Friday, September 16, 2005
Rereading Kora in Hell reminds me why poets stay in the academy, even when they bitch about it. Simple: you have a lot less unstructured time in most other professions. WCW used to bash out those “improvisations” every night after a day of office visits, house calls, delivering babies, whatnot. Unsurprising they’re short. The real wonder is that he managed to write so many continuous pieces – American Grain, the novels, the bits of Paterson that spread out over more than a page or two. Pity that so many of us with our four-day weekends can’t show a bit more expansive ambition.
“European intellectuals such as myself are inclined to view the concept of ‘adjustment’ merely negatively, as the extinction of spontaneity and the autonomy of the individual person. Yet it is an illusion sharply criticized by Goethe and Hegel that the process of humanization and cultivation necessarily and continually proceeds from the inside outward. It is accomplished also and precisely through ‘externalization,’ as Hegel called it. We become free human beings not by each of us realizing ourselves as individuals, according to the hideous phrase, but rather in that we go out of ourselves, enter into relation with others, and in a certain sense relinquish ourselves to them. Only through this process do we determine ourselves as individuals, not by watering ourselves like plants in order to become well-rounded cultivated personalities.”
–Adorno, “Scientific Experiences of a European Scholar in America
Didn’t know it existed until I stumbled on it in a used CD place the other day: Sonic Youth, Corporate Ghost: The Videos: 1990-2002, a DVD collection. Sonic Youth videos?! Bit hard to wrap one’s mind around that. I’ve watched around in it a bit; nifty to see Kim Deal & Kim Gordon singing duet on “Little Trouble Girl,” and Chuck D puts in a cameo in “Kool Thing.” There’s one tiny Richard Kern piece, “Scooter & Jinx,” which takes us into familiar seamy Kern territory (think the recent Fence cover), lots of concert footage, and lots of not particularly convincing lip-syncing. From what I’ve seen, I’m afraid the Sonics don’t take this medium seriously enough…
Posted by Mark Scroggins at 1:32 AM