Friday, October 27, 2006

THE GREAT PRETENDER

FACT:

Chrissie Hynde was a very early member of the Damned, and wanted to call them "Mike Hunt's Honourable Discharge".

I watched Don Letts's film Punk : Attitude last night, and I'm afraid that's the best I can come up with tonight. You want crude jokes, you've come to the right place. You want analysis of the most important movement in pop culture, well you'll have to wait.

Actually, I'm having a wee bit of a crisis of confidence vis a vis Homo Ludens. This happened a while ago and so I stopped blogging for a while. I don't think I'll do that this time, but one can create a pressure on oneself to write something original and/or perceptive and/or humorous at least once a week (with a bit of filler in between) which it can be difficult to fulfil. Actually, it is not the pressure of workload as such, but the pressure caused by a half-knowledge of your audience. The Big Other looms over you when you write a blog, or does for me anyway. Who am I writing for? What do they wish me to write? In writing my latest piece, will I please them? Will I become the person they wish me to be? Che vuoi? (This is made considerably worse by the fact that the bloggers I aspire to are usually a good 15 years older than me and full-time academics.)

But besides this, my ideas about the world are all up in the air at the moment. When I discovered Marx, a world of chaotic appearances suddenly began to make sense ; this year, Freud and Lacan (and a small host of pomos) have dissolved all of that. Which is absolutely not to say that Marx has been disproved in my mind : I still believe that the accusation that his weltenshaung is overly determinist / essentialist is misleading. I'm just a little, y'know, confused.

The things I really want to write about at the moment are :

  • The illogicality (not to mention misjudged morality) of neoconservatism - I may well combine this with a look at punk and post-punk. That may not appear to make too much sense, but given a bit of work, I think it might.

  • Something on the ethics of religion, with reference to Three Colours : Blue and (if I can pluck up the courage) Mulholland Drive. This post, should it come to fruition, will also include lots of disses towards Richard Dawkins, surely the worst "public intellectual" this country has ever boasted.

  • A magnum opus on architecture, and how - on the smallest of scales - we might build our way to a revolution.

  • A review of Bryan Ferry's These Foolish Things, and a comment on why Jerry Hall might have dumped Ferry in favour of Mick Jagger. How might Ferry have viewed Hall? How might he have viewed Jagger? Would he really have seen them at all?

Sorry - I shall cease my slightly piteous whinging, for tomorrow my final month in the UK will commence - and about that I am, despite myself, more than a little excited.

4 Comments:

Blogger PercyJonkova said...

What is wrong with Richard Dawkins - he's an outspoken atheist. I personally wish there were more like him, aggressively challenging peoples irrational and harmful beliefs in higher powers.

7:13 AM  
Blogger minifig said...

All interesting posts that I look forward to.

And I'm with PJ - yes, in the UK Dawkins appears rather bombastic, but I think it's easy to forget that there's essentially no-one putting forward that point of view in the mainstream US, and someone's got to. And even if you're not a fan of his militant atheism, his books on evolution and genetics are wonderful, important and excellently written.

I'd sure as hell invite him round for dinner.

8:35 AM  
Blogger paddington said...

Fair point. I think my prejudice towards people like Dawkins is akin to his prejudice towards religious people - I just come over all itchy whenever I see his name/face.

My feeling is that he doesn't really understand what belief is. MF - sorry, I didn't continue the thread we were having on your humble organ this week, but the reason I asked about love and sex was that belief in these things is something like a belief in God. Just because I don't believe in him (which I don't) doesn't really mean anything, just as if I was in love with someone (again I don't, alas), that wouldn't mean you would have to love her too (I hope).

In other words, faith/belief is no more irrational than love (especially as you can be in love with somebody you don't really know, or who really doesn't exist). It is not reducible to scientific proof. In imagining that all religious people have a similarly dogmatic and blind faith, Dawkins stoops to the level of the fundamentalist religious types.

But your point about the special situation in the US is quite fair - we all know it is a very religious country (though I think this is really a form of nationalism, perhaps inevitable when you are the only superpower, and thus not quite "of this world"), but it is only when I drove from east coast to west coast soon after 9/11 that I realised just how much power the evangelists have.

As I say, a post on religion is on its way - and I will try to be fair on Dawkins - promise...

10:04 AM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

I've been meaning to see Punk : Attitude for a while. Apparently Chrissie Hynde was as the same Damned gig as me, last November. Shame I didn't see her. Anyway, it's interesting to wonder what The Damned would have been like if they'd stuck with Chrissie.

Oh, and please do the Bryan Ferry thing. It sounds fascinating...

12:50 PM  

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