Thursday, May 28, 2009



Owen asked me to enlarge on why I hate Burial and Lo! Once the Baronial command is issued, I comply.

A large part of my anti-Burialism is pretty closely related to extra-musical factors that impinge on my ability to listen to him without a certain irritated sneeryness or sneeroisity or sneerfulness or sneeritude.

Welcome to “myburialconspiracytheory.co.uk.”
J’ACCUSE LE MARK K-PONQUE!

My question really is: how much more could the guy have fulfilled the blog-agenda circa 2006? And by blog agenda I basically mean the Divine Mark-K and hNTLGY.

I’m still not entirely convinced in fact that Mark isn’t Burial. Although clearly K-punk would never stoop to working with Four Tet. Unless, of course he was cunningly trying to throw me off the trail (curse you Fisher, I’ll unmask you yet!)

So even if Burial isn’t Mark, he certainly sprang fully formed from His Colossal Head and the fact that he’s discovered by Punk-pal Kode 9, put out on Hyperdub, never plays live despite the massive props he gets from all and sundry and also refuses to be photographed (fully and conveniently cleaving to Mark’s anti-facialization stance) makes me suspect even further at that point that he is entirely virtual. Plus Professor Space Ape’s on it (small world!) and it also sounds a wee bit suspiciously like Kode9’s “Memories of the Future” album.

So I’m left with this supposition, that there is, out there, floating around, some nineteen year old yoof who just happens to feel exactly the same way about late capitalism and the death of Rave / the end of Modernism as the PHD toting Dubstep bloggerati do PLUS is expressing this HNTLGCLY geistless Ziet in EXACTLY the way they would most advocate ie, via a spectral and vitiated take on the dance music of their youth. But without even really being aware of their existence. Hey, it’s just the way young people feel in 2006! They just never DJ or play live, then send off demos to Hyperdub and get an album put out.

By the time the second album comes around and he’s using two-step as a template, emphasisng the hauntologically-correct vocal science and surface crackle AND not only giving interviews where he talks about the nostalgia for the lost utopian spaces he hears in his older brother’s record collection but also appears to read M.R. James , credulity has reached breaking point. Mark’s grown this kid in a bottle. You mean there’s more than one person in the entire world who likes both Christina Aguilera AND reads M.R James! And he’s just a disenfranchised youth from the soon-to-be-submerged streets of some South London borough? You get nominated fro the Mercury and you still won’t play a live set anywhere?

Now whether or not Burial spent his time pouring over K-Punk circa 2006-2007, (I mean, I did, who didn’t?) and thought to himself, “fuck me, this is the good stuff. Someone should give musical expression to these ideas”, whether he’s an ex- student of Kode9’s who was discretely nudged in the right direction or whether he’s some FisherGoodman virtual-hybrid shouldn’t effectively make any difference unless you’re on some deeply retrograde Rockist authenticity tip. Many important bands have been heavily conceptualised/ideas lead, hey, they all are to varying degrees of self-consciousness. Fine. But Burial seemed to be sold to me as an Authentic Voice of Damaged Late Capitalist subjectivity and this raises my hackles: don’t try to con me, you think that if it’s presented as an extension of the work of a couple of arch-theorists I won’t buy it because it won’t be “Real“ enough for me, in other words it attempts to exploit what it perceives as my stupidity. It is veritably Burial’s ambiguous ontological status which delibidinizes his work.

Equally, if Burial doesn’t exist why was it thought necessary to invent him? Because reality ( “”: scare quotes provided to be used at reader’s discretion) is too busy not being as heartbroken over What Has Been Lost as it ought to be. Incovenient. And actually, strip away the Hauntalogical Authenticity adding a libidinal sheen to the whole endeavour and it all sound pretty pedestrian, pretty same-y. Are these epochal expressions of a genuine, broad ranging sensibility, the cry of damaged youth trying to wrest some last faint and fading glow from the embers of the Modernist project? To me the Burial albums share too much of early dubstep’s attempts to wish a scene and a subjectivity into being*, a scene which is consonant with all the smart ideas about what music could or should be at this stage. A Boffincore that dare not speak its name.



