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2739Re: Dumbing down...

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  • Oeivind Idsoe
    Mar 30, 1999
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      Steven Tayor wrote:

      > I try and avoid discussions of music where I work. Although it is a very young and
      > creative company of a considerable size (Computer games company) I reckon 99.9% of
      > my colleagues would find the music I listen to 'fucking odd' (to quote a more
      > expressive workmate). This I can handle, its a fair point, it is generally odd.

      I agree, the music�s probably odd, as it�s definitely not the norm. Being a student,
      though, I guess I am surrounded by people who aren�t *that* narrowminded, although the
      actual openmindedness and radicality of students is in general highly overrated. I
      study comparative literature and was thinking that people who are, or might be,
      surrounded by Kafka, Beckett, Proust and even a few cases of deleuzianism would
      perhaps share the same kind of experimental attitude when it came to other
      disciplines. It just doesn�t work that way, though. The oddest music you�ll ever find
      on a faculty party is Depeche Mode or Beastie Boys (sure, I don�t expect them to put
      on Stockhausen or anything, but some Mouse On Mars or even oldish LFO would certainly
      help), and maybe someone�s seen some Greenaway etc. Really helps you understand what
      the avant garde is all about, doesn�t it? :)

      I won�t get snobbish about it, though (but I�m only saying that because I�m vain),
      because you just have to find other things to talk about, like maybe a book you�ve

      > But
      > people take this as confrontation, and see it as resentment towards the music which
      > they prefer... and the defences go up.Generally most people seem to listen to 1-2
      > recognised genres of music,

      Yes, that confrontational part can be terrible. I remember doing my alternative
      service as a conscientious objector at a local dept. for cultural affairs (if that�s
      what it�s called), and there was an art exhibition down at town hall, which got some
      of the people working there very, very angry/provoked. Some of the drawings looked
      like drawings made by children, although they seemed to depict sexual/child abuse.
      Though the people I�m talking about didn�t get upset about the actual *content*, which
      could/would be understandable, but because "anyone could have done it". Some of them
      talked about this at every opportunity, and then the negative feedback from one person
      gets another negative person connected until they�re one big web of hostility and
      there isn�t one single person who�s got something alternative to say; not one of them
      made an attempt to understand a (not "the") bigger picture, and after a while I found
      the whole situation so absurd and tedious that I simply started defending the formal
      aspect of the drawings just for the hell of it.

      Perhaps, or obviously?, this was a case of blatant arrogance on my part, but these
      people had it coming: if it takes *that* little to become provoked they really deserve
      to get their heart pumping. Don�t get me wrong: I don�t expect most people to "get"
      4�33, but once in a while, just once, it would be nice with a tiny dose of
      humility.Personally, I don�t get offended or too provoked anymore if people bash my
      musical habits. I am very confident about my own taste(s) and don�t feel threatened
      (at least that�s what I like to think) if someone says "that�s not music" or "anyone
      could have done that", because these are just detours or escape routes for people who
      don�t dare to confront their own taste/habits; calling it "non-music" is the easy way
      out, and is just their way of not having to deal with something they don�t understand
      (which is why the entire "is it music/art or is it not?" debate becomes boring pretty

      > I find myself lying these days
      > when i get asked "Do you like ******", because if I say 'no' or 'its not really my
      > kind of thing' you can really offend people and it can make life pretty awkward. Is
      > it just me that goes through this?!! :-)

      Been there, yes. Of course, it�s not so bad if you know the person you are talking to,
      but when it�s about people you�ve only just met, or met recently, it can get pretty
      awkward. Sociality dictates some kind of courtesy (sp?) under these circumstances
      (when things are "new" or not too familiar), but I don�t think aesthetics go very well
      with such requirements, which is why talking about Oval or Xenakis on first encounters
      can be a bit like trying to shake the other person�s hand with your nose. Now, that�s
      odd! And I try to avoid it.

      > Steve

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