Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re[2]: [thewire] Re: subcultures and hegemony.

Expand Messages
  • simonsmith@readingchronicle.co.uk
    New music is a great advert for the success of a blend of capitalism with a liberal dose of good-old-fashioned socialist state support. How many Wire artists
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 2, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      'New music' is a great advert for the success of a blend of capitalism with a liberal dose of good-old-fashioned socialist state support. How many Wire artists have had a helping hand from state arts funding, or even exposure on publicly-funded broadcasting? Even in the market-worshipping US.



      Pragmatism ... that's the name of the game nowadays. I do raise an arched eyebrow whenever 'Arts Council-type' artists kick and scream and rail against a system in which they seem to be prospering very well indeed thank you very much ... both artistically and, sometimes, financially.


      ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
      Subject: RE: [thewire] Re: subcultures and hegemony.
      Author: patrick_oliver@... at INTERNET
      Date: 02/04/2001 09:45


      >I suppose you could argue it's capitalism that brings us the music in the
      first place.

      Fair point, but you seem to assume that it is some sort of done deal. As if Francis Fukuyama was right and this really is the "end of history". God forbid.

      Its true that capitalism has brought us affordable mass dissemination of reasonable quality music. I for one have no gripe with capitalism per se. You are right to suggest that marxism and capitalism are not entirely mutually exclusive.

      One of the mistakes Mr. Fukuyama made (as indeed do the US and British popular press) was to confuse Marxism with Leninism/Stalinism/Maoism. All of course shelved neatly in the "Communism" aisle.

      My problem with things as they stand is precisely my problem with Leninism. That capitalism is something that is constantly morphing. What used to be called a free market is quickly becoming a hegemony overseen by roughly 3 huge multinational media conglomerates. That just as power went to Lenin's head, the goal of the modern corporation is to maximise profits by whatever means necessary, this usually acts against the notion of a market being free and open.

      Who was it said the now tired and overused "Absolute power corrupts absolutely"?

      So now your average media supercompany knows what you buy, where you bought it, what you watch, what you wear, when you buy Pampers, when you buy booze. The window of new technology, along with the admittedly great advances in music creation and dissemination, has also let in extremely intrusive forms of marketing. My advice... use cash.

      There are people who are employed specifically to go into chat rooms to observe discourse as well as market certain products, fashions, ideas. Maybe even to defend capitalism? Kidding.

      While corporations usually use the argument that they simply make consumers aware of choices upon which they may or may not act, its these very corporations that own and make available an ever decreasing set of options. Capitalism as a system is not the issue, its what is happening to the system (which may or may not be a natural development, after all its really what Marx saw as the final stage of capitalism, what Lenin was trying to acheive by speeding up the process of industrialisation).

      My problem, therefore, is mainly with what potentially may lie in the future. Of course Wire readers are not high on AOL/Time Warner's list of markets to break. But you all seem to spend a great deal on music. You appear to be well educated and gainfully employed. So who knows.

      By the way, whoever it was that menioned the sick appropriation of irony into the mainstream - well said!

