grand total of 100 people have actually paid attention to them. They've no way to develop 'buzz', make person-to-person connections with 'biz' types.

It's as baffling as if every person in the phone book was an 'aspiring artist' and one had to wade through all those listings in hopes of finding a gem.

The more things get wonderful the more they get awful. Everybody is now all inter-connected and webbed-up and the din is so bedlamic it's nigh-impossible to clearly hear/identify/locate any one individual vision therein.

Sure, there will be exceptions. A few will still rise to the top. But most who do so nowadays seem even more plugged-into 'having the right connections' than ever before--not less-so, as promised when the 'digital age' was a-borning. This seeming democratic free-for-all seems more a vast corral of trapped creative aspirant cattle, all bellowing for attention at once, and nobody much listening.

Andy Warhol got it wrong: In the future everybody will be seemingly-famous for 1 minute, max. And even so, nothing much will come of it for either audience or artist.

Welcome to the digital age of phantasmic, miragelike, stillborn, can't-be-gotten pseudo-fabulousness. Babel On Inc.

Happy Fata Morgana, y'all.


Your right, I totally missed your point, sorry.

There's clearly a lot of truth in what you say and it's true that technology has created a glut of new media. Take films for example, I don't know the numbers, but WAY LOTS MORE movies are made now, they open and are all gone the following weekend. Secondary, tertiary, etc., markets make it virtually impossible to lose money if you follow the right formulas. Bomb at the box office and try overseas, try DVD, pay cable, cable and broadcast TV.

Yet I still find it next to impossible to complain about TOO MUCH ART. Sure, most of it is so-so or worse, but really, that's been true since before electricity. Most of everything is not something that will last.

Maybe we've reached a point where the amount of GREAT STUFF behind us has reached a kind of maximum limit -- that is, if you're born in 2009 and live to be 90, you won't have enough time to really explore more than what? 20% or less.... hell, if you count EVERYTHING genuinely worth your time.... 2% or less of ALL OF IT. And that's if they stopped making stuff TODAY.

If they stopped making EVERYTHING today, you could only scratch the surface of the best stuff the world has produced that's available for your enrichment by the time your organs fail and you shuffle off the mortal coil.

As far as all these people making a living? I say we subsidize everybody by taxing all income over $3.5 million a year at 85%.

If Donald Trump and Yoko Ono can't make ends meet, let 'em sign up for food stamps like the rest of us.


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 02:41 GMT 
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harmonica albert wrote:
A short article in the Sunday NY Times noted a recent study indicating that 1 in 4 adults report having no close confidants in their lives, up from 1 in 10 in a 1985 study. So all the digitizing, mediating, social networking, leaves us with more contacts and fewer friends, more data and less emotional connections. This is social decline, not social "networking" and leaves most people more easily manipulated, controlled, and economically exploited. That is the ruling purpose of digital culture, which is a business strategy first and foremost.

Regarding the question of authorship (and I freely admit to skimming many of the posts in this thread) and individuality, while it is true that many ancient literary works represent a kind of collective production process via oral transmission, scribal transmission, and hazy creative boundaries, it is also true that Homer, Aeschylus, Plato, Heraclitus, Virgil, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, and other familiar names were individuals (I consider both Homer and Jesus as real historical personalities), were thought to be the authors of their works (spoken or written) and originators of said works contents to at least some degree. Longjohn's initial post seems to paraphrase without quite mentioning Pope's formulation of the task of the poet to say that which has been said before but never so well, in contrast with the Romantic/liberal notion of the individual artist with her peculiar genius and vision.

Most good writing of any era is based on good reading/listening and will show some relationship to a literary culture or cultures. That these relations somehow mean the individuals are absolved from responsibility for the products of their tongues/pens/typewriters/cell phone keypads makes no sense to me whatsoever. Regarding Dylan's position as an author of a body of work, it is terribly compromised by something I consider laziness tantamount to dishonesty at times. Were he simply a pop singer doing whatever necessary to sell some records and concert tickets, his penchant for plagiarism, pastiche and recombinant cliche wouldn't matter in the least.

