Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Would Ayn Rand like Radiohead? or: You Are a Target Market

Adam Fieled, in a post (largely( about WCW, concluded by saying someone found his blog by googling this question.

Weird world, huh?

However,I think she would.

(tangent - this is very, very cool)

Let me justify myself (while still being as voiciferous as is to be expected in such a situation).

Radiohead, in my view, are/were kind of like the Pink Floyd of the 90s, and are comprable to Sonic Youth in their appeal to an audience of disaffected middle class youth (often University Students - witness both band's success being driven by exposion on college radio) who are, by and large, disenchanted with capitalism though still heavily invested in the individualism that they have been (though the capitalist apparatus) intdoctrinated with. This paradox, plus this generation's (that's my generation, by the way) largely apathetic outlook on political action, spurred by a dissilliusionment with the efacacy of such, creates a situation where the anti-captialist (or more accurately ambivilant-toward-capitalist) sentiment finds unlikely bedfellows in the political apathy and individualism that are direct product of the capitalist aparatus, and this individualist ideology has it's logical (it's what we're taught) expression in consumption.

This means that the kids buy DVDs called Meeting People is Easy, with "You are a target market" plastered in large, uppercase type across the front cover, with mocking (and partial) awareness that this banner is true; and, i'll warrant, less awareness that they are behaving just as the trained consumers that they are looking down their noses at.

Watching all of this, Ayn Rand laughs.


Ana said...

Seeing all this:

I ornament the pavement
with tears

Malo Ross, I enjoyed your reviews in the latest brief especially because Sandy Florian is one of my favourite youngish american poets along with Kiki Petrosino and Zach Savich. If you haven't read Sandy's '32 Pedals & 47 Stops' I can lend you my copy at the next catalyst (forgive us Sandy for we are but poor poets). It's prose poetry that makes me believe in prose poetry and it would be interesting to hear what you think.

Also, have you checked out the experimental films on her blog? At first I didn't appreciate them but later I found the cut/splice/repeat approach sad and haunting like riding a melbourne train late at night and weeping into the hair grease mark on the cool window pane.

I still enjoy the radiohead music of my youth - a lot of great lyrics/lines that make nonsensical sense and resonate emotionally (like poetry.........?)

That she bought
from a rub-
ber man

in a town full
of rub-
ber bands

To get rid
of her self

It wears him out
It wears him out
It Where err -EARS- him o u t.


Down with capitalism!
Up with poetry!

Meet you at the next catalyst?

Ps: I haven't read any Ayn Rand yet and I don't want to look up your nostrils.

Ross Brighton said...

Hi Ana - thanks for your comments.
Tree of No is the first of hers I've read - and one of the best books I've read in a very long time. I really want to see her other stuff, 32 pedals and Telescope (Published by Action as well - it seems those folks can do no wrong!).

I haven't checked out the films, but you've pequed my interest - I'll have to now!

I didn't make it to Catalyst last night, but will endeavor to get to the next one - hopefully I'll see you there!

For poetry in lyrics, you can't beat Scott Walker:


And out on the rim

All the calcium planets
growing in
the darkness
All over the
The flapping body

clickety click

(The Cockfighter, from the album Tilt)

Farrah Field said...

At least when we consume, we consume well...

Of all these weird creatures
who lock up their spirits

Ross Brighton said...

What I find funny though is that songs/work that, on the face of it, function as critiques of consumption, become in their selves consumables (and consumed....) Capitalism is the ultimate omnivore.