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Friday, July 18, 2003
  No one is ever left in pop, they are always in the attitude of leaving. It is like an island of integrity, where the moral complexity of a relationship is defined as my ability to leave you, and your inability to leave me. I might be sorry for what I did, but apology goes hand in hand with the inexorable advacing of time. We never go back after saying sorry, we just feel better about moving on. No one would have though in Switzerland in the early part of the 20th century, that Rilke would describe the greatest narrative sensibility of pop in a poem about the uncertainty of being alive and thinking.
Who made us thus:
that always, despite
our aspirations, we wave
as though departing?
Like a man lingering to look,
from the final hill,
out over the valley he
intends to leave forever,
this is how we live
always saying goodbye.

(Apologies to Rilke for my appalling translation). Ok, so its not valleys and hills that pop describes, but its not hills and valleys that Rilke is talking about either. It is a very quiet primal scream, a surrendering to the fact that we can look back but still in the end we have to pack our bags and wander off to the next valley, that may not be home (I struggled with that word, German speakers - and decided there was no room for it) but it probably looks like it if you squint.
Timberlake, more sinned against than sinning? It hardly matters, his vocal soul is teflon coated and resists accusation. He may have done wrong, but he's still alive to sing about it, God or Voudun haven't confiscated his voice. How else would you or I have anything in common with that shaved head from the south? 
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