Het Middel

While I was in Rockport, Dirk van Weelden’s new novel was published: Het Middel. In the two weeks before I helped him (with the help of Peet) setting up a wordpress-blog: http://www.dirkvanweelden.net.

Dirk has been interested in the possibilities that the internet and the computer offer for writing since the early days of good old-fashioned hypertext. He is also one of the most interesting writers of his generation. If you’re Dutch, you probably know this, but if you do not read Dutch, chances are big that you do not know him. I thought that a chapter from Mobile Home was translated in English, yet I cannot find it and I might be mistaken. In any case the essays he wrote for Mediamatic are available in English: search at http://www.mediamatic.net.

But if you read Dutch, his blog is one of the places to check out now.

blogging,en,free publicity,reading matter | October 12, 2007 | 13:38 | comments (0) |

As usual

As usual, dear reader, you’ll get an update after the fact. Blogging might be a form of writing that reflects the moment, a more or less immediate report of what happens now/today and is relevant right now, but in my case (and certainly not only in my case), subjects and ideas for blogposts accumulate in the mind, until, after days, I see a change and feel like writing them down. Which is now.

blogging,en | October 12, 2007 | 13:20 | comments (0) |

Catching up, excuses, a classic amongst blog-posts

Writing a post to excuse oneself for not blogging for weeks, then excusing oneself for only blogging the bike-rides, and subsequently making an inventory of all the topics one would have liked to ‘blog’ but didn’t for lack of time, or whatever other reason.

So here I am: on the 23d of september, sitting in a deliciously hot sun on the roof of my apartment, catching up. And yes, that’s mainly catching up on the bike-rides, since nowadays this blog is the only place where I keep track of my rides. So that had to be done.

I would’ve like to blog the Night of the Unexpected, sometimes jokingly called the Night of the Usual Suspects, not so much because of the scheduled acts, but because you meet so many friends. This year’s Night was particularly good.

With a new set of MoHa (Morten Olsen and Anders Hana), suddenly doing a sort of fast and loud elektro-techno-free-rock. You can catch them tomorrow at DNK.

I should’ve blogged the performance of Goodiepal at DNK. He only talked. It was a concert. It was awesome. One of the best things I’ve ever seen.

I would like to write a bit on Zorn’s gamepieces, as I’m scheduled to do a small lecture on that in Groningen as part of a course on games and art. (Also because suddenly I see a connection between Zorn’s pre-game-pieces Theatre of Musical Optics and Goodiepal).

I would’ve given you my impressions of Andrew Delbanco’s Melville, His World and Work, a concise biography of Herman Melville and I guess a very good introduction to his works as well. (I find Melville mostly very difficult to read, well, not Typee, not Bartleby, but I’m still stuck in Moby Dick, Pierre and The Confidence Man.

I am now reading the new Gibson, Spook Country. Hmm, it’s not “a big disappointment”, but only because I wasn’t expecting it to be his masterwork. Honestly, I can’t ‘get into it’. I read on, because I want to finish it.

I’d rather get back to my Graphs, Maps, Trees, Abstract Models for Literary History of Franco Moretti. Sublime. Very good. Will write on that.

blogging,en,music,reading matter | September 23, 2007 | 15:33 | comments (0) |

Oorbeek @ W139

Check out Peter Luining’s blog for Youtube-footage and pictures of Oorbeek’s performance at W139: http://www.ctrlaltdelete.org/oorbeek.html

blogging,en,free publicity,music | August 21, 2007 | 17:53 | comments (0) |

And Fielding, 1752

“According to Fielding the whole world of letters was becoming a ‘democracy, or rather a downright anarchy’; and there was no one to enforce the old laws, since, as he wrote in the Covent Garden Journal (1752, no. 23,1), even the ‘offices of criticism’ had been taken over by ‘a large body of irregulars’ who had been admitted ‘into the realm of criticism without knowing one word of the ancient laws’.”

Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel, Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding, The Hogarth Press, London, 1987 (1957) p. 58.


“‘The present age may be styled with great propriety, the Age of Authors; for perhaps the never was a time in which men of all degrees of ability, of every kind of education, of every profession and employment were posting with ardour so general to the press.’

‘The province of writing was formerly left to those who, by study or appearance of study, were supposed to have gained knowledge unattainable by the busy part of mankind.’

Dr. Johnson in the Adventurer, 1753, quoted in Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel, Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding, The Hogarth Press, London, 1987 (1957), p. 58

Culture 2.0

Virtueel Platform’s Cultuur2.0-blog – http://www.virtueelplatform.nl/listpublish-3678-en.html – leads me to Andrew Keen, who blogs here: http://andrewkeen.typepad.com/, is the author of The Cult of the Amateur, and responsible for a ‘flaming’ anti-web2.0-manifesto: http://www.virtueelplatform.nl/article-4224-en.html.

I start writing a short critique, but I find myself using the words “this is so stupid” too often, and stop. I find a good critique of Keen elsewhere: http://ruthiesdouble.com/polemicist/, and also comments are sometimes quite fine, like the one here, which made me smile: http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/against-the-cult-of-the-amateur/2007/04/25, and here: http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/responding-to-andrew-keens-anti-web-20-manifesto/2007/04/26.