I'm no longer interested in the work of Bob Dylan. I had a good long run with it, decades of study, admiration, fascination. The work itself cured me of all this. Intellectually, I have no trouble recognizing his place in musical and literary culture. That place no longer gives me pleasure, just twinges of nostalgia for how his art used to matter to me, quickly relieved by picking up my mandolin or listening to Doc Watson or Louis Armstrong. I'm baffled by the claims of greatness made for Modern Times and Together Through Life, the enthusiasm for the awful if well intended Christmas album, the willingness of people to pay to hear him "sing" live or on record in that desperate and exaggerated style that seems to be the product of a Bob Dylan Simulator and devoid of human feeling and experienced emotion. Not by people liking those albums, or even loving them, but by the laudatory blather that follows personal preference without any close examination of the artifact in question or the experience of that artifact by the author of the response or the context of creation and reiteration. Dylan's methods are increasingly transparent with the ability of listeners to google every phrase and line to find his "sources." Sharp ears were doing this from the very start of his career, and the practice of basing one song on another song or songs is probably as old as songs themselves.

Does knowledge of his methods and sources diminish the songs? In my experience, it has. The copying is too blatant, the reliance on cliche too persistent, the half-realized images and awkward diction too common to excuse or rationalize or turn into some tedious sign of post-modernism at work. It is much simpler to face an obvious truth: Dylan is capable of writing badly just as much or more than he is capable of writing with depth of feeling, originality of idea and creativity of diction. If he could still sing, would I feel differently? Perhaps. If he could really play his guitar, would I overlook the vocals and lyrics? Maybe.

His work has been consistently inconsistent since he started recording. Sublime work, ridiculous work. Visionary originality, derivative cliche. Ultimately, it must give pleasure or yield to work that does. After giving his work a major share of my attention for almost 50 years, I'm down to about a dozen songs I care about but listen to no more than once a year or so, maybe I play them on my guitar an equal amount. Is he the author of these songs? His music publisher seems to think so, but I feel very ambivalent about him collecting royalties on snippets of writing stolen from other writers and strung together over another boring blues progression.


I take it then a Nobel Prize is :shock: out of the question?


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 03:36 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
Yet I still find it next to impossible to complain about TOO MUCH ART. Sure, most of it is so-so or worse, but really, that's been true since before electricity. Most of everything is not something that will last.

Maybe we've reached a point where the amount of GREAT STUFF behind us has reached a kind of maximum limit -- that is, if you're born in 2009 and live to be 90, you won't have enough time to really explore more than what? 20% or less.... hell, if you count EVERYTHING genuinely worth your time.... 2% or less of ALL OF IT. And that's if they stopped making stuff TODAY.

If they stopped making EVERYTHING today, you could only scratch the surface of the best stuff the world has produced that's available for your enrichment by the time your organs fail and you shuffle off the mortal coil.

As far as all these people making a living? I say we subsidize everybody by taxing all income over $3.5 million a year at 85%.

If Donald Trump and Yoko Ono can't make ends meet, let 'em sign up for food stamps like the rest of us.


Well, obviously I share yer passion for finding The Good Stuff. My floor is ever-littered with This Week's Batch of books & dvd's borrowed from the library. I'm encountering those Young Gifted Talents because I'm visiting local clubs, coffee houses, open mic, and listening to other acts on the bill when I gig with combos in NYC, listening to all kinda pickers at OT jams, house parties and fests.

And, natch, finding stuff via the web.

Still, I'm glad--now--that some of my education was old-fashioned--'classical', if you will--tho at the time I often wondered if I'd chosen the wrong path. Thinking here of art school. I coulda gone to Pratt, or School Of Visual Arts in NYC. Coulda been tossed right into all the buzz-wordy, trendy, ultra-au-courant Big Time Art World currents. Conceptual art, installation art, performance art, anything-goes art.