      Patrick


      --- Jawed Ashraf <Jawed@...> wrote: > > > This whole discussion has raised a lot of
      > fascinating points. And I
      > > > think what Simon said about Flitwick and his > band is a great idea for
      > > > protest. It reminds me a little of the scottish > collective called
      > > > Diskono (some of whom are based in stirling, > where I'm staying at the
      > > > moment). They announced a few years ago that > they were going to
      > > > destroy the 100 rarest electro records (at least > i think it was
      > > > electro), causing a sort of mini-uproar, with > magazines like mix-mag
      > > > and other record fetishising publications > printing the story.
      > > > of course, diskono never intended to destroy the > records (they didn't
      > > > even have them). it was just a practical joke, > but it said something
      > > > about the whole record collector thing (i might > be incoherent in this
      > > > cause i'm about to be kicked off this computer > so am rushing).
      > >
      > > Just a small thing before I read the rest of your > post (I know
      > > it's a stupid
      > > way of acting) : collecting record isn't > capitalism at all IMHO - because
      > > records, as they are produced, are mass commodity > - when you begin to
      > > collect them, they somehow get unique in the > process, at least to
      > > you. They
      > > turn into one entirely distinct part of your > record collection, and this
      > > collection is a puzzle unique to its owner... Then > I can somehow
      > > understand
      > > the uproar, because some people would have thought > "hey, they're about to
      > > destroy something that could have become part of > my collection" or "Gosh,
      > > someone could do this with my collection" (hoping > I'm not too incoherent
      > > too)
      > > I suppose you could argue it's capitalism that > brings us the music in the
      > first place. A hundred and a fair bit years ago you > couldn't buy music to
      > listen to. You could only go to hear it performed. > (If you were reasonably
      > rich you could buy sheet music, though...)
      > > It seems to me that back then music was almost a > purely social thing. It
      > was found in the home round the piano (if the family > was well off), or in
      > the pub/cafe or in the local music hall, or theatre > or concert hall, or
      > opera house. Going back further in time, music > would seem to have been
      > everywhere, in the streets, the markets, the fairs > etc.
      > > In the more recent of those days there were stars, > for sure. Whether it was
      > the grand dame in the music hall (famous throughout > her community) or the
      > world-renowned opera singer. So, the cult of stars > was already well under
      > way before the first records.
      > > Moving forwards in time from the first theatrical > performances of music
      > (hundreds of years ago - when did people first pay > to listen to music? When
      > did music become a form of paid-for entertainment in > isolation from theatre,
      > bull-fight, grand ball etc.?) capitalism has > provided a framework for
      > artists to gain income from their work, whether it > is composition or
      > performance. "Western" society has been enjoying > this trade for hundreds of
      > years.
      > > It seems to me that along with the commodification > of music has come greater
      > and greater sophistication of music. Of course, you > could argue this is
      > pure coincidence. Beethoven didn't continue to > write music of ever
      > expanding sophistication because it was a way to > earn money (or did he?).
      > On the other hand some might argue that music hasn't > gotten better than that
      > written by Beethoven (hmm).
      > > Personally I view the increasing sophistication of > music with passing
      > time/capitalism/education/globalisation/media as a > good thing. It's
      > enriching. The alternative is to suggest that we > all farm the land, produce
      > our own food and have no leisure time, barely > acceptable welfare, state
      > control of our "arts"...
      > > I don't think marxism and capitalism are in > opposition. Marxism is about
      > being responsible. People talk about responsible > capitalism. It strikes me
      > that in the USA there is a form of corporate charity > that the rest of the
      > West is unused to, for example. From the money > given to fund deprived-kids'
      > education to institutes of art and science. It > concerns me when funds are
      > tied to an ideology, but the overall thrust of > corporate charity in the USA
      > seems to be positive. Sure, the States is hardly > ideal, but nowhere is, is
      > it?
      > > Collectionism seems to be a trait of humanity. > Capitalism has created a > framework for the collectionist instinct to prowl. > To an extent that seems > to be rather irresponsible, I think. But then I buy
      > a hundred or so records
      > each year, so I'm guilty.
      > > As a society, though, we are brilliant at shedding > responsibility.
      > Handicapped people, pensioners, starving kids in > other countries etc.
      > > "Capitalism" has created for us a > responsibility-dilemma. I think
      > capitalism is still evolving and we are still > learning. But I believe that
      > capitalism is intrinsic to humanity. It's founded > on "being rewarded for
      > contributing to [society]". We practise emotional > capitalism amongst our
      > friends and relatives without giving it a second > thought...
      > > In Mali, the government has decided to take severe > action against music
      > pirates. It has decided that indigenous artists' > income (and therefore, the
      > government's) is being severely hurt by the pirates. > The government reckons
      > that music is Mali's third biggest export and it > wants its piece of the
      > action.
      > > "They turn into one entirely distinct part of your > record collection, and
      > this collection is a puzzle unique to its owner." I > like this turn of
      > phrase. It is interesting to substitute > "experience" for "record". Records
      > and experience aren't capitalist, by their nature > (e.g. giving away 500
      > records you've made yourself, or inviting unknown > internet peeps round to
      > your garden for an evening's music performed live). > But it's capitalism > that's giving us the chance to make these records,
      > or communicate globally
      > and share with people we otherwise wouldn't know. > CDRs are a product of > technology. The internet is too - remember the US
      > government made DARPANET,
      > the precursor to the internet, as a communications > network for the
      > Department of Defense, but it is only available to > you and I through
      > commercial exploitation.
      > > Surely there are MAs being taught on this subject... > > Jawed
      > >


      __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!?
      Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail. http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/?.refer=text

      ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~-~> Make good on the promise you made at graduation to keep
      in touch. Classmates.com has over 14 million registered high school alumni--chances are you'll find your friends! http://us.click.yahoo.com/03IJGA/DMUCAA/4ihDAA/n6EVlB/TM
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------_->

      UNSUBSCRIBE = mailto:thewire-unsubscribe@onelist.com

      TheWire List Info Page: http://www.msu.edu/user/forddavi/wirelist.html

      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
    • Patrick Oliver
      Point taken, Simon. Although I think artists should be free to criticize any system, regardless of how they get funding. Over here our Mayor, Rudi Guilliani,
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 2, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        Point taken, Simon. Although I think artists should be
        free to criticize any system, regardless of how they
        get funding. Over here our Mayor, Rudi Guilliani, is
        threatening to put together a "decency commission" to
        look in to who the city's arts funding goes to. The
        concern: should tax payers' money go toward funding of
        art that some tax payers find offensive. Chris Ofili
        actually received death threats for his Holy Virgin
        Mary piece. And yet I found his intentions with the
        work to be utterly decent. But perhaps thats just
        me...


        --- simonsmith@... wrote:
        > 'New music' is a great advert for the success of a
        > blend of capitalism with a liberal dose of
        > good-old-fashioned socialist state support. How many
        > Wire artists have had a helping hand from state arts
        > funding, or even exposure on publicly-funded
        > broadcasting? Even in the market-worshipping US.
        >
        >
        >
        > Pragmatism ... that's the name of the game nowadays.
        > I do raise an arched eyebrow whenever 'Arts
        > Council-type' artists kick and scream and rail
        > against a system in which they seem to be prospering
        > very well indeed thank you very much ... both
        > artistically and, sometimes, financially.
        >
        >
        > ______________________________ Reply Separator
        > _________________________________
        > Subject: RE: [thewire] Re: subcultures and hegemony.
        > Author: patrick_oliver@... at INTERNET
        > Date: 02/04/2001 09:45
        >
        >
        > >I suppose you could argue it's capitalism that
        > brings us the music in the
        > first place.
        >
        > Fair point, but you seem to assume that it is some
        > sort of done deal. As if Francis Fukuyama was right
        > and this really is the "end of history". God forbid.
        >
        > Its true that capitalism has brought us affordable
        > mass dissemination of reasonable quality music. I
        > for one have no gripe with capitalism per se. You
        > are right to suggest that marxism and capitalism are
        > not entirely mutually exclusive.
        >
        > One of the mistakes Mr. Fukuyama made (as indeed do
        > the US and British popular press) was to confuse
        > Marxism with Leninism/Stalinism/Maoism. All of
        > course shelved neatly in the "Communism" aisle.
        >
        > My problem with things as they stand is precisely my
        > problem with Leninism. That capitalism is something
        > that is constantly morphing. What used to be called
        > a free market is quickly becoming a hegemony
        > overseen by roughly 3 huge multinational media
        > conglomerates. That just as power went to Lenin's
        > head, the goal of the modern corporation is to
        > maximise profits by whatever means necessary, this
        > usually acts against the notion of a market being
        > free and open.
        >
        > Who was it said the now tired and overused "Absolute
        > power corrupts absolutely"?
        >
        > So now your average media supercompany knows what
        > you buy, where you bought it, what you watch, what
        > you wear, when you buy Pampers, when you buy booze.
        > The window of new technology, along with the
        > admittedly great advances in music creation and
        > dissemination, has also let in extremely intrusive
        > forms of marketing. My advice... use cash.
        >
        > There are people who are employed specifically to go
        > into chat rooms to observe discourse as well as
        > market certain products, fashions, ideas. Maybe even
        > to defend capitalism? Kidding.
        >
        > While corporations usually use the argument that
        > they simply make consumers aware of choices upon
        > which they may or may not act, its these very
        > corporations that own and make available an ever
        > decreasing set of options. Capitalism as a system is
        > not the issue, its what is happening to the system
        > (which may or may not be a natural development,
        > after all its really what Marx saw as the final
        > stage of capitalism, what Lenin was trying to
        > acheive by speeding up the process of
        > industrialisation).
        >
        > My problem, therefore, is mainly with what
        > potentially may lie in the future. Of course Wire
        > readers are not high on AOL/Time Warner's list of
        > markets to break. But you all seem to spend a great
        > deal on music. You appear to be well educated and
        > gainfully employed. So who knows.
        >
        > By the way, whoever it was that menioned the sick
