Monday, April 17, 2006

rocking toward a free world

About the new new Neil Young album, Living With War, with the instant classic, "Impeach the President". Did he sleep during these three days or what? And has there ever been a "President" more fittingly judged by pop culture, ever. (UPDATE: Interview with Neil Young here, courtesy of Dialogic. And much more on the making of the album at Daily Kos.)

Of course the pop-culture-wars have always been structurally cartoonish (an increasing awareness of which is now reflected, with an irony that will, soon enough, become tired with itself, but also never vanish or in principle be finished). The culture "wars" are fraught with polemic on both sides (that's what pop does! it excites!). To be merely popophoric here, in any simplistic sense, will clearly not suffice.

But in relentlessly thematizing oppositions (often by exploding the unspoken, or under-spoken, because embarrassing), pop also, and precisely by risking the naturalization of these borders–that is, by taking political and popular speech too seriously, or rather, simply at its word–cannot help but raise the question of its own remove from the realm of political judgement. Pop strives to be about the questioning of taste, as abstracted from the sacred. The naiveté and forgetfulness pop embodies, and invokes, by taking political and popular speech (they are the same) at their very word, is precisely what makes those who insist on taking pop at its word–who so identify with caricatures and cartoons–so ridiculous.

Boy is it "fun", though. This will to mob-identification and distraction. The will to ceremonial 'wartime', the false eros of state-sanctioned murder, how enormously difficult to re-direct. Centuries of genetic memory and language are against it. Without re-questioning the filiations of 'friendship' and 'brotherhood', at their very (Christian) root and concept, such re-direction–or so some would argue–may go precisely nowhere.

(Of course one side in this ideologue-passion cartoon war is utterly repellent, and nowhere near approaching the league of Neil Young, whose work ultimately transcends the pop horizon altogether.)

via Rising Hegemon (via Cursor)

For the freak economies of interest. Something far more interesting.

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