Instead I chose an art school in Hartford which did offer the 'the zeitgeist' stuff, but also offered the 'classical western art tradition' education. Not sure why, but I chose the old-fashioned route there. Life drawing every day for the full four years. Painting still lifes mandatory the first year. Basic design principles. Color theory. RIGOROUS criticism from the instructors. Nothing conceptual or 'edgy' allowed until the third and fourth years. First two years you were an APPRENTICE. Nobody gave a hoot about yer Big Trailblazing Innovative Vision or Astounding Genius--instead you had to demonstrate a solid grasp of the oldest fundamental skills, techniques, chemistries. You had to know ALL the traditions, before being allowed even an opportunity to smash them.

Of the classmates I've kept in touch with, the ones who also chose the old, boring Rigorous Narrow Path tended to be the ones who ended up bonafide artists. More of the then-edgy students ended up in other fields.

That kinda discipline, the venerable mentor-apprentice 'master's workshop' deal, has gone missing in a world where many creative youngsters see all previous creative antecedents as being 'cut and pastable'...sample and remix a dab of Botticelli, a bit of Sugar Hill Mob, some Faulkner, do some marketing and VOILA! Yer name in lights. Product Beta-Testing, not craft-honing or vision-focusing.

Some pop music critic--forget who it was--once wrote that, even in the pop realms, when trying to determine what stuff would have staying power, the best bet remained choosing the classical over the dionysian, the formal over the passionate, the well-constructed over the flash of the moment. The composer over the virtuoso.

OTOH: in all aspects discussed so far, I DO keep in mind that my views may merely be that of age. This era's version of "oh that rock and roll crap can't hold a candle to big band music"...."Pollack is a joke compared to Corot" etc. We can see things different, given enough years. Yes, there's truth in the maxim "youth is wasted on the young" but IMO there's probably an equal validity to a notion like 'wisdom is wasted on the old." So ya might have picked up a few more tricks and useful insights with time and experience--BIG DEAL--yer daily becoming, bodily and mentally, ever more decrepit, feeble and irrelevant.

Imagine this said in the voice of either Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny or Moe Stooge: "How humiliatin'!"


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 04:42 GMT 
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I've said the same thing about musical training that you're saying about art training. A grounding in the fundamentals, an intellectual understanding of what you're doing is important because it's that discipline that enables you to be MORE free. I lack that training and suffer enormously -- not that I'm "sad", rather that I'm very limited in what I can DO musically. A friend describes it as a tool box; the stuff you know represents different tools. Some great players have a couple hundred tools, the average bar band guitar player has 20-30, I have, I don't know... six, maybe five.

I like to paint, but I know even less there. So, I can take a guitar, twist the pegs and put it in an odd alternate tuning and poke around, find a pattern and sound a bit like John Fahey to people who don;t really know John Fahey, and I can take some paints and a canvas and make something that's, um... "interesting" but I understand that the knowledge I lack would not somehow restrict my creativity or my artistic freedom, just the opposite.


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 06:04 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
I've said the same thing about musical training that you're saying about art training. A grounding in the fundamentals, an intellectual understanding of what you're doing is important because it's that discipline that enables you to be MORE free. I lack that training and suffer enormously -- not that I'm "sad", rather that I'm very limited in what I can DO musically. A friend describes it as a tool box; the stuff you know represents different tools. Some great players have a couple hundred tools, the average bar band guitar player has 20-30, I have, I don't know... six, maybe five.

I like to paint, but I know even less there. So, I can take a guitar, twist the pegs and put it in an odd alternate tuning and poke around, find a pattern and sound a bit like John Fahey to people who don;t really know John Fahey, and I can take some paints and a canvas and make something that's, um... "interesting" but I understand that the knowledge I lack would not somehow restrict my creativity or my artistic freedom, just the opposite.


Yeah, well I was blessed to've gotten some formal musical training too, but wish I'd had more. It really does give ya a better & broader toolbox. Bigger pallette. HOWEVER--learning is lifelong, LJ. Never too late to learn new stuff. Ya ever thought about giving yerself a few months and devoting it to learning some new technique, theory or the like? Any genre, any style, any methodology--they're all good and they all interconnect. My decision in my early 40's to really dig into OT stuff--the fiddle in particular--paid all kinda unexpected dividends, applicable to many other forms of music. Something similar happens during my every-few-years brief spells of intense fascination with jazz-guitaring and jazz theory. I'll never be a bonafide jazz geetarist, but the stuff I learn therein always provides ideas & skills that make my rock/blues/whatever/punky/hillbilly guitaring & playing & composerating a little more inneresting.

Starting the middle of last summer, my busking was often within a duet. BJ fiddling, I back her on banjo & geetar. We've known each other since 8th grade. Two years ago, aged 53, she developed a consuming passion to learn to fiddle, outta nowhere. By last summer she'd gotten the hang of it well-enough that jamming became big fun. Yet back in 2008 she'd be like "Oh, I stink, I'll never be good enough to busk or play a gig." I'd suggest maybe she was being too hard on herself, regarding her progress and potential. Sure enough, when she finally tried busking with me, people dug it. Now it's she who pesters me to PLAY SOME--"SO when we gonna jam again, huh? Can't we busk today? It's only minus-37 degrees F, that's not TOO COLD!!!" Hee hee.

Love, passion, desire--amazing what can happen when we really dig something, throw ourselves into it with all our hearts. At ANY age or state of decrepitude. EVEN for Hoosiers what started out in the Great Northeast Of Philly--pretzels, Rambo, IGGLES, trolleys, mummers and all.

So, no more crying!! League Of Your Own!! THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL--OR IN MAKING SOME GOOD NOISE FER THE HECK OF IT. Tackle something ya always wished you were more-nimble at. Whattya got to lose? BE the new Fahey, or at least learn to fake it better-some. Decide to give Bloomfield a run for the money on a gin-mill tele. Fan of open tunings? Fine--Be Like Keef. Or spend a few months investigating the amazing array of sounds what can be gotten from a goodtime banjo (banjo is the original role-model for a twangy tele. All sizzle and growl. 'Spanky' is the apt term.)

Or do like Bob (and everybody else). Steal whatever ya please, jumble it all up, shake-and-bake it good, and let the resultant cards fall where they may.


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 06:17 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
I like to paint, but I know even less there. So, I can take a guitar, twist the pegs and put it in an odd alternate tuning and poke around, find a pattern and sound a bit like John Fahey to people who don;t really know John Fahey, and I can take some paints and a canvas and make something that's, um... "interesting" but I understand that the knowledge I lack would not somehow restrict my creativity or my artistic freedom, just the opposite.


Regarding painting (and how it eerily connects to music): TRINITIES. There's precisely THREE primary colors. (Cyan, Magenta and Yellow--or Blue, Red & Ol' Yeller if ya care to keep it folky) Everything else derives from how ya mix them three colors up, with some white and some ground-mud (the earth tones) tossed in. Similarly, in music, a heck of a lot of the music mosta us like comes from using THREE chords, said chords each being, in their most basic form, being made of THREE notes....

"anna one anna two anna three......"

Keep it simple. Get them simple trinities a-percolating and after a spell ya got rainbows all over the place, in yer ears or eyes.

Trinities are magical...Power trios...Parent, child & holy ghost spirit...I, thou and Other. Moe, Larry & Curly...Manny, Moe & Jack, the Pep Boys...ABC's...Doe, Ray, Mee.

Specific technical recommendation, basic pallette to Paint Good With:

Blues:
1. Pthalo blue (cool)
2. Ultramarine blue (warm)

Reds:
1. Magenta (cool)
2. Crimson or Cadmium Medium Hue (warm) (don't use legit Cadmiums--they's poisonous-toxic. Make ya go nuts like Van Gogh)

Yellow:
1. Cadmium Medium Yellow HUE (same warning as above for True Cadmiums.

Green (yeah, an exception but a good one):
1. Pthalo Green

White:
1. Titanium white

Earth tones ('ground-up mud'):
1. Raw Umber
2. Burnt Umber
3. Burnt Sienna
4. Raw Sienna.

Don't use black. Ya want swell blacks, mix Ultramarine & Burnt Umber, 50/50, or Pthalo Green and Magenta 50/50. Either will give ya some deep gooey black what got CHARACTER. Add white and ya get grays that sing right sprightly.

Add brushes and make a happy mess. Don't worry about 'mistakes.'