        > appropriation of irony into the mainstream - well
        > said!
        >
        > Patrick
        >
        >
        > --- Jawed Ashraf <Jawed@...>
        > wrote: > > > This whole discussion has raised a lot
        > of
        > > fascinating points. And I
        > > > > think what Simon said about Flitwick and his >
        > band is a great idea for
        > > > > protest. It reminds me a little of the
        > scottish > collective called
        > > > > Diskono (some of whom are based in stirling, >
        > where I'm staying at the
        > > > > moment). They announced a few years ago that >
        > they were going to
        > > > > destroy the 100 rarest electro records (at
        > least > i think it was
        > > > > electro), causing a sort of mini-uproar, with
        > > magazines like mix-mag
        > > > > and other record fetishising publications >
        > printing the story.
        > > > > of course, diskono never intended to destroy
        > the > records (they didn't
        > > > > even have them). it was just a practical joke,
        > > but it said something
        > > > > about the whole record collector thing (i
        > might > be incoherent in this
        > > > > cause i'm about to be kicked off this computer
        > > so am rushing).
        > > >
        > > > Just a small thing before I read the rest of
        > your > post (I know
        > > > it's a stupid
        > > > way of acting) : collecting record isn't >
        > capitalism at all IMHO - because
        > > > records, as they are produced, are mass
        > commodity > - when you begin to
        > > > collect them, they somehow get unique in the >
        > process, at least to
        > > > you. They
        > > > turn into one entirely distinct part of your >
        > record collection, and this
        > > > collection is a puzzle unique to its owner...
        > Then > I can somehow
        > > > understand
        > > > the uproar, because some people would have
        > thought > "hey, they're about to
        > > > destroy something that could have become part of
        > > my collection" or "Gosh,
        > > > someone could do this with my collection"
        > (hoping > I'm not too incoherent
        > > > too)
        > > > I suppose you could argue it's capitalism that >
        > brings us the music in the
        > > first place. A hundred and a fair bit years ago
        > you > couldn't buy music to
        > > listen to. You could only go to hear it
        > performed. > (If you were reasonably
        > > rich you could buy sheet music, though...)
        > > > It seems to me that back then music was almost a
        > > purely social thing. It
        > > was found in the home round the piano (if the
        > family > was well off), or in
        > > the pub/cafe or in the local music hall, or
        > theatre > or concert hall, or
        > > opera house. Going back further in time, music >
        > would seem to have been
        > > everywhere, in the streets, the markets, the fairs
        > > etc.
        > > > In the more recent of those days there were
        > stars, > for sure. Whether it was
        > > the grand dame in the music hall (famous
        > throughout > her community) or the
        > > world-renowned opera singer. So, the cult of
        > stars > was already well under
        > > way before the first records.
        > > > Moving forwards in time from the first
        > theatrical > performances of music
        > > (hundreds of years ago - when did people first pay
        > > to listen to music? When
        > > did music become a form of paid-for entertainment
        > in > isolation from theatre,
        > > bull-fight, grand ball etc.?) capitalism has >
        > provided a framework for
        > > artists to gain income from their work, whether it
        > > is composition or
        > > performance. "Western" society has been enjoying
        > > this trade for hundreds of
        > > years.
        > > > It seems to me that along with the
        > commodification > of music has come greater
        > > and greater sophistication of music. Of course,
        > you > could argue this is
        > > pure coincidence. Beethoven didn't continue to >
        > write music of ever
        > > expanding sophistication because it was a way to >
        > earn money (or did he?).
        > > On the other hand some might argue that music
        > hasn't > gotten better than that
        > > written by Beethoven (hmm).
        > > > Personally I view the increasing sophistication
        > of > music with passing
        > > time/capitalism/education/globalisation/media as a
        > > good thing. It's
        > > enriching. The alternative is to suggest that we
        > > all farm the land, produce
        > > our own food and have no leisure time, barely >
        > acceptable welfare, state
        >
        === message truncated ===


        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
        http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/?.refer=text
      • Jawed Ashraf
        I have to admit it gives me a chuckle that the NY art scene was so advanced throughout the 40s-early 70s and now gets on its high horse over stuff like this.
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 2, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          I have to admit it gives me a chuckle that the NY art scene was so
          "advanced" throughout the 40s-early 70s and now gets on its high horse over
          stuff like this. Not to say it doesn't happen in London - but NY supposedly
          led the way out of conservatism.

