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- Subject: Re: sloanpolitik
- From: kclair\!/sas.upenn.edu (Kristina Clair)
- Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 01:25:05 -0500 (EST)
- Posted-date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 01:25:06 -0500 (EST)
Michael Damian Catano wrote:
> On Wed, 28 Feb 1996, James R. Covey wrote:
> i think i get what you are saying (you're being *oh* so vague, babe.). i
> would have to say, however, that the populist trend is not towards
> cynicism or to skepticism, but to a holehearted avoindance of political
> matters. it's not that people are skeptical or cynical towards poiltics,
> so much as people have abandonned them altogether, at least on a public
> matter. it's isolationism - pop music reflects it. in the 60's there was
> a strong movement towards sexual/racial/political freedom in music. it
> was also the topic in vogue on an academic level, so music was being
> arbitrarily (sp?) judged with that aesthetic in mind. know there is
> little interest, on a movement or academic level, in revolution, so art
> is not really being analysed on that level any more - we tend to look at
> things not from the point of view of a political agenda, but rather from
> a personal, emotional or viceral level. "what does this say to me?" as
Are you saying that the level of analysis of academia is not interested
A good number of the essays that address the canon (a set of works judged
to be so essential to thought that every student should be required to read
it) are based on the complaint that traditional literary criticism is simply
a group of white males of european descendance trying to stay in power.
Although relativism is becoming more and more acceptable, there are still
quite a few people worried about how art is affecting society as a whole,
especially in the US.
Music, on the other hand, may be a bit more individualized because it
doesn't exist in academia the way literature does.
> opposed to "what does this say to us?"
> christgau, and most other critics fault, is to impose their predetermined
> aesthetic of what IS popular culture on art when they look at it. he
> doesn't see political content because he doesn't want to, because by HIS
> definition, modern popular culture has no politics. whereas, if he was
> writing in 1968, he would be bemoaning the rampant political message of
> music because in academic opinion, culture at the time was highly political.
> but isn't narcissism an important issue then? why do we have such a
> strong tendancy to classify what is and is not poitical, and therefore
> socially relevant or meaningful.
> what HAS to happen for ANY music to have lasting social value is for us
I think that any music indirectly has lasting social impact because it
effects the individuals that exist within a society.
Another thing to consider: what do you mean by "social value"? Are you
implying that there is a Good or a Right way that we should be aiming for
society to exist. What is that absolute?
> to re-examine how we go about looking at what "politics" are. the next
> time we get into a cultural framework where politics are an important
> issue for the general public, the music we have now is going to be
> summarily dissmissd as being "politically empty" just as we dissmiss the
I think it is just as likely that people in the future will make an
analysis of today's politics and then impress that conclusion onto
popular music to make their point provable.
> cause-rock from the eighties as being "poitically manipulative." what
> has to happen is for us not to examine work from the mindset in which we
> are slaves to an over-srching cultural aesthetic "ie, society is
> (a)political," but rather try to remove ourselves form that sort of idea
> althogether and look at things on their own terms.
> this, however, leads us into the dangerous territory that rorty walks in
> with his views (to numerous to get into here).
> how do we be politically unbiased without being culturally vacant?
It sounds as though what you are asking of people is impossible - that in
order for any of this to happen we would have to separate ourselves from
our time and place.
> given the fact that james has about six thousand times the education and
> intellect that i've got, i've probably been way more rambly and
> incoherent than james was, so i apologise to the confused. please
> forgive any and all huge contradictions and loopholes in my rant. i'm
> but a youngin'.
> anyhoo, it's an interesting
> debate. i think the key is to accept/remember that passivity and
> apoliticism is just as "political" as dynamism and conviction.
depending on how you look at the world, everything could suddenly seem
political or a derivative thereof.
> > james