Re: virus: Watching

joe e. dees (
Sat, 09 Jan 1999 01:20:03 -0600

N CASHE wrote:
> the great tinkerer wrote:
> >
> > >NC wrote:
> > >
> > >>---I do think this could all apply somehow to the
> > >>function of popular music (is there such a thing?). Does this sound as
> > >>crazy or uninformed as I fear it might?
> > >
> > >Not at all. Would you agree with me that music evoles memeticly? (And
> > >looking not just at whole songs as memes, but also seeing the elements,
> > >phrases, lyrics, themes and the playing techniques of which songs are
> > >constructed, as individual memes for this purpose.)
> > >
> > >It is my assertion that hip-hop/techno/electronica/acid jazz/house
> > represent
> > >musical forms which have become self-consciously aware of their own
> > memetic
> > >nature and embraced this fact as a crucial part of their genre. Your
> > >thoughts?
> >
> > ahh music.... a topic i can relate to (cd coming in less than 1 month)
> >
> > of course music evovles! i steal things from songs and put them into
> > other songs and im concious of it (although i wont start with
> > conciousness....) there are elements of songs that can become cliche:
> > similar cadences, modulations, progressions even melodies pop music
> > critics should agree!
> >
> > d/l the inspire dnb remix:
> > - and listen to the
> > ending... it should be a familiar cadence.... even to an untrained
> > ear...
> >
> > and then there are things about songs that evolve and interbreed. there
> > is an obvious progression from jazz to rock n roll. there is an obvious
> > progression from rag time and gospel to jazz. there is an obvious
> > classical feeling in rag time.... i could go on and on... and link to
> > other styles of music, but why?
> >
> Excuse me for being out of my seat again. Thank you for your input.
> These are all very good, well-articulated points of view. For the most
> part, I agree. But what about the cultural aspects of music, like
> fashion, fashion, and fashion? And what about the whole illusion of rock
> 'n' roll as art. I mean, it is largely illusion. It is "consumed" as
> art, but perhaps not "produced" as art or up to the artistic standards
> other arts "live up to" (one other "art" swallowed by its own commercial
> value would be movies). I like to look at the phenomena of, say, Marilyn
> Manson. Can't we say that without memes, Marilyn Manson would not exist?
> (I hope you won't say he is insignificant, because he is--or maybe by
> now was--a person who has disseminated his ideas to many, many people.)
> What are the memes which allow "him" to exist, to sell platinum records,
> to be nominated for a Grammy??? I think he is aware of these "memes" and
> is very much involved in the manipulation of many minds. Do you know he
> compared himself to Hitler and Mussolini in an interview? He said many
> others like him have seen the gateway to the end of the world, or
> something like that. Then he gave these names of historic figures who we
> associate with horror. I hate to splatter your usually academic
> discussions with the neon nothingness of popular culture. But as long as
> you tolerate it and understand that I am serious and respectful in my
> presentation here, I will take what I can get and be glad that you're
> smart, well-educated and communicating in a forum that I can invade. I
> don't know that I will have the time in my life or the opportunity to be
> exposed to the "right" information in order to articulate and form
> opinions that match my convictions. So I read things like this to open
> my mind. Can you hear it creaking?
> NC

The two main factors which perpetuate Marilon Manson, besides the Trent Reznor industrial sound and artful hook musical and verbal phrasings, are rebellion and style, and these two are connected. He is embodying the contemporary youths' unbelief in and disgust with(therefore rebellion against) historical religious memes, and his original ugly androgynous spookgeek style expressed the radical existential otherness of the outsider, whether by choice, destiny, or both (he borrowed heavily from Alice Cooper here). His subsequent pretty glam androgeneity borrows from David Bowie,but grafts on to it the self-conscious anself-mocking rockstar sellout parody of Bono.