Monday, April 13, 2009


own that particular model, that's really saying something
something. Our excitement is integral to the production of the
object, and our excitement is no more than completing the
labyrinth of ownership, programming the video, reading the
owner's manual, getting to the end of a computer game. But the
measure of time between excitement and indifference is declining.
Dylan's shrine, his cultishness lasted about five years, the rate of
wasting has [sped] up since then. In a world of unvaried
consistency, the understanding of any detail was sufficient for the
understanding of all things, once the smallest detail was properly
understood, then everything was understood. Pop music has
followed a typical commodity trajectory, an initial specialized
product of indefinable but inescapable quality break out from its
confines and is distributed globally (the peculiar blend of
Tennessee hillbilly music with the Blues); a golden age, the
perfection of the form and an age of ubiquity, the pop song that
genuinely articulated something of lived life; in pop music's case,
the something of lived lived life was an address to lately abolished
popular culture, pop music derived some energy from that
association (the Sgt Pepper sleeve, nostalgic fairground music,
cheeky story songs about obscure 'real' people, Lovely Rita,
Arnold Lane, Lola - quickly parodied as Polythene Pam and
Telegram Sam).

As the world became saturated, pop had no reference but itself,
because there was nothing external to it and no memory of a time
when there was. Working class culture ended when pop music
forgot to sing about it, and snug about itself instead. Pop had
fused with the means of its distribution, it became fully integrated
with the media industry, twenty four hour broadcasting delivered
twenty four hour pop, at first shoveling it into the airwaves as if into
the furnace of a steam engine and then merely programming it,
buying it by the yard like old books to be nailed to theme pub
shelves. Pop is now designed exclusively for broadcast whilst the
last pop record that referred to anything outside of popworld, Ghost
, has become a mere demonstration of what 'authenticity'
might look like. Contracts between pop producers and pop
broadcasters are to be honored, targets to be reached, the needs
of the one are fulfilled by the other - the lascivious pelvis thrust of
pop stars is now a gesture of utter conformity, a cultural
adherence. Enthusiasm for pop still exists, and of course that
enthusiasm has always been manipulated but not it must be

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