Sunday, September 4, 2011

Feelgood Sunday; Remember, Never Forget, WE make culture, culture doesn't make us..

That can be hard to remember, given the top down pap, we're fed via media chokepoints, parents, schools, the glowing shouting anxiety generating box in our living rooms.

If you try really hard you might remember a time when each level of our collective hallucination we accept as 'culture' was it's own WTF!

Santa claus, and the tooth fairy, culture is invented fantastic dimensions taken seriously as if it's normal and there is a time in mosts development where heads figuratively take that tilted position that dogs employ when they are trying to make sense of something new.

I remember; Santa claus, tooth fairy, candy floss [a perfect metaphor, you know it's not of this world and then you taste the concentrated sugar and you're  hooked] God, the infallibility of authority at every level. The accepted inevitability of inhumanity, etc

I'll bring it back to clown because that's what I know.

We make our own culture. It's a laughter hack.

We need validation but we hide that behind our own glee and we seduce you and you enable us.

Culture is a fabric made of interwoven narratives, it is a very complex fabric, incomprehensibly complex, specialists stake out their domains and tinker.

Clowns are social engineers.

I, for example, created a narrative consisting of a 12 foot disgruntled pantomime that spitefully inhabited corners and victimized passing pedestrians. I used this to travel the world testing the limits of cruelty and humor. I learnt a lot but am not sure what to do with my knowledge. This is admittededly a 'first world problem', I'll work it out.

Here is an example of the genesis of 'culture' and it's expression made that much more digestible via clown.

Alternatively it's an example of my particular mental disfunction, which, you'll have to excuse me, I choose to call art so fuck you.

An artist called 'Madeon' dipped into pop culture and took musical samples thus

Alphabeat - Boyfriend
Alphabeat - Fascination
Bag Raiders - Shooting Stars
Black Eyed Peas - Gotta Feeling
Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time
Capsule - Can I Have A Word
Chromeo - Momma's Boy
Coldplay - Viva La Vida
Daft Punk - Aerodynamic
Daft Punk - Around The World
Deadmau5 - Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)
Deadmau5 - Right This Second
Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed
ELO - Mr. Blue Sky
Girls Aloud - Biology
Gorillaz - Dare
Gossip - Heavy Cross (Fred Falke Remix)
Gwen Stefani - What You Waitin For (Jacques Lu Cont Mix)
Housse de Racket - Oh Yeah
Justice - DVNO
Justice - Phantom Part II
Katy Perry - One Of The Boys
Ke$ha - Take It Off
Kylie Minogue - Wow
Lady Gaga - Alejandro
Linkin Park - Crawling
Madonna - Hung Up
Martin Solveig ft. Dragonette - Boys and Girls
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
Nero - Me and You
One Republic - All The Right Moves (Danger Remix)
One-T - Magic Key
Ratatat - Shempi
Solange - I Decided (Freemasons Remix)
Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You
The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
The Killers - Losing Touch
The Who - Baba O'Riley (SebastiAn Remix)
Yelle - Que Veux Tu (Madeon Remix)

...and made a pop song using all these elements

Here is the video

and here it is being performed live, 

Catchy, clever, however lacking any ongoing emotional appeal apart from admiration and nostalgia, [if you happen to have a contemporary pop musical frame of reference]

Now we arrive at what to me is a great example of the not insignificant power of clown.

Character and narrative form a bridge that allow us to celebrate ourselves.
 Dancers - Nathan Barnatt, Jenny Fine

Watching this guy, Nathan Barnatt, just makes me happy.

Here's another just to keep that mood going.

Now apropos perhaps I'll leave you with this. Don't know this writer, have had no direct dealings with them but below was something I read today that flavored and help form, such that it's formed at all. This blog entry.

People have both independent agency and free will, the exercise of which results in (among other things) culture. Which has neither free will nor independent agency. One corollary of which is: We make culture. It does not and cannot make us without our participation. The nature and extent of which is determined by us and is therefore our responsibility. Not culture's. Other people may very well, through the exercise of their independent agency and free will, try to deprive us of ours by using culture as one of their weapons. However, while they can and do sometimes succeed -- which, btw, means they're the enemy -- if culture was the only weapon they had, they just wouldn't be that much of a threat absent our collaboration. It's not like culture runs on ethanol. It only has one power source, and we're it. Oh. Hmm....Plus also, just as a reminder: Given the false-dichotomy aspect of things, we're it.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm totally down with cursing the darkness. It's a fabulous thing. That doesn't mean it's the same thing as lighting a candle, though. But whether you want the former to have more cultural currency than the latter or the other way around, it's totally within your power to exercise your free will and independent agency to exert an influence on the direction in which you'd prefer to see the cultural current flowing. Just do one more and the other less. Nothing is easy. But neither is everything impossible. That's just the way it be's.

So if you're distressed, please undistress yourself. All right? I'm absolutely positive that we can continue to totally fail to effectively communicate with one another other calmly just as well as we could if we were both highly agitated! Why, it's so crazy, it just might work!

No comments: