Thursday, August 17, 2006

'Pop at the Abyss' - Music that takes a compelling, thrilling joy in the embrace of the loss of control. But what is this joy?

The first part of it is lyrical. "Sugar pie honey pie... You know that I love you... I can't help myself". The sound of one shouting their weakness to the sky! No shame but rather the embrace of self-effacement. "I was defeated, you won the war." The joy and ecstacy in this, recalling the old Nietzschean saw - "He who despises himself nonetheless respects himself as one who despises."

These lyrics embrace and affirm everything that I pit myself against, intellectually and personally. Weakness, placing oneself in slavery. Willingly opening one's arms to mauvaise foi, the capitulation to "the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us ... to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us." (Foucault) What joyful seduction! Going about the absolutely ideological in the most reflexive, reflexive fashion. Knowing self-delusion. "... love at first sight? It's an illusion, I don't care." The invitation to others - here I am, I am weak with you, I am open with you, and against myself I accept all that you will do to me. "Baby, I feel like I'm falling in love." "Tell me lies."

Finally, to dance to this. What else is dancing but the attempt to embody the song, to literally be a part of the rhythm?

What else is this music but a challenge - 'I fear not objectification, for I have already objectified myself'? (Except I am too enraptured in my own lack of agency to even bother making any sort of challenge explicitly - challenge is the realm of those who jostle, who still fight, whereas I - oh, I having given up - I am slipping away too deliciously to even think about you...)

Of course, at base this is all old business. The masochist as final architect of their own pain, the one who watches the one who watches...

But what joy, what joy.


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