luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Thats not my argument at all. The Beatles are/were big because they were very good at what they did, which was producing music that was unconventional enough to intrigue but not so experimental as to alienate the everyman - so Im closer to Corpsey here.

Im transposing your argument about drugs onto music. Hmg were the Beatles not already big by the time they started doing that?
 

Bad Faith Healer

Bamber Clatscoigne
Im transposing your argument about drugs onto music. Hmg were the Beatles not already big by the time they started doing that?

Not really, Beatlemania and their US breakthrough was towards the end of 1963 by which time they were using 4-track recording, and overdubbing counterpoint basslines.
Different.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Im doing England's answer to the Coogee to Bondi walk--' Paignton to Brixham along the sputh Devon coast. It's a very beautiful day. Spring has arrived and there's not a cloud in the sky. Primroses are everywhere, buttercups, a few daisies, daffodils mostly wilting now, leaves on the trees wriggling out their buds. Im so glad to see the back of winter. What a relief.
 

Bad Faith Healer

Bamber Clatscoigne
their US breakthrough was towards the end of 1963

That wasn't long after Kennedy's assassination, a couple of weeks. Maybe the American psyche needed reassurance and optimism at that precise time, which the Beatles ably provided. A counterpoint to bad news and another flashbulb moment.

Confirmed: https://www.latimes.com/entertainme...assassination-nov-22-1963-20131122-story.html

The Beatles became so big because of technology + timing, half luck, half judgement.
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
there is deep seated desire in humans for some kind of altered state. An escape from the unending horror of consciousness.

The argument I raise here is how that desire is shaped & channelled.

This is the sort of direction I find most promising. Neither naive nor cynical. Not as pat an explanation. The questions then being what is desire, what goverms it, what directs it, what attaches it to this or that object, to what extent can it be manipulated, made to change course or amplified.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I very often experience it in terns of posession.
"
The Act prepares the conditions for its own realisation as the prisoner prepares for his escape,
with patience, ingenuity and absolute secrecy, identifying the method and the route, finding and securing tools and hiding them when not in use, concealing his efforts, and only setting out once everything is in place. On this extreme caution, diligence and wit, freedom depends. A moment’s indiscretion and the chance is gone for good.

The Act chooses the Actor and dwells silently inside him, or her, as the case may be, creating the conditions for itself, in methodical and scrupulous silence, so that when the work is done, the events converge and the moment arrives, the Actor is taken unawares, caught in a current too strong to swim against.

It is done, for good or ill, and the Actor is alone again, in ashes or in clover"
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Not a fluent or felicitous piece of writing but hopefully you catch the drift
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I do dream of escape every day. I expect a huge number of commuters are dreaming too, or distracting themselves.

It's comparatively rare that you find yourself in a situation you DON'T want to escape from.

"I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring"

Most of all I see myself in that ring. Groundhog Day.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
im not saying the beatles weren't sonic pioneers *in the mainstream* those developments were also going in more experimental scenes and cultures. the problem is that their pioneering is strictly one of utilisation. by 1970 they should have been rendered important but irrelevant. yet it was precisely after the 70s that they got shoved down our throats. the beatles industry became a living labour machine designed to suck out all dead and congealed labour to replace with its parasitic forms of accumulating more fans and devotees to stay at the top. saying you think the beatles in music discourse will get you fucked up in any marxist pop culture study group. that's how pernicious they are. a few hippies tell me that modern music simply would not exist without the beatles. an absurd claim. there really isn't any beatles in acid house, let alone 80s synth funk, let alone 70s miles for the most part.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
the beatles are like an intellectual comfort house for music heads. they know they really aren't that important yet they sequester themselves in it because they want to own people less advanced than them rather than duel with the big boys. at least quincy tried to break this.
 
The Avengers

I'll try this one and superhero films in general, I don't necessarily believe this, but it's an interesting one to think about.

Iron Man, the first of the MCU films, appeared a few months before the financial crisis really hit in '08 and the rest of the films have been released in a world still grappling with the consequences of that crisis.

The crash ruined a huge number of people, resulted in worldwide austerity measures and a decline in living standards, shook people's confidence in a lot of things and the poor handling of the fallout birthed all sorts of issues and resentments in the mind of the public; they became more distrusting than ever of bankers and Wall St. and felt that the political class were more interested in them than the people and they couldn't understand the crash, it was too big and complicated and there was nothing they could do about it, so they started to turn to "strongmen", people who would swoop down and save them and beat back the people they thought responsible, hence an almost insatiable appetite for superhero films; big, dazzling, entertaining films where superhuman characters work together to battle a clear enemy and save the world.

