Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Irreversible Voice

Self-creation trumps everything.

People take too much solace in the cover of trends and labels. On an individual level, there are only two types of art: Truth and untruth. The first is the only one that matters; the latter is the antithesis of art.

Being accessible is confused with being pedantic, to the point that completely negates the idea of creation. Something can be accessible without being shallow, and something can be overtly deep, but pedantic. This is the paradox of art, and the contradiction in any type of self-conscious attempt at expression.

The new music movements are all centered around self-consciousness, as if that alone makes it self-aware. These are two different things. Artistic expression that is self-aware has a sense of its own structure, but is not embarrassed at that. Self-conscious art carries a tinge of inferiority about it, and is so painfully narrow that I can't stand any part of it.

This is where the vocal-centric movement in music has failed. I guess vocal-centric tendencies have always been around, but the postmodern approach violates every sensibility in anyone who knows anything at all about art (at least, it should). The dance, drum-n-bass and hip-hop facets of this are pathetic in that self-conscious way. Words become their own posts, instead of what grunge made into its own art form: The ability of lyrics to be amorphous and organic; so much so, that it becomes a part of the music itself.

But, this new generation, I feel, doesn't know anything about that side of music. They are the social herd in the literal sense. They only want self-reflection in as shallow a flavor as possible, so that they can relate to it. Four-beat structures, no real innovation, stolen rhythms; sacrilegious in its banality. And with those ankle-deep expressions, the failed interpretation of a failed post-modern society and the way the social herd seems to carry everyone's fascination around with it, art suffers a slow, poisonous intoxication. But not intoxication in the sense of Eros, or the Bacchanalian ecstasy in organic expressions. It is the intoxication of a dumb-downed culture. It is the intoxication of anti-intoxication.

Sex has become a form of possession. Women have become a life-form that delights in being subjugated and dominated. Morality has become a tunnel-chamber, used to fire out any self-justified relativism that reinforces selfish desires. Depth has become an analogy to a lake filled with sediment; inch-deep water that encompasses the breadth of existence, and is thought of as the penultimate. The voice has become a means of expressing that self-conscious drive, that pathetic, shallow reflection based on an undeveloped mind. Art has fallen from Victorian to cattle-driven. And music, for the most part, has fallen to a level of market-ism, of social consciousness akin to believing that the most inane pseudo-philosophers were the greatest prophets of Human existence.

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