*That fantasy element still seems to be in place: you watch the guy with the pint ( it’s a very beery scene innit, dubstep) wobbling furiously to the dreary Italtek set at the Rythym Factory or the badly dressed gangs of fidgety Sixth formers shambling about to another identikit bassline from Pinch and you wonder what they are hearing that you’re not. I mean, who wants a melancholy, uptight dance music?** “ Good night last night?” “Aww, mate, those tunes were luGUbrious, bruv, soporific to the max!”

** Well actually, maybe I do. The significant question remains, if I hate*** dubstep so much why do I go and see/listen to so much of it? Patiently waiting for the Joker set at the Arches last Friday it clicked: if I was twenty this is what I’d be into. I.e. this is music for sexually underconfident white trainspotters who want to be cleverer than everyone else and affect a certain cool, marginal, edgy disdain but would never go anywhere there might be a fight. Or any women to talk to. A place where they can get pissed on Stella and sit on the floor in a circle. When Indy guitar rock is the new Stock, Aitken and Waterman where are all the smart, nervous, bookish kids going to go? Dubstep. Hardcore, meaning Black Flag, Continuum. Shit, maybe it’s my own ambiguous ontological status**** that de-libidinizes their work!


***I take the recent Sonic Youth ruckus/brouhaha (with the emphasis on the Ha-Ha) to largely have sprung from a quite understandable desire that people would just produce an album or two, maybe even three, hit their peak and then fuck off. Of course you can just ignore them, as presumably anyone with the remotest jot of curiosity has been with Sonic Youth’s Eternal diminishing-return since Sister at least, but the fact that they don’t have the simple human decency to slip quietly into the wings is a bit irritating. Like those yummy-mummies in leather pants and shades you see still struggling to eclipse their pubescent daughters in Waitrose. Yeah you’re probably alright still, still a looker and stuff, but that’s overshadowed by your horribly distasteful inability to bow out gracefully. *****

Why can’t more people just pack it in and go and do something else/ take a look at themselves and decide they’re basically never going to produce anything worthwhile and not bother in the first place? This isn’t about youth, if you start when you're sixty then fine, it’s about knowing when you’ve creatively peaked. It’s not just that the Career In Rock offends against rock’s Hellenism and Romanticism, it’s that it demystifies and exposes the rock dream of the moment of apotheosis without overturning it in any kind of fruitful way. Hey, we’ve gotta put our kids through college! Rock is just work, graft, punching the time card, watching the clock. The alternative to work is work.

I like to think that Richey Edwards burned his bridges rather than jumped off one. just thought, fuck this, I’ll never produce better work, I’m off to live differently, because otherwise I reduce what’s supposed to be beautiful and set above life to just another form of drudgery and money-grubbing. He wasn’t prepared to profane it. Let there be one reserve of the sacred in life.

It is a business of course and was ever thus, but that’s not the point, it can’t be seen as such. If we’re this bored by Sonic Youth now, or the Fall, or Nick Cave, imagine how bored they are by themselves. Oh my god I have to keep on being Nick Cave despite the fact that I haven’t had an idea for twenty-five years. I DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER SKILLS!!!! Cave was parodying the purgurtorial awfulness of going through the motions back in Wings of Desire (the “ don’t say “this one’s about a girl” bit).
Imagine the crushing, soul-curdling enervation that must descend the minute he/they have to get ”creative”, these days. Why can’t they just retrain as plumbers? I mean the money’s probably better. Why do they HAVE TO make a living as musicians? I’ll happily and have happily not made a living as a writer despite having written for years and in my own estimation having a fuck site more talent than half the rubbish gets in Waterstones because if you really do care about the art you approach it full of doubt, humility and trepidation, you fall horribly and continually short and offer up your own work only when you can honestly and as objectively as possible believe you may have produced something worthwhile, which means something new. How many people can honestly say: yes my art is significant. The sheer glut of deeply uninspired and bizarrely self-satsified Kulture, whether from wannabes or has-beens kind of weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living, innit?