There's a book I haven't read called From Caligari to Hitler which sets out the idea that the roots of what would arise in Germany in the 30s and 40s were visible on-screen in the films of the Weimar-era, perhaps the roots of Trump were right there on the screen the whole time. The inner desires of the public manifested on the screen before they even knew it was what they wanted.
 

Bellwoods

Active member
There's a book I haven't read called From Caligari to Hitler which sets out the idea that the roots of what would arise in Germany in the 30s and 40s were visible on-screen in the films of the Weimar-era, perhaps the roots of Trump were right there on the screen the whole time. The inner desires of the public manifested on the screen before they even knew it was what they wanted.

I agree.

I can't be the only one who sees some relation between a personality type like Tony Starke and that of Donald Trump; both are extremely "wealthy," pushy, talkative, arrogant... Tony is supposed to be a genius, but in a fictional universe in which a ridiculous number of main characters are genius scientists, doctors, inventors, etc, it's easy to glaze over at any mention of "science"... and what's left is a man who solves his problems with money (ie. cool toys and a literal deus ex machina). It seems deeply American to me—I actually hated Iron Man when I saw it, because I found that character so repulsive.

I was also struck by the degree to which I felt I had been prepared for Trump's victory by (of all things) HBO series. One of the things those shows do—part of the appeal—is that they will kill off "lead" characters, often at the very end of an episode, and then cut to black. There's a whole world of Youtube reaction videos dedicated to these moments; essentially, the thrill is that the good guy has lost.
 
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I can't be the only one who sees some relation between a personality type like Tony Starke and that of Donald Trump; both are extremely "wealthy," pushy, talkative, arrogant... Tony is supposed to be a genius, but in a fictional universe in which a ridiculous number of main characters are genius scientists, doctors, inventors, etc, it's easy to glaze over at any mention of "science"... and what's left is a man who solves his problems with money (ie. cool toys and a literal deus ex machina). It seems deeply American to me—I actually hated Iron Man when I saw it, because I found that character so repulsive.

Elon Musk springs to mind too, he even has a cameo in Iron Man 2.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCyLOWfIrCU
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Yeah, Tony Stark is more like a fusion of rock star and tech mogul. Steve Jobs plus blow jobs.

In Iron Man 1 the dream is to (effectively) create a drone sophisticated enough to only neutralise "bad guys" in middle eastern countries.

Not sure if these political overtones have been preserved in the latest intergalactic avengers movies. Worth remembering, too, that Nolan's Dark Knight came out the same year, also full of anxiety over the war on terror, surveillance, technology, etc.

From ambient jungle to this!
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Well, the other thread here is the breakdown of creativity in capitalism, the infantilisation of audiences, the mainstreaming of nerd culture and the ongoing exploitation of the childhood properties of (the then) lucrative 25-35 male audience - all of these things are linked. Every childhood creative property from my youth has been commercialised in the last 20 years and I don't think the motivation is primarily political.

That said - I do think the avengers in particular is reflective of some socio-political undercurrents. Thanos and resource sacrifice, Ultron's techno-nihilism. Quite smart those films.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
I agree.

I can't be the only one who sees some relation between a personality type like Tony Starke and that of Donald Trump; both are extremely "wealthy," pushy, talkative, arrogant... Tony is supposed to be a genius, but in a fictional universe in which a ridiculous number of main characters are genius scientists, doctors, inventors, etc, it's easy to glaze over at any mention of "science"... and what's left is a man who solves his problems with money (ie. cool toys and a literal deus ex machina). It seems deeply American to me—I actually hated Iron Man when I saw it, because I found that character so repulsive.

I was also struck by the degree to which I felt I had been prepared for Trump's victory by (of all things) HBO series. One of the things those shows do—part of the appeal—is that they will kill off "lead" characters, often at the very end of an episode, and then cut to black. There's a whole world of Youtube reaction videos dedicated to these moments; essentially, the thrill is that the good guy has lost.


that's been going on in turkish sope operas from the early 90s. no wonder they are so popular in the middle east. yet they translate much harder as people are far less passive over there, due to the objective economic factors, although like in the west the subjective factors of the class struggle (not revolution!) are weaker than they ever have been.
 
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