Portrait of James Foley. War photographer. Rest in peace, hero
|me:||your people really are fond of the word "dickhead"|
|why do they like it so much?|
|Tom:||i have thought a lot about this|
|i think that part of it is that it's so much fun to say|
|with a real accent on the first syllable|
|and it's so utilitarian and matter of fact|
|like there are a million more elaborate insults|
|but you're literally saying|
|your head is a penis|
|that's what i think of you|
|you have a dick for a head|
|it's hard to beat that really|
By Clementine Bastow
Dear Young Person:
You are eight years old. Your aunt has given you a biscuit tin full of antique costume jewelry: there are Venetian glass beads and gold filigree things and tiny little snuff boxes set with enamel flowers. Even the tin itself is beautiful, covered…
Everyone should read this thing that Clem wrote. It’s incredibly brave and really rather beautiful
"Roshi said something nice to me one time. He said that the older you get, the lonelier you become, and the deeper the love you need. Which means that this hero that you’re trying to maintain as the central figure in the drama of your life—this hero is not enjoying the life of a hero. You’re exerting a tremendous maintenance to keep this heroic stance available to you, and the hero is suffering defeat after defeat. And they’re not heroic defeats; they’re ignoble defeats. Finally, one day you say, ‘Let him die—I can’t invest any more in this heroic position.’ From there, you just live your life as if it’s real—as if you have to make decisions even though you have absolutely no guarantee of any of the consequences of your decisions."
I’ve shared this quote a riddiculous number of times in a few contexts, but it continues to mean something to me so I’m sharing it again. I have not yet let the hero die.
Thinking along similar lines to this today.
(assuming this is also where the “You live your life as if it’s real” line in “A Thousand Kisses Deep” comes from, which makes perfect sense given how it ties into Buddhist ideas of reality as an illusion)
Watching the clock like
"She has created a wonderful thing with Notorious R.B.G. I will admit I had to be told by my law clerks, what’s this Notorious. And they — they explained that to me."
According to Daft Punk, The Strokes’ Is This It (which turned 13 yesterday) is the best record of the 21st century so far.
Conclusive proof, if any were needed, that Daft Punk are boring as fuck
"[…] Violator just stands as a moving, solid, record, a classic for the archives of popular music; it doesn’t so much carry a lot of the things that made Depeche Mode feel so much themselves. With 1987’s Music for the Masses, that stuff is all there— which makes the music both harder to ‘get’, from today’s perspective, and also more interesting. The Depeche Mode of this album is the one that brought together a rabid audience of trendy coastal kids and middle-American teens who got beat up over stuff like this— all of whom saw them not only as the peak of style, but as something positively revelatory, something speaking only to them (even in a crowded stadium), something alien and cool, disorientingly kinky, and entrancingly strange. For many, this was probably one of the first dance-pop acts they’d heard that didn’t seem to be entirely about being cool and having a good time; their music had been dark, clattery, and full of S&M hints and blasphemy, and on this record it reached a level of Baroque pseudo-classical grandness (see depressed-teenager shout-out ‘Little Fifteen’) that lived up to those kids’ inflated visions of the group."
Nitsuh Abebe on Depeche Mode’s Music for the Masses (published on Pitchfork, 2006)
I wanted to re-blog this again to point something out: if you’re starting out writing music criticism, study this. This is what you should be doing. Think about how music works, how it’s being received and what it means to people. This passage says a great deal about the music of Depeche Mode by having insight into how it functioned for their fans. It says nothing about what Martin Gore was going through when he wrote these songs; it doesn’t try to dissect the lyrics and de-code them, it doesn’t list what synths were used. It gets inside the music and figures out what it does, which is very hard but ultimately very rewarding. Because getting at that requires a great deal of empathy—you need to be able to stand in the shoes of the people who heard this music.
^^ Excellent advice