I mean none of us wants NOT to be a writer, or a painter or a musician, cause it’s kind of alright sitting around painting and feeling cool and deeper and more interesting than everyone else, but it’s also just possible you’re boring, have been so for years and won’t ever be otherwise, even though you’ll tick by. Otherwise it’s the night shift in Tesco and the comfortless rigour of actually having taken it as seriously as you like to claim you do.

Your fantasy’s impinging on mine, you see. Do get that job in Tesco’s, wont you?

****I seem to have been through several musical volte-face recently. Most notably Flying Lotus, who I thought was just rubbish even up to the point of seeing him at Lightbox last time he played, and despite having had Los Angeles and 1983 for ages. I’m now caning them both and scouring the web for mixes. Same goes for Black Moses by Issac Hayes: a month or so ago I suggested to the Baron that it wasn’t much cop, he said it had good arrangements. I punched him in the face, he felled me with a flurry of Constructivist kung-fu. We agreed to disagree and went back to quoting Withnail and I at each other. Now it’s about the third best record I’ve ever heard.

***** but of course Late Capitalism is the domain of the Permateen. Teenhood begins at three and lasts till your mid-Eighties. You thought you’d be afforded the relief of not having to be cool once you got into your twenties, thought there’d be several distinct stages to your growth, maturation and decline each with its specific rituals and attitudes? Dude that is so pre-Post History. Now you’re 17 4EVA! The most obvious symbolic markers of the Seven Ages of man ( recently scaled back to three for your personal existentionumerical convenience) used to be clothes. When you were Fifty you didn’t dress like your teenage son/daughter, you wore age-appropriately hideous and outdated old bloke’s clobber, in your sixties, if you had any self-respect it was half-mast bri-nylon Marks and Sparks slacks lashed across your pruney duggs just under the armpits and a pair of piss-stained dun Hush Puppies. Now it’s one-style-fits-all-age-groups, you borrow your kids cargo pants and skateboard, go hang out down the car park with the other dads to talk about how that new Green Day album sucks ass compared to classic shit like the Offspring’s “Pretty Fly.”

But then you need to stay on top of that stuff cause your kids are your best friends****** anyway aren’t they? A sensible choice in the face of social atomization and given how awful and disappointing other Kidults are. The ideal situation for any healthy family is to get to some middleagemass stage as quickly as poss, where you can all relate over the same Kulture, ( Lilly Allen ABBA, Twilight, Wii, Doctor Who) no one really an adult, no-one exactly a kid. If you’re also a competitive type this is often best done by massively overestimating your kid’s intelligence and hallucinating an insane degree of cultural capital onto them. I mean not that your kid isn’t a genius or anything…

“What did you do on your third birthday Briony?”

“I went to see the rhinoceros with mummy.”

“Oh, so you took her to the Zoo. That’s nice.”

“God, no. Rhinoceros, the Ionesco play. Yeah, she loved it actually. It was either that or the Kenneth Anger season at the NFT. She insisted but I wasn’t really up to it so we did the Ionesco, yeah. Yeah, she had to explain a lot of it to ME actually, yeah (laughs and casts covetous yet angry glance at bemused, cake-smeared progeny)”

You can also reduce yourself to the status of a peer by pretending to be a tyrannically egotistical moron (ie a child) and allowing yourself to be remorselessly bullied by them in the hope of “relating” and being really more of a buddy than a nasty-wasty old parent.

You know you just had those kids to have someone else to go shopping with/for, anyway.

Importantly, in supermarkets, prove you’re a good, liberal, middle class parent by allowing them to join in, weaving about smack in the middle of the aisle dragging a shopping basket behind them, randomly pulling stuff off low shelves and leaving it scattered around while you patiently try to explain to them that no, that’s not what Mummy wants, is it darling, and it isn’t nice to leave things on the floor, is it? even though they have the cognitive capacity of plankton and the hand-eye coordination of Steven Hawkins on eight cans of Special Brew Should the couple behind you whose car park time is running out express even the slightest hint of impatience at this whole indulgent, narcissitic scenario, glare at them icily. How dare they not understand that THIS is YOUR CHILD!!!!

******I foolishly mentioned to Chris the other day that I was happy.
I’m happy, I said.
It doesn’t last, he said.
True enough. But then neither does the misery, apparently.

