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Posts tagged "authenticity"

Jul 22, 2014
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Carl Wilson, Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste

This was great. I picked it up because of Mark’s review.

mlarson:


  I read Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, and it’s probably my favorite book of the year so far. Like Wilson, I never cared that much for Céline Dion’s music, and hadn’t tried to care, but I came away with a new appreciation for where she came from and some of her shrewd business moves. But it’s not just about the music and industry angle, the good stuff is how he uses Dion as the pivot to talk about taste, and all the baggage that informs our opinions.
  
  
    Much of this book is about reasonable people carting around cultural assumptions that make them assholes to millions of strangers.
  


There are tons of great quotes from the book, many of which Mark already pulled out. I particularly liked this one—


  Punk, metal, even social-justice rock like U2 or Rage Against the Machine, with their emphatic slogans or individuality and independence, are as much “inspirational” as Céline’s music is, but for different subcultural groups. They are just as one-sided and unsubtle.


—which reminded me of the Neil Young vs. Billy Joel section of Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music.

It’s a really fun read. I kept misplacing it around the house and asking my wife, “Have you seen my Celine Dion book?” Which was pretty hilarious. Recommended.

BTW: there’s a new edition of the book that includes essays from other writers on the topic of taste.

Filed under: my reading year 2014

Carl Wilson, Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste

This was great. I picked it up because of Mark’s review.

mlarson:

I read Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, and it’s probably my favorite book of the year so far. Like Wilson, I never cared that much for Céline Dion’s music, and hadn’t tried to care, but I came away with a new appreciation for where she came from and some of her shrewd business moves. But it’s not just about the music and industry angle, the good stuff is how he uses Dion as the pivot to talk about taste, and all the baggage that informs our opinions.

Much of this book is about reasonable people carting around cultural assumptions that make them assholes to millions of strangers.

There are tons of great quotes from the book, many of which Mark already pulled out. I particularly liked this one—

Punk, metal, even social-justice rock like U2 or Rage Against the Machine, with their emphatic slogans or individuality and independence, are as much “inspirational” as Céline’s music is, but for different subcultural groups. They are just as one-sided and unsubtle.

—which reminded me of the Neil Young vs. Billy Joel section of Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music.

It’s a really fun read. I kept misplacing it around the house and asking my wife, “Have you seen my Celine Dion book?” Which was pretty hilarious. Recommended.

BTW: there’s a new edition of the book that includes essays from other writers on the topic of taste.

Filed under: my reading year 2014

Nov 08, 2013
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I’ve always thought that each person invented himself… that we are each a figment of our own imagination. And some people have a greater ability to imagine than others.
— David Geffen, quoted in Inventing David Geffen, a pretty fantastic documentary about his life and work

Jul 26, 2013
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Science fiction is not predictive; it is descriptive. Predictions are uttered by prophets (free of charge), by clairvoyants (who usually charge a fee, and are therefore more honored in their day than prophets), and by futurologists (salaried). Prediction is the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurologists. It is not the business of novelists. A novelist’s business is lying.

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A work of art is something produced by a person, but is not that person — it is of her, but is not her. It’s a reach, really — the artist is trying to inhabit, temporarily, a more compact, distilled, efficient, wittier, more true-seeing, precise version of herself — one that she can’t replicate in so-called ‘real’ life, no matter how hard she tries. That’s why she writes: to try and briefly be more than she truly is.

May 31, 2013
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May 29, 2013
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A story of marriage, authenticity, and Taco Bell by @RobertMentzer

A story of marriage, authenticity, and Taco Bell by @RobertMentzer

May 01, 2013
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Mar 26, 2013
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Just tossing this out there.

Just tossing this out there.

Mar 19, 2013
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Mar 03, 2013
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» Frank Ocean Can Fly - NYTimes.com

Artists don’t usually give satisfying answers to the question of how or why they do what they do, and maybe that’s for the best. Sometimes songs mean more to us when we don’t totally grasp the lyrics. Ocean is acutely aware of this. He knows that, as much as anything, he is selling an idea. “That’s why image is so important,” he said. “That’s why you’ve got to practice brevity when you do interviews like this. I could try to make myself likable to you so you could write a piece that keeps my image in good standing, because I’m still selling this, or I could just say, ‘My art speaks for itself.’ ” He practices brevity in most things. He curates and updates his image on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr deftly and consistently, but he never overshares. “As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences,” he said in the GQ interview. “But just take what I give you. You ain’t got to pry beyond that.” To me, he said, “I don’t know if it’s a shield or whatever, but I want to deflect as much as I can onto my work.”

Ocean’s Tumblr is interesting — I love how he’ll post screenshots of his writing instead of actually posting the writing. (As I’ve said before, pictures of writing often spread around the internet faster than writing itself.)

I like this idea of using Tumblr as something more cryptic than outright confession or revelation. Michael Stipe on his:

It’s not confessional at all. I just like to tunnel. Initially the idea was to present a version of myself that might not be the person that people think they know. So it’s a little bit of a play on my being a public figure for as long as I have been…. It might be a bit of an introduction to the way I visually interpret the world. I work visually, and this is essentially an electronic scrapbook, that’s what tumblr’s good for. You know, it’s like a stamp collection, but everyone’s allowed to cull from each other’s collection.

It reminds me of the old Radiohead websites — they were really great at just giving you these little pieces, and you felt like a detective, trying to piece together some picture of what they were working on…

Maybe Robin Sloan said it best: “Work in public. Reveal nothing.”

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