The Limitations in Constituting a Universal Human Subject

Why bother studying for your SATs when all there is to do is drink too much whiskey and listen to the R&B that was on the radio the last time you were capable of love?


Did I ever get the feeling I've cheated myself?



I found an old essay from the beginning of 2014.

Really short.

Sort of nifty.

An idea or two.

But not the 5,000 words around them that might get me some money. Though probably not. Exactly where would something like "I hate Daft Punk and hate you for liking them too" get published? Here of course. Maybe I'll finish it someday. 

Choice cut:

More obvious: a certain strain of rock-ist ideology posits (implicitly, possibly without being understood, even) the idea that all music except rock exists only to rescue rock from its constant lapses into aesthetic moribundity. That's it. Jazz. R&B. Soul. Funk. Reggae. Dub. Disco. House. Techno. Rap. You know, all the real innovation, just fodder for white people with guitars. Rock is (an) Empire, and all the other genres are the colonies sending all of their raw materials to be processed into consumable goods.

Corny is a word used to describe incomprehensible desire.

Daft Punk is not a gateway drug but a gate.

VocADulary Pt.1

The first part in a probably-not-continuing series...

New-ish Nissan commercial:
"The only thing left to fear is your imagination"

I guess if you are an indie musician or a deep house producer, you have nothing to fear at all (rimshot).

Hulu classic:
"Which ad experience would you prefer?"

Whichever one involves good acid and Pink Floyd?

Ok. Not that funny. But the use of the word "experience" really gets me. Every time. I can go and read Thomas Frank for the 100th time and understand intellectually why that word being there is the culmination of years and years of social change and the integration of the counterculture into consumer culture, etc., but, like, I still don't get it. To be fair to everyone else in the world, I don't throw things at my computer when I hear it, so how can I expect you to do so as well?


I never got around to writing a roundup of the year 2014 in music for me because for me, nothing really happened. I can't really think of any album or even single that really made a difference in my life.

I'm trying to get back into it, really, because I am bored with old stuff. But it's not working, so far. 

But I need to do it anyways. Except, of course, that I keep thinking that it's still, I dunno, the 1990s. Like once I get back into it there will be something to get back into.

I mean, it's not really as bleak as that. I just miss feeling motivated to listen to music for some reason beyond my own pleasure. 'Cause that part's easy. I just noticed that the vast majority, if not all, of the music the Cocteau Twins released is up on Spotify. And that AR Kane box set that came out a few years ago. And so so so so so much Blue Note. But it's starting to make me sad.

In fat, when I did try and write my 2014 roundup, the only thing I came up with is that the below is the saddest record I heard in the entirety of 2014. I did not hear this record for the first time in 2014, but, for months, I was obsessed with it. That piano riff. Fucking brilliant. Why sad though?

Well. Let's get to the easy part first. I still want to go out and live a vibrant life. I'm getting scared one is passing me by. I am getting older, but I am not old. It's just. Like tonight. Beautiful up here. Spring. The air smells of possibility and new experience and adventure and I am stuck inside. Partially, because I am broke. I guess I could take a walk. But to where? Nowhere particularly beautiful or interesting to go. And if I had money? The same old bars, the same old people, the death of inspiration. I am a seeker. It's not over yet. It's alright. I just know I don't want to waste any more beautiful spring nights. "Hey DJ" is the sound of a night I'm not living. I mean, those girls, dancing on the rooftop, let's go. Thirty years ago. Fuck.

Ok. That's the easy part.

Why else sad though? I guess why I've been cool with listening to old records is not because the past was so, so, so much better. There's plenty of good records out there now, I'm sure, that are new and competent and listenable and etc. But the future the past believed in is better than the past the future believes in. And also, of course, the future the future believes in isn't really that interesting, either.

But the fact that the future the past believed in hasn't arrived, well, now it's making those old records hard to listen to sometimes.  Sad, even.

If I were to write about something, it would be two ideas from Mark Fisher. The one I'll just comment on and the other I'll regret not being able to write about in depth.

The first, well. In this interview, Mr. Fisher mentions that "in 1995 the 60's had been a lot closer than they were in 1980". Yup. But, really, not really. It seems to me that Mr. Fisher is talking about aesthetics. So I don't think he would disagree (and he would have to bin all the hauntology CDs in his house if he did) when I say that, actually, the 60s, as well as the 70's, 80's and 90s all feel terribly distant. I mean really far. The desire being fulfilled by the music that was created in those times seems completely unrecoverable to me. It really hit me hard, especially, listening to Sketches of Spain  again a few months back (t had been a while, for no good reason). I've heard it a million times. I love that album. But listening to it recently, I could no longer imagine the society that could produce such a thing. It felt totally alien to me. Who thought that was a good idea? I mean, besides Miles of course, WHO? I can't answer. So that's that.

The other one is maybe not quite Mr. Fisher's, though I don't think the interviewer or editor who wrote it is way off base. Still, I'll quote that person. Here we go: "but don't blame the hipsters". Ok fine. This is the one I can't write about today. I just want to say, as far as neoliberalism convincing us all that the future is not possible, yeah, fine, don't blame them (or blame them for not fucking reading books and for not getting pissed off). But. I can't also help but feel like those of us in the "pop culture sucks nowadays" camp might be projecting, might be assuming on some level that there are hordes of people dissatisfied like we are. If so, I sure as hell don't meet them. 

Here's the thing. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of people benefit from the way things are now. My city is full of them. I don't want to rant about this city again. So I'll keep it to... Lots and lots of people benefit from the way things are. I mean the people with tattoos, too, even, especially.