The author accepts no liability for the numerous factual errors in this post.

59 comments:

Gabe said...

*round of applause*

Inspired!

Anonymous said...

bravo!

super nany

ZoneStyxTravelcard said...

Jean Paul Sartre: 'Hell is other people's children'

Poultry Farmer said...

Joe Stalin would have had all you bored, overprivileged fuckers digging canals until your early, untimely demise.

http://www.stalinsociety.org.uk/

Say no to cultural ennui.

JonR said...

(1) speculation about Burial's identity, (2) curmudgeonly rants about how awful other peoples' kids are and (3) the "luGUbrious, bruv" skit have all been done respectively by The Sun, Jack Dee, and some cartoon strip or other that popped up on dubstepforum a while back. but kudos for stitching them together so entertainingly in this expertly formatted article!

Anonymous said...

JonR ... you're not a sexually underconfident geeky dubstep trainspotter are you? With awful kids? Who secretly dreams that his "creativity" (though of course on the surface he's kind of faux-sloppy and bashful about it, as to be otherwise might start to make it look like he's not absolutely satisfied with the choices he's made up to now,) will actually get him out of the shit domsetic and work routine he feels stuck in and gratify his hidden lust for power, women and acclaim?

JonR said...

not for a second. but full marks for spunking out that gratuitously offensive personal attack! ah well...i heckled. i got what i deserved.

Anonymous said...

Weird. You seem to think that just because you're a pseudo-intellectual who views everything in a cod-cynical, desperately self-conscious way, that the people whose music you criticize share somehow in the 'memes' which float through your sad little mind when you sit on your own at a computer and think too hard about music. It amuses me that you can castigate fans as beery nerds etc when you are clearly a) too old to know anything about current music b) too boring to say anything interesting about it and c) obviously far sadder, spottier, geekier, self-conscious and so on than ANY of the people you are discussing. You, and your internet music theorist buddies who presumably this drivel is aimed at, are all cunts.

Anonymous said...

And if you'll allow me to continue - you are out of your mind if you think 99% of the people (such as myself) who brought Burials LP because they liked the music, rather than because of what it 'meant' to tossers like you, have ever even heard of you, or whoever this K-punk guy is...at a push they might be aware of the legendary over-thinker and theoretical dilletante Simon Reynolds who is kind of the God of all you weirdo internet 'nuum' music theory guys...but not his strange little clones. You're the epitome of false-consciousness, and yours and blogs like yours are at best simply scum and detritus obscuring the natural beauty of the music you indulge in such theoretical masturbation over - - -the way in which you invoke 'reality' is really tragic and ironic - - -you're about as far away from the reality of anything you're talking about as it's possible to get. Just stop. Just stop. Don't speak. Don't speak.

Anonymous said...

By the way, for you to describe dubstep fans as poeple who wish to avoid 'women to speak to' is also deeply, deeply ironic - just the notion of accepting such a general criticism from someone who sits and thinks up all the shit you've written above, which obviously excludes you from ever really being the sort of person anyone would want to sleep with - is utterly ridiculous. Never write anything again. Go away and hang your head in shame at what a waste of an internet page you are.

Anonymous said...

To conclude - none of the music you discuss is 'an extension of the work of arhc-theorists' - you just percieve it to be, because you're one of the ten people who give a flying fuck about, or are even remotely aware of, what said 'arch-theorists' think. So the only thing 'conning' you about music is your own irrelevant ideas about authenitcity. Sad, you lie to yourself. You are lying to yourself and then posting it up for everyone to read. Stop. Just stop it. There is no "Authentic Voice of Damaged Late Capitalist subjectivity " and only a tosser like you would ever spend his time on the look out for one. Don't speak. Stop.

Anonymous said...

Stop.

Anonymous said...

"hang your head in shame at what a waste of an internet page you are"

like it, the rests a bit dull.

