16 August 2009

Bright Pointers & Independence Day

Money, honey,
Be on neon.

— Rael (Peter Gabriel)
title track, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Genesis, 1974

At http://angryorganist.blogspot.com/ (yes, I like that already) there is a post, dated the 4th of July, decrying Neon Arrows, wherein it is written (on whatever it is that they write it on up there) that the author has tried to develop a position different from both anti-pop trumpetings . . . and the fashionable relativism which is the trumpet for pop.

The author consideredly opposes:

  • Cultural theorists who reduce the workings of society to economic interactions (Marx) or power relations (Foucault)
  • Scientistic thinkers who reduce the workings of the universe to the interactions of its physical
    components (the so-called "
    eliminative materialists") or the workings of the human mind to psychological and evolutionary factors (Pinker, Dennett)
  • Historiography that attempts to reduce messy periods of history to neatly organized categories and lists of characteristics (Peter Gay's Modernism, see also sidebar) or that imposes upon it a Whig History perspective
  • Theories of musical meaning which needlessly constrain the possible meanings of a musical work by prescribing a particular analytic technique (Schenker) or a particular narrative
    reading (much of the "new musicology")
  • Postmodernists who claim that the failures of the above projects are evidence of something called "the death of the metanarrative," and that we should therefore accept an equally dogmatic relativist worldview in which all truths are socially contingent.

Yes, I pretty much like all that, too.

The entire post I find of great interest to ponder (which I think is not dependent on the fact that I agree with so much of what he has to say); though perhaps I especially enjoyed the zinger:

[T]here’s also something counterintuitive about claiming that all genres are a priori equal: surely no-one would seriously maintain that a classical-music listener is “missing out” by not listening to an equal amount of death metal?

No comments: