Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Culture Wars: 'Capper' Sniffs the Glue

Capper, a reasonable (and maybe even likeable) Lefty, attempts to push the canard that "rock'n'roll" is "a cultural expression of dissent." (See the combox; Nuge is only the beginning.) He's joined briefly by KR of Shorewood.

Man o man o man o mano....

Rock, like most music, is the result of a generation and/or culture seeking its own identity and expressing it through music. Many find it to be anti-authoritan due to the fact that those in authoriy do not like change, for it means the beginning of the end of there relevance

Once you've lost the big picture, it's not hard to wander into Absurdo-Land.

So I'm trying to help Capper:

Music has nature which is distinct from lyrics, albeit in well-ordered compositions, the music supports (or, better, illustrates/illuminates) the lyric.

It's the nature of the music itself, not the lyrics, which I discussed; that's what Plato warned about.

"Lyrical dissent" is not confined to rock'n'roll as a genre; you can find it in bluegrass, country, and even in classical (see Mahler's 2nd, which dissents from the dogma of Hell.)

But lower-ordered physical appeal is almost exclusive to rock. There are other disordered 'musical' forms: dodecaphonic (Schoenberg), Glass' directionless wanderings, but these are not lower-order appeals; rather, they are appeals to disordered intellect (or from them...)

By the way, that "expresses a culture" stuff is correct. The question is: WHICH culture?I saw precisely that argument, mutatis mutandis from some ACLU babe last night, as she defended the 'dropped pants syndrome' in Atlanta.Her argument is not 'convoluted'. It is insanity.

If we can save Just One Liberal...


Anonymous said...


With it being a gorgeous Sunday morn, I will be lazy and just quote kr's response to your post:

" Dad. Your attempt to bring a reasoned discourse into this discussion is much appreciated.

I had an email exchange with Leonard Garment regarding jazz and he ended up agreeing with me on this one.

I made the point that for an art form to move ahead -- which rock is -- it has to challenge convention. That's why you have Neil Young continuing to be creative, and corporate shills like the Rolling Stones (once my favorite) and even Bob Dylan being frozen in the era of their greatest hits.

Granted, there is a facet of art where it is pleasant, nostalgic and an escape from what can a times be the ugliness of life. But if it is only that we get stuck at Thomas Kincaid."

That said, I just want to add, it's still jsut rock'n'roll to me.

Anonymous said...

Also, I am not "maybe even likeable", I am irresistably adorable, or so I pretend my wife tells me.:)

But that aside, thank you for the reasonable comment, as that means more to me than whether I am liked.

Dad29 said...

OOOOOOOO...Lenny Garment!

Maybe he isn't dead yet.

Schoenberg "challenged convention" too. His work is already (mostly) on the scrap-heap of history, as will be most rock'n'roll offerings in the near future.

But that misses the point entirely.