Carl

JonR said...

laughing my sexually underconfident cock off

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post, whose force is measurable by the vehemence of the other anon's response-obviously hit a nerve...

anon said...

why not just 'i hate k-punk'? after all, the sole cause of your ostensible hatred for burial is obviously jealousy that k-punk has managed to carve out a name for himself on the back of him...as if burial's music can be reduced to the musings of these grasping academics on the make...the truth is prefer your own mastubatory musing to great art

anon said...

as you say, you hate burial for largely extra-musical reasons: because k-punk's blog is more popular (and interesting) than yours...pathetic drivel...

Anonymous said...

'strip away the Hauntalogical Authenticity adding a libidinal sheen to the whole endeavour and it all sounds pretty pedestrian, pretty same-y'

isn't this the real issue, rather than putative jealously, sexual dysfunction, incipient fogeyism or whatever overheated charges are being bandied about?

Anonymous said...

It takes a wanker to percieve a 'libidinal sheen' on anything...the phrase neatly conjures up the masturbationary aspect of it's user...what kind of person listens to music saying to himself, 'I like it....but perhaps...that's only the libidinal sheen....'? Ah...a middleaged failed musician with self-importance issues. Leave the kids alone! Sad old men drooling pederastically over 'Uk Funky' or 'Dubstep' as if they had their fingers on some kind of pulse, when actually they're busy strangling anything interesting in it's cradle with waffle.
As for touching a nerve, the only nerve the initial post touched was the nerve that tells my brain when someone's being a pompous, pretentious twat who is completely and fundamentally wrong about the very things he spends so much time ruminating about. No, stop.

Anonymous said...

I hate internet music bloggers

Anonymous said...

and yet you return to them again and again and again...

hang on.. you're not Burial are you?

Anonymous said...

As if anyone of any importance in music would read your blog. I'm just someone who hates music bloggers and finds this blog a particularly good example of why. As for my repeat appearances - it made me angry so I keep coming back! Perhaps I'll stop.

Anonymous said...

can you at least explain why you hate music bloggers so much? i mean we seem a pretty impotent/ignorable bunch, acting out our sad fantasies and wallowing in resentment.so why is what we do ie offer up our ideas on popular culture (among other things)so hateable?

Anonymous said...

You've pretty much answered your own question there.
It's not music blogging as an activity I hate, but its practitioners - their supercilious tone, their non-specific irony, their groundless sense of superiority, their desperate attempt at relevance whilst missing the point completely. Their pointlessness.

Anonymous said...

and ALL music bloggers share that basic set of characteristics? there must be at least one or two exceptions!

Anonymous said...

I'm generalizing a little... but only a little. I don't mind bloggers who provide a constant stream of content/links/downloads and act as a conduit for the things they enjoy and just shut up. But the majority of them are noxious opinion-spewers without purpose, relevance or insight, who disguise their own blinkered solipsisms as some kind of cutting edge cultural analysis. Hard to think of a breed even lower and more despicable than the 'cultural' journalists/columnists employed by the British print media, but here they are...

Anonymous said...

yet you yourself seem to have lots of noxious opinions which you take , i assume, judging by the number and length of the comments you've left, a certain amounty of pleasure in spewing forth. why do you want to deny me my harmless little bit of fun.


Perhaps you consider this your wearying but finally necessary duty in order to stamp out this scourge and will now
happily return to your own otherwise opinonless nobility. Turning up in people's comments boxes and venting for several hundred words' worth of vitriol clearly marks you out as a different breed.

but still, at least you don't have a BLOG!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Exactly. So depite my numerous failings as a human being, I'm not as bad as you. The internet as a medium for 'comment' promotes hypocrisy and a high-handedness that is unpleasant and pointless. I know this so I only pop in now and again. This shit seems more like your element.

Anonymous said...

so that's it is it? "i'm not as bad as you", yet you deplore hypocrisy and high handedness.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing it deliberately, your blog suggests you can't help it. It's your own medicine/petard etc, i.e you started it.

Seb said...

Uh... okay, I talked some shit (elsewhere) about the above post too, but - come on.

"You started it"?

FAIL

Anonymous said...

Grown men using internet slang invented by american fifteen year olds is the real 'fail' though isn't it. I was being sarcastic...but the point still stands.

Anonymous said...