          In the UK it's been accepted for decades that the dole (unemployment
          benefit) is a crucial funding source for young musicians (and other kinds of
          artists). Think what a fantastic investment this has been in terms of the
          billions of pounds of international record sales by groups in the "pop" era,
          most of whom could only survive at the beginnings of their careers making
          music cos of the dole.

          I have friends who lived this lifestyle. OK, so they didn't "succeed" but I
          have an EP of theirs from their John Peel session. What is success?

          Presumably one can do an M-something on this subject, too.

          Jawed

          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Patrick Oliver [mailto:patrick_oliver@...]
          > Sent: 02 April 2001 19:39
          > To: thewire@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Re: Re[2]: [thewire] Re: subcultures and hegemony.
          >
          >
          > Point taken, Simon. Although I think artists should be
          > free to criticize any system, regardless of how they
          > get funding. Over here our Mayor, Rudi Guilliani, is
          > threatening to put together a "decency commission" to
          > look in to who the city's arts funding goes to. The
          > concern: should tax payers' money go toward funding of
          > art that some tax payers find offensive. Chris Ofili
          > actually received death threats for his Holy Virgin
          > Mary piece. And yet I found his intentions with the
          > work to be utterly decent. But perhaps thats just
          > me...
          >
          >
          > --- simonsmith@... wrote:
          > > 'New music' is a great advert for the success of a
          > > blend of capitalism with a liberal dose of
          > > good-old-fashioned socialist state support. How many
          > > Wire artists have had a helping hand from state arts
          > > funding, or even exposure on publicly-funded
          > > broadcasting? Even in the market-worshipping US.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Pragmatism ... that's the name of the game nowadays.
          > > I do raise an arched eyebrow whenever 'Arts
          > > Council-type' artists kick and scream and rail
          > > against a system in which they seem to be prospering
          > > very well indeed thank you very much ... both
          > > artistically and, sometimes, financially.
          > >
          > >
          > > ______________________________ Reply Separator
          >
        • R. Lim
          ... The city didn t fund the artwork s creation, it funded the museum that exhibited the work. It shouldn t be a surprise to anyone that not a whole lot of
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 3, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            On Mon, 2 Apr 2001, Patrick Oliver wrote:

            > get funding. Over here our Mayor, Rudi Guilliani, is
            > threatening to put together a "decency commission" to
            > look in to who the city's arts funding goes to. The
            > concern: should tax payers' money go toward funding of
            > art that some tax payers find offensive. Chris Ofili
            > actually received death threats for his Holy Virgin
            > Mary piece. And yet I found his intentions with the

            The city didn't fund the artwork's creation, it funded the museum that
            exhibited the work. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that not a whole
            lot of public funding goes directly to artists. Which is probably the way
            it should be- I wouldn't trust the US gov'ts taste in art.

            -rob
          • Patrick Oliver
            Which is probably the way ... You re right, of course, Guilliani s concern is that public money is going to museums that house CERTAIN works that CERTAIN
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 3, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              Which is probably the way
              > it should be- I wouldn't trust the US gov'ts taste
              > in art.
              >
              > -rob

              You're right, of course, Guilliani's concern is that
              public money is going to museums that house CERTAIN
              works that CERTAIN people find offensive. It gets more
              ridiculous every time I go through it in my head. The
              Brooklyn museum of art has a stunning permanent
              collection including fine early Egyptian and
              Mesopotamian pieces. Rudy was planning to close the
              whole thing down because of the (temporary) Saatchi
              exhibition. One can't help noticing that a certain
              Charles Saatchi was the only person in this whole
              sorry story who not only got away scott free but made
              a decent coin at the same time...

              Patrick


              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
              http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
            • jamello@aol.com
              In a message dated 01-04-02 17:12:20 EDT, you write:
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 4, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                In a message dated 01-04-02 17:12:20 EDT, you write:

                <<
                I have to admit it gives me a chuckle that the NY art scene was so
                "advanced" throughout the 40s-early 70s and now gets on its high horse over
                stuff like this. Not to say it doesn't happen in London - but NY supposedly
                led the way out of conservatism.
                >>

                One clarification: it isn't the "NY art scene" that's driving this matter,
                it's a single, narrow-minded, control freak mayor who others in city
                government are scared to tangle with. But, he'll be out soon-ish (thank
                goodness for term limits) so hopefully things will evolve.)

                -- Jack
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.