by Dan
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Neil Young & Crazy Horse - "Ride My Llama"

"In the ongoing battle against sobriety and writer's block, just showing up with a drink in your hand is half the battle."

In college a young classmate of mine, who could not hold his drink very well, had one of the most peculiar, affected, and downright nerdy drunk habits I've ever seen. When he would have two too many rum & cokes, which was often, he would take to reciting, verbatim, the correspondences and arguments between famous writers. Playing both parts, he would storm around the room saying things like "systematization is a thing the literary world hasn't seen before!" and then answer back, "but a system is boring, like the clockwork of government!" It was embarrassing to say the least, people would usually watch for a minute, perched on the arm of a chair, and then leave to the balcony to have a real conversation. In one of these situations, I found myself penned in by his pacing. I would have had to interrupt his little script in order to get past, and I was too polite, and too unsure that a better conversation awaited me on the other side, that I just sat there. I thought about the idea that one must know as much about the creative works of one's time and the creative works of history in order to maturely add to the canon of new creative work. I thought about what it would be like to consume every conceivable piece of media in order to make an educated statement about the current situation of creativity, or to make anything truly new. It would be a lot of Law & Order episodes, a lot of Dean Koontz novels, plenty of Steely Dan, Zucker Brothers movies, freshman-year poetry compilations, Jandek albums, the works of all the Justins, for instance: Bieber, Timberlake, Trudeau, and Long. Ugh the non-fiction alone is staggering, but it would be worth it.


Posted by Dan at August 18, 2010 3:05 AM

I think if the idea is to learn something, by consuming every piece of media, you're actually hampering yourself. The media you comsume should educate you as you progress, therefore informing you of other bits of media you should consume, and more importantly, bits you can avoid.

If you hear one Justin Bieber record, and it isn't enough to convince you that it isn't necessary to listen to another one... I don't think you're going to get very far!

And there is probably exponentially more crap than there is worthwhile material.

Posted by Neil Cake at August 18, 2010 7:10 AM

Neil, dude, the high culture/low culture distinction is sooooo 1800s, it's all autonomous value systems and individual empowerment feedback loops these days.

Or: sometimes mucking out the stable can be as good as saddling up on a purebred, especially when the purebred's Neil Young (soz, Dan) and when people can make horseshit sound like Godspeed You! Black Emperor:


Posted by Ryan at August 19, 2010 5:03 AM

Of COURSE Neil Young.

Yep. A+.

Posted by Sean at August 22, 2010 7:40 PM

i get that clingy history-hunger so often.

Posted by q at August 28, 2010 12:43 PM

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