Monday, January 30, 2023


 Rock was supposed to be rebellion, and rock musicians collectively should have renounced the minute some armchair sociologist made that pronouncement. Rock music ought to have acquired genuinely repulsive and stupider and more violent, aggressive and expressed the collective ID in gruesome detail before anymore, writers invented vocabularies to describe and contextualize what was going on. But it's too late now. Before the Palace could be burned down, rock became a form of art with literary and high-mind musicological influence. It became poetry, it became art, it ceased to be anything at all. It became too "about" things rather than a thing in itself, powerful and potent. Rock music became defined and categorized and endlessly subcategorized and became something to be taught in universities, where the same jargonized clichés are memorized again. 

The point I was going towards in all that deep waxing was that the giving things names, definitions, announcing what their function ought to be in fact nullifies whatever power and effect they might have had. Critique helped make the energy of rock into a commodity that could be named, categorized and sold to a large audience, and it helped keep a generation of intellectuals from leaving the school. Nothing prevents you from doing anything meaningful, effective than to have provided for you an expanding distraction that swallows you whole and gets you thinking, for all the jargonizing and posturing about meaning, purpose and transforming nothing useful is being accomplished. Reaction to music, responses to music, changing tastes over generations, change the standard for quality. How well or how badly music is perceived depends on the human reaction to the expression of music. Critical, technical, aesthetic, and philosophical underpinnings of those tenets are malleable. People's reactions to what they were listening to has everything to do with music.

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