It sounds both opaque and interesting. In my experience, a lot of this
cultural criticism incorporates interesting and probably good ideas buried
under tons of jargon and footnotes (the curse of academia). Anyway, it gives
me something to look into I'd not come across before which, in spite of the
views of some malcontents, is what makes this forum worthwhile to me...
From: Manuel V. Cabrera Jr. [mailto:mandelc@...
Sent: 02 December 2000 17:00
Subject: Re: [thewire] gap
I never thought i'd hear the cocteau twins, jim o'rourke, and nick drake
commercials, but it's happened. but i take it all in stride: i agree with
marxist social theorists like frederic jameson (whom i oterwise find quite
disagreeable) and slavoj zizek, who constantly pound at the point that
capitalism's greatest contemporary achievement has been to successfully
all of the cultural-revolutionary ambitions of modernity. the basic point
all of this is that one of the principal pretensions of much niche
that it is exempt from co-optation, which allows that co-optation to occur
the more effectively. the point of folks like zizek is that it is the
subjective relation that determines whether or not an artifact or artifacts
will, will not be, or will have always already been co-opted into a
cultural logic. for zizek, what distinguishes this cultural logic is
cynicism/melancholy, in which one is put in the position of pining after the
cause of one's desire (in strict contrast to the object of one's desire)
the fact that one is still in possession of the object of one's desire. in
case of 'underground' music, a jim o'rourke song being used in a commercial
can't remember the company that used one of his songs from 'eureka') steals
the cause of one's desire for this music: something like its 'underground'
status. if i become nostalgic for this elite status, what i am doing is
after the desire of the other (all those who belong to the
functions here as a symbolic fiction), that is, after the other's unmediated
this case, literally--unmediated by the media) access to enjoyment. for
this is the structure of melancholy, and is the improper ethical stance.
what this leaves, of course, is mourning, which for zizek conforms to
lacanian notion thereof: elevating the object to the place of The Thing,
is akin to the Kantian thing-in-itself. what this means is putting the
in the place of the desire of the other and thereby revealing the
gap in the other's desire. what this really amounts to is something i'm
trying to figure out in my continuing study of Zizek's interesting
of lacan and marx in his philosophy of social phenomena.
the short end of it is that i ifnd zizek's perspective that nostalgia
what is often called an 'underground' status for cultural objects fits just
perfectly into the cultural logic of capitalism, and facilitates the
co-optation of those cultural objects.
apologies for the brevity and relative opacity of these comments.
i'm not one of those jargon-tossing continental philosophy people: i just
want to write an email so long that no one would read it. i hope at least
comments on melancholy will be somewhat clear. of course, any objections
and/or corrections will be wlecome.
Jawed Ashraf wrote:
> I lived with an advertising creative. He read, amongst other things,
> magazines like More (teen, virtually pre-teen), in order to know his
> (More is actually a good laugh - the sexual position of the week was one
> the best bits - and then there's the irony of something like that in a
> magazine for 12-15 year olds though it also seems to have a 20-something
> "Normally when a company uses really cool music for it's advert you think,
> hmm, cool company" was rhetorical.
> >===== Original Message From Jason Jay Stevens <spoke@...> =====
> >On Thu, 30 Nov 2000, Jawed Ashraf wrote:
> >> This is sickening.
> >> Normally when a company uses really cool music for it's advert you
> >> hmm, cool company.
> >You fall for that sort of nonsense?
> >I guess advertising is a multi-ka-trillon dollar bizness for a reason:
> >it works
> >people are suckers for attractive images of attractive people listening
> >attractive music
> >regardless of what the company behind the ad really represents
> >(and as far as Gap goes...let's not go there...)
> >Just a reminder:
> >corporations hire ad agencies
> >which hire savvy young liberal arts grads
> >who know a thing or two about music
> >(and maybe subscribe to hip lists like this one...
> >for the inside scoop...)
> >and search out obscure music (which doesn't cost as much as the hits)
> >especially music with a cult following
> >and mix it with images to foster a favorable emotional response
> >which appeals to you in your television trance state
> >and suggests to you
> >"hey this company must make some pretty cool clothes
> > I might buy some next time I go to the mall."
> >smash your TV, man
> >+ From: JasonJayStevens
> >+ mediaArts&research
> >+ potterBelmarLabs
> >+ spoke@...
> >UNSUBSCRIBE = mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
> >TheWire List Info Page: http://www.msu.edu/user/forddavi/wirelist.html
> UNSUBSCRIBE = mailto:email@example.com
> TheWire List Info Page: http://www.msu.edu/user/forddavi/wirelist.html
UNSUBSCRIBE = mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
TheWire List Info Page: http://www.msu.edu/user/forddavi/wirelist.html
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]