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 06:39 GMT 
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harmonica albert wrote:
I'm no longer interested in the work of Bob Dylan. I had a good long run with it, decades of study, admiration, fascination. The work itself cured me of all this. Intellectually, I have no trouble recognizing his place in musical and literary culture. That place no longer gives me pleasure, just twinges of nostalgia for how his art used to matter to me, quickly relieved by picking up my mandolin or listening to Doc Watson or Louis Armstrong. I'm baffled by the claims of greatness made for Modern Times and Together Through Life, the enthusiasm for the awful if well intended Christmas album, the willingness of people to pay to hear him "sing" live or on record in that desperate and exaggerated style that seems to be the product of a Bob Dylan Simulator and devoid of human feeling and experienced emotion. Not by people liking those albums, or even loving them, but by the laudatory blather that follows personal preference without any close examination of the artifact in question or the experience of that artifact by the author of the response or the context of creation and reiteration. Dylan's methods are increasingly transparent with the ability of listeners to google every phrase and line to find his "sources." Sharp ears were doing this from the very start of his career, and the practice of basing one song on another song or songs is probably as old as songs themselves.

Does knowledge of his methods and sources diminish the songs? In my experience, it has. The copying is too blatant, the reliance on cliche too persistent, the half-realized images and awkward diction too common to excuse or rationalize or turn into some tedious sign of post-modernism at work. It is much simpler to face an obvious truth: Dylan is capable of writing badly just as much or more than he is capable of writing with depth of feeling, originality of idea and creativity of diction. If he could still sing, would I feel differently? Perhaps. If he could really play his guitar, would I overlook the vocals and lyrics? Maybe.



It's gotta be what he was looking for, to let people go, let them down, kind of throw everything thing out of the way. He's done it so many times, like he mentioned in Chronicles about getting new fans, he has to change himself completely all the time. He just has to. He can't stop himself from changing. I do feel for you though, Harmonica Albert, in a way, it's as if there's no mystery left to Bob Dylan. But this time around, pushing 70 years old, he's had to roll with the changes. He is creating himself again from what's left. I just have to wonder about anybody who wants to ask for more. What more could you possibly want? Let him go. I feel for the loss of your personal Bob Dylan, not deeply, but I get that he's meant a lot to you.

About the cut and paste stuff... whatever this thread is about, the blatant theft of whole formed melodies and songs, I swear he just wanted to give everybody the finger anyway; while still creating compelling stuff though. Don't say that all the praise is "laudatory blather." It isn't. And who knows who Bob is paying off. A lot of artists, or their heirs, or publishing companies could be making out pretty good from all his stealing, and we'd never even hear about it. A majority of his theft could be for charitable purposes. You know someone got compensation for Red Sails In The Sunset/ Beyond The Horizon. People don't just let that kind of stuff go. And if there are issues with what is and isn't public domain, and who wrote what and when, people are free to seek litigation. It's almost like he's issuing a challenge. If it's yours - claim it. Go up against Bob Dylan. You know a bunch of people have, and we don't hear about it. He's doing charitable work. I bet it's fun to him.

What else... L&T, MT, even TTL, they're really good albums. Plenty of people have bought and listened to them. And they're genuinely liking the music. It's just different. He's another Bob Dylan now. If you played any of his immediately recent songs to someone who'd never heard of him, then played them his 60's songs, they might not know he's the same person. To me that's interesting, in and of itself, or in and of himself. He appeared to became another person recently, and rather abruptly to some. Just don't get all pissed off at Bob Dylan because he's not your Bob Dylan anymore.



harmonica albert wrote:
the willingness of people to pay to hear him "sing" live or on record in that desperate and exaggerated style that seems to be the product of a Bob Dylan Simulator


And this is just not nice at all. His live work is compelling nowadays, to witness, it is to me anyway, he's interesting and his music is a good time.


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 10:29 GMT 
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I can understand--and respect--Harp's views regarding Bob.

What's odd is that my views are almost completely the opposite of Harp's!

It's Bob's work since the two 1990's solo acoustic records that re-seized my attention, made me once again an avid listener and smitten fan. The 'latter-day' Bob-stuff is the Bob-stuff I listen to the most. Oh, I know there's tons of great stuff from 'back in the day', but I rarely listen to any of it. Maybe I've just heard it too much. Poked around in all the onion layers, learned it all 'by heart' decades ago.