Keen is just another one of “those authority types” who love Plato’s Republic and the conservative Orwell, who’d love to have authorities and the elite prescribe to us how we have to live and what is truth (just like… which politicians and statesmen?)

He has one really good point. He insists on the importance of language and good writing. He states: “How to resist digital utopianism? Orwell’s focus on language is the most effective antidote. The digital utopians needs to be fought word-for-word, phrase-by-phrase, delusion-by-delusion. As an opening gambit, let’s focus on the meaning of four key words in the digital utopian lexicon: a) author b) audience c) community d) elitism.” Exactly – and Keen’s view on what is an author, what is audience, what is community, and certainly his idea of the elite are completely different from mine. Especially his use of elite is very troubling (using Adorno in a way that makes one suspect that Adorno is an extreme right-wing authoritarian philosopher).

Just as troubling is the contradiction between point 4 and 2. Point 4 stating the good work that big media have done for culture. Point 2 insisting that good taste is a thing of the elite and is undemocratic by definition (Keen’s Adorno). Generally I would say that in the age of massmedia “big media” have not done anything for culture of ‘really good taste’ in the Adorno-sense. What have the big media done for Lawrence Butch Morris, for Henry Threadgill? Why are Sam Raimi’s earlier movies so much stronger than his later ones? Why’s Dan Brown selling so much more than Ben Marcus, or Don Delillo? (Not accidentaly Keen’s favorite Delillo is his White Noise — DeLillo’s most mainstream-novel. I’d prefer The Names, or Americana). (But well, here my elite-taste really differs from Keen’s mainstream-taste.) Keen is using Adorno but seemingly hasn’t read the big Horkheimer – Adorno book with their critique of the culture industry. I am of course referring to Dialektik der Aufklärung – btw I haven’t read that either, except for some excerpts – but Wikipedia (sic) learns at least this: “Ein Kernpunkt der Dialektik der Aufklärung ist die “Aufklärung als Massenbetrug”. Unter Kulturindustrie ist die kommerzielle Vermarktung von Kultur zu verstehen; der Industriezweig, der sich gezielt mit der Herstellung von Kultur beschäftigt. Im Gegensatz dazu steht die authentische Kultur.”. Usw. (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialektik_der_Aufklärung). That’s Adorno.

What in the end made me refrain from writing a critique is firstly that he has met critique already, and secondly, that – rereading – I discovered it not to be worthwhile to take part in this chatter. It is really too close to boring blogosphere ranting. The problem being that Keen’s “enemy” is made up by a pro-web2.0-ideology that is made up by marketing-texts and publicity-bullshit send out to the world by companies who are trying to get a share of the market. (Ranting now).

I know all that makes the world as it is. But I’d rather use my time for another target.

Neither am I so interested to get involved into a discussion about culture with a right-winger who champion’s Plato’s Republic and calls Marx an “intellectual Casanova”.

And well, I guess, in the end there’s a critique here. It bears the stamp of the blogosphere in all respects. That is not necessarily a good thing. I have another text to write…

Let me end then with a sigh that we need both better critics of the Web 2.0-hype as we need more intelligent texts explaining the importance of the shift we’re witnessing in the ‘making-things-public’ – arena.

And for the rest, the best thing we can do is keep referring to good texts, intelligent discussions, good news-sources, good music, good film-clips.

For instance: long-out-of-print seventies free improv and free jazz, ripped from second-hand LP’s: http://jizzrelics.blogspot.com/. Nicra with the trombones of Nick Evans and Radu Malfatti, and Balance by a collective with Radu Malfatti and a certain Ian Brighton (who sounds a lot like Derek Bailey) are very beautiful.

And note that insisting on the importance of these blogs for a blossoming music culture (and I insist on that importance) doesn’t imply that I’m endorsing Rapidshare and those other “sharing”-servives that make use of the worst impulses of human beings (porn, gambling) in order to sell ads.

blogging,en | May 9, 2007 | 13:49 | comments (0) |

Omar on Ludic Society

I just published Omar Muñoz-Cremers report on the Evening of Ludic Society (part of the DEAF-festival) on the DEAF07-blog. I missed that night because I wasn’t feeling too well, luckily Omar’s report really gets into it: http://www.deaf07.nl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=98&Itemid=7.

blogging,en,reading matter | April 30, 2007 | 11:20 | comments (0) |

Comment problems fixed

If y’r not reading the comments, you might ‘ve missed that the comment-problems are fixed. (Thanks Peet!)

blogging,en | April 22, 2007 | 21:31 | comments (0) |

Comment problems….

http://improvisingguitar.blogspot.com/ brings to my attention that he cannot leave comments here. I’ve tried it myself, not even I can leave comments… Apparently there’s something wrong. Must’ve happened since the blog was moved to another server. We’ll look into it.

blogging,en,software | April 21, 2007 | 19:55 | Comments (2) |
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