You people are trying to knock me off my game here, but I can tell I've hit some nerves, cos you haven't got anywhere near to refuting my basic criticisms, or only as far as saying 'yeah, but you're opiniated as well' or 'You're dull' etc....I guess I win.

Anonymous said...

Oh and Seb I checked out your blog, you're as bad as this guy! GO AND GET A LIFE!

Seb said...

My friend, if only you were privy to the life I went and got...

Bloggy Bloggy Bloggy Boi Boi Boi said...

Dear angry Anon

You say 'I can tell I've hit some nerves, cos you haven't got anywhere near to refuting my basic criticisms'

Firstly - if you insult people and they respond, that is not the same as 'hitting a nerve'

Secondly 'basic criticisms'. You haven't made any. You've spewed out a load of value judgements: 'pseudo-intellectual... desperately self-conscious... sadder, spottier, geekier... at best simply scum and detritus... pompous, pretentious twat... supercilious... desperate.. blinkered... noxious'

At no point have you demonstrated how Carl (or any other blogger) *is* any of these things.

You're like some kind of music-blog Taliban. You're happy with blogs that silently and subserviently spoon-feed you with free MP3 content or 'links' (links to... more MP3s presumably). But no-one can have any ideas or thoughts or discussion about music. To do so would unavoidably be prententious bollocks for you. Kill the ideas! Destroy the opinions! Quick! They're making me think!

I've got an idea. Every single music blog will quietly pack it in, for your benefit. I'll arrange this for you. Every single blog will shut the hell up, and discreetly shuffle off to an obscure, shameful corner of the internet where you'll never need to bump into them again. To make it slightly easier, they will all keep the same URLs, and you will just not type these URLs into your browser. You can stay in your narcoleptic haze of MP3 consumption, safe from anything so dangerous and unsettling as thought.

Murphy said...

angry boy/girl, you should maybe see this...

In general things have a perfectly familiar and obvious significance which they wear on their surface. Some people, however, insist on discovering other and more 'interesting' meanings beneath this innocuous surface. They may even claim that this process is called Thinking. These people are generally intellectuals, however, and you should have little difficulty rousing your audience against them. Analysing or interpreting certain things, eg a good film, rather than simply enjoying them, is often symptomatic of a mental illness known as intellectualism - symptomatized in a small pudgy body and oversized cranium.

or, even better,

Pseudo - A prefix which attaches to intellectuals. So tenacious is this attachment ... that intellectuals can never be mentioned without it. Indeed, many argue that only pseudo- intellectuals exist. The real thing is a mere mirage or retroactive illusion created by the prefix pseudo-.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...nice try but not convinced. All my epithets were inspired by the original piece, if you want 'proof' of how they were justified, read the initial post.

As for attempting to paint me as some kind of anti-intellectual - no. I understand it's easy for you to jump to such conclusions. However, I respect and read people with interesting things to say about music. What I don't respect is the proliferation via the 'blogosphere' of people who THINK they have something interesting to say about music, but don't. That's you guys. It's a fairly simple distinction, and probably a value-judgement on my part - but it stands. That doesn't make me the music blog 'taliban'. It makes me someone who's aware of how these supposedly interrogative 'cultural' commentators are essentially self-sustaining parasitical. They don't offer anything of worth or use. If I'm wrong, point me to a single blog article which might convince me otherwise. Strange how in rebuking my criticisms, you've failed to come up with a coherent or half-way convincing 'pro-blog' arguement. That's because the only people you are pleasing with these blogs are yourselves. Which you have a right to do - as I have a right to call it masturbationary.

Anonymous said...

And as for my 'MP3' addiction - I don't really listen to music on computers. You're obviously talking about yourself rather than me. Once again, a blogger guilty of solipsistic assumption.

Anonymous said...

And finally - apparently I should be ashmed of 'insulting' the blogger - however, if he can't take it, he shouldn't dish it out, as he did to a lot of 'badly dressed sixth-formers' who are prbably 15 years younger than him.
That's pathetic. By comparison, I feel pleasantly righteous.

Bob Bloog said...

Angryonymous. Again – you're just asserting without any argument or evidence. Asked to explain what makes it shit, you point and say, 'because it's shit.'