Maybe it's simply that the early works were expressions of youth, and expressions of youth can't capture my ear nowadays like expressions of age can, and howcome? DUH--because I'm old. Old eyes, old brain, old emotions, old body. I not longer marvel about being lost in the rain in Juarez during Easter, when it's drizzling. But I do wonder about trying to get to heaven before they shut the door. So naturally the expressions of an elderly poet & musician would hold more resonance for me now. I howl with grim-reaper humor at lines like 'I been praying for salvation hanging 'round a one-room country shack' because I went through a period--in my late 40's--where life felt PRECISELY like that, a period where I was literally living in a one-room country shack. And seeking some kinda salvation. And it was both as-horrifying AND as-darkly-humorous (in retrospect--at the time it was all shivers and serious woe) as Bob sings it.

Oh, I also lived in 'one room country shacks' when younger, but if I was praying for anything back then it was mostly amazing dope, lotsa laughs, tons of thrills, oozy coozy woozy sex, doofus daydreams of riches and fame, taking it easy and other forms of wallowing in youth, callowness, ease, surety, effortless good health and dubious assumptions. 'True love', romantic tomfoolery, racing hormones and other half-baked temporals. A jug a wine, a loaf of bread and thou--plus parroting important-sounding swill you read in some hip rags and 'cool books'...and all other such E-Z Instant pre-fab illusions. Anything that sounded good and kept the wolves of consequence from the doorstep.

Please don't think I've just described the pitfalls of youth. I have--but I've also described the virtues and treasures therein.

When you're young you do NOT wanna ponder lines like "I wish my mother was still alive." When you're older they're the stuff of your daily thoughts. If I had ten billion dollars right now I'd give it all, without a moment's hesitation, if it would bring me face-to-face with my parents, alive and healthy once again. I'd pay ten TRILLION bucks.

When Bob stutter-croaks "I'm sick of love--I'm lovesick", you and ANY ancient bag-a-bones 'sweetie' ya mighta snagged look at each other and think "ain't that the sorry truth--sing it, Bob."

You've learned--the hard way--that your spouse most-likely DOES come from a town called Hell. They definitely got the horns, pitchfork and forked tongue--and so do you! Proud accommodated-to-it co-tenants of Heartbreak Hotel since way back when. Cellmates 4 Evah.

Anybody can say ANYTHING they want to ya--you HAVE 'heard it all.' And it ain't dark yet, but sure as shit, it's getting there.

Yeah, you tried that 'all i really wanna do is baby be friends with you' malarkey, but somehow it never worked out. Flesh, desire, various tracks n' scars, bloodhounds, ghosts, general rancors and assorted demon-imps of the vanities always seemed to've whispered other ideas in yer ever-receptive ears. Part of ya begins to wonder if deafness might not hold some allure. Another part of ya ponders the worth of faking senility just so people might quit pestering ya, plus maybe ya can get some kinda welfare check handout if ya can pull it off.

All past honeymoons led to vinegar-bath wolfing hours, searching for some lawyer's business card while ya can't stop yer hands from shaking. Hard to dial the phone.

In all the hub-bub ya kinda forget about Mankind's Injustice To Fellow Mankind. You start to realize you'll settle for comfortable shoes and Good Enough. But still, ya get yerself some rodeo togs. What the hell. Why not? And ya keep trying to do SOMETHING.

Some of yer past thoughts, deeds and actions you can live with. Even be kinda proud about some. Some you regret. Some you wish you could blot out of memory--yours or anyone else's. Rather than a noggin filled with all the what-if possibilities of the long future ahead, you find yer brain filled with daily streams of memory. Who you were, where you were, why you were, who was who, what had been said, what had been done. Unlike the to-be-revealed frontiers which lie before the young, the past is unchangeable, it's finite. You know it's every detail. All the nooks and crannies. And there's not a damn thing you can do to change one bit of it. It's your shadow, leg chain and Forever Luggage. So ya send the Rodeo Togs to the dry cleaners, keep on the job and hope for the best, despite everything.

