Items of Interest, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet Edition
"You can get enough of what you don’t need."
Robert Boyers interviews Jed Perl. “The fascination – I would almost say the obsession – that developed among liberals in the last quarter of the twentieth century with associating the triumphs and failures of various creative spirits with their political, social, and sexual views and orientations reflects, so I believe, a refusal to see art in its own terms. The idea that certain literary styles or artistic structures might be inherently fascist or leftist – and this has certainly been suggested – does serious damage to our understanding of the arts.”
Tom Jones, The anti-arts establishment. “It turns out Eric Hoffer was wrong — you can get enough of what you don’t need. Thinking I’d been worn out by the intellectual battering the gallery had given me as a result of my possession of conservative opinions, I had to read and re-read the information board several times. Even as I left, I still didn’t understand what you would miss if you were ‘contemplating works of art solely for their aesthetic or narrative qualities’. Nor do I understand how removing art and replacing it with a video installation of drag queens helps a responsible art gallery address those concerns.”
Nick Gillespie, Sex, Lies, and Social Media. “Cicirelli's work forces us to contemplate: Why is there so much fakeness in a world that places so much value on authenticity and transparency? How do we maintain our individuality when social media algorithms group us into simplistic categories and tribes? And has technology become a substitute for reality rather than something we use to express our true selves?”
Michael Martin, The Droid Stares Back.“This technological totalization, it appears to me, is now manifesting in two very discrete but nevertheless related developments: 1) in the rise of AI expertise to replace that of the human; and 2) the transhumanist project that not only has achieved almost universal adulation and acceptance by the World Archons (I use the Gnostic term deliberately) but has accelerated over the past three years at an astonishing rate. This leads to the following inference: as AI becomes more human-like, humans become more machine-like. It is in inverse ratio, and indeed a nearly perfect one.”
Musa al-Gharbi, The “Great Awokening” of Scholarship May Be Ending. “After 2020, there were declines across the board in published research focused on identity-based bias and discrimination. Academic scholarship seems to have passed peak ‘woke.’”, America’s Culture Is Booming. Really. “People are shocked by the notion that MrBeast can have 20 times the reach of the largest newspaper in the world. But even more shocking is the fact that this cultural shift is still in its early stages. You ain’t seen nothing yet, folks. And all this is happening much faster than most people realize—especially those who live inside the institutionalized world of legacy culture businesses.”
Robbie Soave, Save Roald Dahl Books From the Dreaded Sensitivity Readers. “If they really think they'll sell more Dahls and Seusses this way, they're free to proceed. But maybe the publishers should think harder about whether a small handful of activists really speak for the book-reading masses.”
Lianne Kolirin, Changes to Roald Dahl's classic children's books spark censorship spat. “‘Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed,’ Rushdie tweeted.”
Michelle Liu, Is the attunement of abstract art and music more than a metaphor? “The specific associations posited by artists like Kandinsky may be expressions of their own idiosyncrasies and subjectivity. Nevertheless, that there are non-arbitrary colour-music associations, and that certain colours and musical samples have similar emotional associations, is well known to psychologists.”, Dealers & Gamblers. “What distinguishes the vanguard from the followers is risk-taking temperament and behavior. Risk-takers are natural individualists. They understand the tragic vision of man bound to primitive drives which can never be overcome and which must be respected. Risk-takers are compelled to go into unmapped territory because it is unmapped.”
Department of Skills: Remco Hendriks, Fretless Harmonic Slide Funk Rock Bass Grooves.
Oh my God, is this a good title. The author is the proprietor of the Center for Sophiological Studies.
This isn’t even his best jam. But listen at 0:34 where he slides a harmonic. I didn’t know that was possible. For more see his YouTube channel.
From my Department of Skills:
Montserrat Caballé singing the "Casta Diva" from Bellini's Norma in a LIVE 1974 performance (ignore the Spanish subtitles and just focus on the magnificent Caballé):
Caballé, by the way, was a friend of Freddie Mercury, and they even worked together.