You want a 'single' post?

Take your pick from the entire archives of Woebot, k-punk, blissblog and see where the links lead you. If you can't find a thing then you either lack a brain or ears, or possibly both.

"Strange how in rebuking my criticisms, you've failed to come up with a coherent or half-way convincing 'pro-blog' arguement. That's because the only people you are pleasing with these blogs are yourselves. Which you have a right to do - as I have a right to call it masturbationary."

You have a right to make up words like masturbationary as well, which I defend. Here's a cast-iron pro-blog argument that doesn't depend on any evaluative interpretation of a given blog:

A blog is free of all the distorting pressures at play in the print media: the pressure to please an audience, to please an editor, to please PRs, to keep advertisers happy. A blog enables a writer to work without compromise and follow their own ideas as far as they will take them. They can write pieces that would struggle to fit into the rigid formats (interview, review, news item) of masthead media.

One last thing, you don't listen to MP3s and you hate blogs (but you like 'some' unspecified writers - who?). So, when you say you approve of blogs that shut up and give you "a constant stream of content/links/downloads", what is this content, what are the links? Not ideas or discourse, those are banned. Downloads but not MP3s... What is this stuff? Spreadsheets?

Anonymous said...

I've explained what makes it shit, above, a few times. What you call insults are actually descriptions, which obviously apply to a lot of the stuff you can read on the net. It's very simple. It's mainly the tone, it's also the pointlessness, and the solipsism, and the parasitical status of blogs in relation to actual culture. It's the smugness, the non-specific irony, the self-indulgence of permanently spouting your opinions. It's the excess of opinion and the way in which it starts to smother and atrophy the very things it 'comments' about. I'm not going to go over it again....it's strange how bloggers who spend their lives making assertions could be so sensitive about having some self-evident assertions made about them. Of course I respect that blogging gives people freedom to write free of any pressures - but have you considered that a lot of these pressures ensure by their existence that what is printed, published etc has some kind of objective value (however corrupted that may be) whereas freedom to waffle on to your hearts content just results in a load of pointless waffle like the initial post above? If I have invented the word masturbationary, it's because it's existence was neccessary to describe this sort of thing....

I didn't say I used blogs that provide Mp3's etc, I said I didn't mind them.

However, eventually this comes down to a difference in taste. You don't mind having the net clogged up with aimless, self-indulgent attempts to 'comment' on contemporary culture, I do mind it - a bit at least.

Richard Timney said...

What have you got against masturbation?

King Blog IV of Blogland said...

You've got some serious thinking to do, Angry Boy.

What's solipsistic about having a dialogue with other people about records? Why would someone who believes they're the only consciousness in the universe bother?

Explain to me how a sporadically updated blog is 'permanently spouting'?

How is the post 'smothering' Burial? Do you think it's going to take on tangible form like some big grey Web 3.0 blob, and flop around the streets of South London until it finds Will Bevan and swamps him?

This blog has not gone out into the world and sought people out to ruin their enjoyment of Burial. People come *here* to read it. You're the one imposing, smothering, behaving like a parasite. This blog is the host and you're a virus trying to infiltrate and kill it.

I absolutely agree that those limits of time, editorial policy, audience knowledge etc can help produce better writing, but at this particular moment in time, I think there's too much of that and not enough intellectual autonomy. If you don't believe me, try reading some 70s NME or mid-90s Melody Maker to see the difference, and see how utterly cretinously debased today's music media is.

You've had a pro-blog argument given to you. Name a music writer you respect and enjoy.

Blogzilla Hear Me Roar said...

"you don't mind having the net clogged up"

You need to think about what the net is. There's no 'clogging up'. There's plenty of room. This blog isn't in the way of anything. It's not denying anything else the room to live or breathe. If it makes you feel that way, it impinges on your thought-processes that much, then really that's your problem, not the blog's.

Jacqui S said...

Richard, I thought we'd agreed, no more unsupervised web activity.

Anonymous said...

Actual masturbation is great - but I wouldn't post up the results for delectation.

re: dialogue/solipsism - that's funny - the initial piece was a rant and the first comment that attempted a dialogue about it was met with an insult. Forums and so on I can see being about dialogue but Blogs exist for other, more personal reasons surely?