So of COURSE I'm gonna resonate to Nowadays Bob. He's ten years older than me but nowadays somebody tens years my senior feels a lot more like cousins than mosta the folks six years my junior--lotsa them can still kid themselves they're in their 'late forties.' It's like some weird mirror-image of the sense of age difference we have in high school. At age 16 we'd never dream of hooking up with someone who's 11. 12 years down the line yer groping each other after a few beers in some rock n roll dungeon. What's a few years age difference between sweaty mammals? Ah, but many moons hence, the reverse process kicks in.

No, I'm not interested in the latest happening combo--but do ya happen to know any good remedies for dry scaly skin? And how much did yer dentist charge for that bridgework? No I dont know one damn thing about the latest Box Office Smash--and I don't wanna know. So go away. Know any doctor who would declare me handicapped-enough that I could claim early Social Security benefits? Why the heck am I weeping at corny films? At corny COMMERCIALS? How come I can clearly see the face of an old best friend in my mind's eye but cannot for the life of me remember their name?

"Honey, do ya gotta ask?"-- now there's a line that still makes sense. You WISH that 'time passes slowly' also still made sense, but time has now become a racecar and you really don't wanna look ahead to the finish line much. Viva Old Man Bob--there's someone whose songs touched me when young and whose songs still touch me. But different someones--both the singer and the listener--and different songs.

Didn't William Blake already explain all this crap? :)
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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 15:47 GMT 

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To: Bob

From: Fan

What else can you show me?


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 18:08 GMT 
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Superb input, as always, from HA. He makes some great points. I've never been able to listen to about half of Dylan's stuff, and side with the "early output is better" crowd. I still hold him up as one of America's greatest creative genius's, despite the lifting. There's still enough original songs - any one of which would be a lifetime achievement for any mere mortal. Combined with the social activist slant and lyrical magic of many songs - he still has no peer in sight.


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 18:12 GMT 
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Pockets wrote:
MMD wrote:
The idea that a person organically grows an idea, a song, a poem, an image in their soul, or is inspired by a magical power, a genni [...] is too laughable to be taken seriously and bears no scrutiny at all.


Why, apart from all the Frankfurt School-lite?


Sorry, got carried away with the rhetoric, but my point was not that it isn't worth examination. Quite the opposite, that it (the Romantic idea of Genius) should be examined, carefully. Once it is examined with an historicist eye, I think, it is hard to accept it as really convincing. That doesn't make it uninteresting. The effect of an historical examination is, in part, that it helps to place is clear relief the way in which we take the idea for granted, naturalize it. That can help to re-examine the larger web of ideas that are connected to it, that lead to forming certain judgments in a broader field (economic, legal, moral, artistic). How does the idea of the Author (capital A here points to the genius-creator) affect our way of seeing, for instance, the business of music (or painting, etc).

And it's true that the idea of someone being the author of a poem or song is not a modern idea, but the particular for it has after the 18th, and especially after the 19th CE is quite different that it had in the 6th BCE or the 13th CE.


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PostPosted: Tue January 5th, 2010, 18:52 GMT 
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MMD wrote:
Sorry, got carried away with the rhetoric, but my point was not that it isn't worth examination. Quite the opposite, that it (the Romantic idea of Genius) should be examined, carefully. Once it is examined with an historicist eye, I think, it is hard to accept it as really convincing. That doesn't make it uninteresting. The effect of an historical examination is, in part, that it helps to place is clear relief the way in which we take the idea for granted, naturalize it. That can help to re-examine the larger web of ideas that are connected to it, that lead to forming certain judgments in a broader field (economic, legal, moral, artistic). How does the idea of the Author (capital A here points to the genius-creator) affect our way of seeing, for instance, the business of music (or painting, etc).

And it's true that the idea of someone being the author of a poem or song is not a modern idea, but the particular for it has after the 18th, and especially after the 19th CE is quite different that it had in the 6th BCE or the 13th CE.


Yep, good stuff, got it. Though I think historical readings of this may have overstated the difference. I didn't used to think so.

Of course, if magic is real...


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