And so, for at least a few weeks this Christmas season, I refuse to apologize for my lack of cultural discernment. I will read shitty books, watch shitty movies, and refuse to apologize for my non-shitty love of musical theatre.
The discourse that has surrounded Homeland, Argo, and now Zero Dark Thirty reveals that if we don’t care much about what we’re actually doing in the Middle East, we care very deeply indeed about possessing the moral high ground when it comes to discussing it.
The stories that speak to us most are those that reflect our own reality. And that, I believe, is where our current fascination with doomsday or the apocalypse comes from: a (possibly subconscious) awareness our own reality.
We like glitch because it’s a little bit messed up, just like us. It’s taking the parts that we might consider mistakes or flaws and illuminating them and saying, hey, this is beautiful.
I could say that there’s still time for one more drink, I thought as I started thumbing through The Faerie Queene. There’s at least one more chance to impress that grad student, at least one more month before the loans start coming due, at least one more end of the world to celebrate. We’re in for the long haul tonight, I could say. The canon of apocalyptic literature is proof.
I have a perhaps old-fashioned notion of fiction as ideally separate from the online sprawl of news and links and the overwhelming barrage of photos and all of the roadside blight we cruise by on a daily basis. Art, in this context, feels designed as a deliberate escape from this roiling flux, a momentary stay against confusion.
There are some places in the musical landscape that are unforgivable, that showcase a wretchedness beyond the thoughtless, market-driven lyrics and forever-grinding standard tempos of pop-music machinery. I’m talking about knock-off pop music.