Fair point later on - I should just ignore such things - but I stumbled across this one and just found the tone and the content so irritating I had to say something.

Re: autonomy of the music press. The music press and writing about music in general aren't things I'm particularly interested in. I enjoy music, I don't really enjoy people writing about it. As such, I'm the wrong person to ask about great music writers. Griel Marcus, Lester Bangs, Simon Reynolds etc - I never saw the purpose bar a need on the writers part to push their own agenda and appear cleverer/cooler-than-thou. Not interesting to me, rather read some proper theory re: ideology, politics etc.Lacan, Zizek, loads of people. I'm no expert though, and as such don't feel the need to make endless pronouncements about it online.

re: thinking about what the net is - type in the name of your favourite band in Google. Witness the ammount of pointless discussion of said band. Become weary. It's not a matter of the web being clogged up - as you say, there's plenty of room. it's a matter of the quantity of the commentary far out-stripping any discernable quality. And yes, I feel this eyes-wide open, vulture like swooping on things as soon as(and sometimes before) they come into existence probably has some form adverse affect on both the creativity of artists and the enjoyment of art by people. Lots of evidence of people become weary in the face of this new strain of cultural 'vigilance', I know I'm not the only one.

In this case - I don't really care about Burial or any other artists beyond my interest in what they create, I'm not here to defend musicians but to point out I disagree with the tone of the piece, i.e middle-aged person on internet soapbox having a go at ver kids.

re: Being a parasite - this is the one and only time I've ever written anything so protracted on the internet ever - I can see how you get into it!

Anonymous said...

To go back a bit - I do read some writing on music - I like a bit of autobiography about musicians etc, interivews with artists etc - find the stuff musicians have to say about music more interesting than most music criticsm

Anonymous said...

re: 'permanently spouting' - i guess this means the blogging 'community' rather than individual bloggers...

Anonymous said...

Well young Virus, I agree re the highspeed churnover of internet response. That is a problem.

I still think you've misinterpreted the tone of Carl's post though. Can you not see that this is self deprecating / self-critical:

"The significant question remains, if I hate*** dubstep so much why do I go and see/listen to so much of it? Patiently waiting for the Joker set at the Arches last Friday it clicked: if I was twenty this is what I’d be into. I.e. this is music for sexually underconfident white trainspotters who want to be cleverer than everyone else and affect a certain cool, marginal, edgy disdain but would never go anywhere there might be a fight. Or any women to talk to. A place where they can get pissed on Stella and sit on the floor in a circle."

He's saying he's just an older version of these kids, not simply abusing them.

Now go away and blog.

Anonymous said...

I agree he's not insulting them 'simply'. He's still insulting them though, and making absurd observational generalizations based on himself. The self-deprecation is clearly a red herring allowing him to be snide and cover himself. I understand the tone completely, it's disingenous, vaguely nasty and that's why it's insulting.

Think I'll give the blogging a miss, last thing the tower of babel needs is one more tongue.

the tosser said...

Goddamit man, no one is ever going to see MY comment after all of that bullshit. But here goes...

You’re making the case that the now obsolete generation gap was a more authentic form than the kidult phenomenon, yes? As if the adults that once bowed out gracefully to gawk bewildered at the ways of the young did so through willpower or self-possession? Wasn’t that stage of culture a mere blip in the history of capitalist development, a phenomenon that necessarily existed for one generation before capitalism became sophisticated enough to sell the illusion of choosing individualism and coolness to not just kids, but everyone? It was easy to bow out when that was what was expected. Donning piss stained hushpuppies wasn’t noble or something. Thrift was simply a conformist value that has now given way to the conformity of endless consumption. Why value one form over the other?

Anonymous said...

Who cares

Anonymous said...

I know who this is

Anonymous said...

Who cares?

Jake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JonR said...

christ on a bike. going out, listening to dubstep, getting pissed on stella and sitting on the floor in a circle would be fucking lovely actually. i barely get out!

Leather Pants said...

nice post love reading it.

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