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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Loving mr ingram's post about dylan, vonnegut and the *real* history that persists behind the "facile dimensions of clock time." I'm not going anywhere near the theory and philosophy bits, jesus no, but want to blurt out a few bits that seem relevant before I forget:

- one of the chief benefits of the alien time-view in 'slaughterhouse 5' is that, seeing all moments simultaneously, if one of these aliens happens to see themselves/someone else in pain or suffering, they simply look away to a point when things are going a bit better, and cheer up. cf: the pop pessimism debate. the perceived nostalgia of someone like k-punk isn't backwards-looking, then, it's just paying more attention to a point when the possible future looked rosier - and hasn't happened yet - we're not living in the future - time has moved forward but pop maybe hasn't - we're waiting for the future - you get me?

- whole thing reminds me of a very funny book, e m forster's 'aspects of the novel.' no, wait. his idea being, it's no good to think about writers in terms of literary theories or socio-political trends 'n all that, because writers pay more attention to other writers than they do to anything else. his approach is to think of writers not in a line stretching back into history, but all sitting together in a room, looking over each other's shoulders and writing at the same time. in my more dogmatic days this book was a joke, an anti-historical laughing stock, who does he think he is, 'discarding the weighty historical view' or whatever he does. Then re-reading it more recently, oh dear, it all seems much more convincing. ie if 'enlightenment' (yucky value-laden term of course but still) is what we're aiming at, then there's no reason why a writer 1000 years ago should be necessarily further away from it than one writing today. this argument proves why bob dylan is great innit.

- dylan. had mostly always lumped him in with the "stuffy, irrelevant and classical" brigade, no doubt. part of the problem was, people were always saying, the lyrics, listen to the lyrics! which is a terrible way to try and get in to something as wordy as dylan. with my attention span, please! anyway, enlightenment (ha!) came one day when someone pointed out (cheers jake!) that what you have to bear in mind listening to dylan is a)the SOUND, think about it sonically, the rattling, steam-driven, train-whistle SPEEDFREAK kinesis of it all, the arrangements on eg 'blonde on blonde' are weird/wired as fuck when it comes down to it, the way that harmonica is the perfect aural analogue of dylan's voice, and the way it occupies exactly the same space in the mix, they just swap back and forth, man, instrument, listen hard enough and they become the same thing (kind of!), basically what I mean is

B) this was NOT stuffy nor classical at the time, it was a fucking trip! Re: the NYC VU etc link, I dunno any of the anecdotes but you don't need to, just fucking listen! There's all kind of drone and minimalist/repetitive shit on 'blonde on blonde' at least, (oh no I just remembered, I do know one anecdote, loving that story bout dylan and the beatles meeting mid-60s, swapping drugs, beatles discover pot and go hippy, dylan discovers speed and goes bug-eyed electric rattler)

- well now. not sure if there was a point to this, other than to work out in words my own peronal troubled history with bob. but there you go.

- oh yes, one other thing, this is funny, in a strange twist of Real World fate, it appears that I might, like, literally, know where matthew ingram lives, hahaha now I'm going to stalk him and go round and nick all his 21eme siecle silver records hahahahaaa watch your back!!! 
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