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Alot of stuff on here isn't useful. Alot of stuff is for FUN. Cos thats what we young people like to have, instead of just looking down our nose at everything! :P
Like, how can you form an opinion on something, if you haven't read it yourself? (im talking about Harry Potter)
As I have said before "Fun" is not synonymous with intellectual downgrading.
Also, it is not the case that people of late teen age are more or less childlike than other adults. When I was fifteen I had fun with Joy Division, J.G.Ballard, mathematics and cricket.
Whats wrong with intelllectual downgrading though? If its in the name of fun, I really dont care.
I'm really surprised to hear you say this kind of thing - it's really not a very socialist viewpoint at all.
Are you aware of the Centre for Contemporary Cutural Studies at the University of Birmingham? From the 1960s to the 1980s it was a world leader in left-wing social research, founded by academics including Stuart Hall.
One of the most essential focuses of their work was the breakdown of the division between 'high' and 'low' culture. It is a rather right-wing ideal to suggest that some culture is more valid than others, and that there is an accepted hierarchical canon of what is 'important' and what is not.
Yes, you do not consider yourself to be of a higher social or economic class than the rest of us. But you do constantly attempt to reinforce your position as an intellectual and cultural superior, positioning yourself against us 'masses' in a hierarchy of taste (see Pierre Bourdieu for more on this).
The views you seem to hold are more similar to those of the Frankfurt School in the earlier 20th century, where jazz and television were seen to be 'doping' the masses, distracting them from revolution. But these ideas are generally discredited now, as it's rather patronising to ignore the fact that people interact with texts etc in differing ways.
I really am genuinely interested to know what you think about this.
"I really am genuinely interested to know what you think about this." translates as "I have deliberately misconstrued in order to receive a response."
1) Personal views, interests, preferences and predilections do not necessarily need to agree with or confirm with an abstract ideal of life dictated by a political adherence. To be, politically, a socialist does not imply constraints and limits nor expectations in a personality and personal interaction with others. Artistic or other tastes are independent of political outlook. (I will not pre-empt any post with an abstract that clarifies whether or not the post is intended to be personal or political.)
2) I don't know the details of the schools of thought that you mention. I suggest that they are products of their epoch and, also, they are not necessarily speaking from a fully-informed Marxist perspective.
3) A modern Marxist view of personal interest, particularly interest in "art", does not proscribe anything other than personal taste, except where there is a clear political nature to the art. However, such a view does, repeatedly, attack the prevailing outlook, that infests modern broadcasting, that appreciation of "high" or "low"-brow art can in any way whatsoever be connected to degree of education and of upbringing and income level. There is an inference within your remarks that you associate "high"-brow with "social class".
My peremptory views of art and other interests is personal; however, it is informed by a view that revelling in deliberate dumbness is incorrect.
especially as you clearly have very strong political views.
My problem is with the phrase 'revelling in deliberate dumbness is incorrect'. Why is it incorrect? What makes something 'dumb'? Is Harry Potter dumb? Is Big Brother dumb? Is television dumb? Is pop music dumb? Who gets to decide this? I think that all cultural forms are of social value, as people are free to read them and use them how they choose.
You seem to have very set ideas about what you perceive to be 'acceptable' (or 'high' culture). You may not associate your distinctions with a social class based on economics, but you do appear to see those who enjoy reading a children's book as lesser than yourself, 'dumb', 'idiots'. I really do see this as a very patronising right-wing view.
Do you see?
Differentiation between personal and political is obvious and should be the norm and it is surprising that you see it as interesting.
How you see a peremptorial view on art to be a political view, indeed a right-wing view, is perplexing. Political views are the views themselves, not modes of criticism, or modes of social interaction.
"Do I see?" I saw the first time. It's slightly quaint.
This can be seen in the ways that art and music are manipulated by political regimes, whether it be by vetting what is and isn't 'acceptable' such as in communist states, or by censorship, or manipulation of cultural agents to gain political capital.
I think it's wrong to deny that there is any link between political orientation and taste in art or music. The two are woven together into an overall outlook. Example - I don't think you'll find many Christian fundamentalists rocking out to !!!'s pro-drugs liberalism or Marilyn Manson.
And capitalist Tory pop insects like Busted will get short shrift from most left wing music listeners.
But I've never understood how people can think of politics in abstract way anyway. Surely politics is - at its most basic - simply a word for the principles which you hold to be most important.
I don't see how you can live your life without applying those principles without being a) a hypocrite or b) wrong about what your true principles are.
And surely all art and music must be political (even if it isn't explicitly so) because on some level it expresses the artist's views, values and opinions. Even if the artist in question chooses not to express anything of themselves, isn't that in itself a political decision?
But not make every decision based on them. I think attempting to make every decision entirely codified by principles would lead to a strange kind of life. Things generally aren't that simple.
I may have exagerrated slightly there. And obviously there are numerous day-to-day decisions that aren't motivated by politics or principles.
But it would also be very strange to have deeply held beliefs and these not then influence your tastes or the work that you do at all.
Only the well-off can truly decide to avoid that and live outside of it.
Jobs, pensions, and even homeownership cannot necessarily be ignored as a political statement.
...although I would add that one can - to an extent - choose what kind of field you choose to work in.
For example I've virtually always worked within state and not-for-profit environments. That said, were I in a position where I found myself out of work, I would of course have no choice but to work in any environment that was prepared to pay me a salary.
It's unrealistic to be blinkered and attempt to live life in accordance to pre-determined rules.
More in the sense that, to give one example:
I just went downstairs where I work and bought a Cadbury's Boost chocolate bar. I could have instead walked 5 minutes down the road and bought a fairtrade chocolate bar.
Doesn't the fact that I chose to go to the nearest chocolate-selling point rather than going a little further to buy a more ethically sound bar (despite me believing it would be the 'good' thing to do) in some small way revealing of my politics and how seriously (or not) I choose to take them?
theguywithnousername posits an abstract politics as a description of the differentiation that I have discussed. It is clear that the differentiation of which I discuss is not an attempt to disassociate politics from daily life. Brainlove's assertions of politics in art are generally correct, and I have made clear that one's political views are included in one's view of art if their is a political nature to the art, or, in fact, to how it is perceived.
...but I felt in your post which I initially responded you were suggesting this differentation is much simpler and straightforward than it actually is and I feel the line between personal political can often be very blurred.
I am confused by both
I am a human being, ever since I was born I had experiances, I would group some of these experiances together when I recognised a similarity and refined these groupings....sometimes I had to sub catagorise and include things in one or more groupings (This is a precusor to formal language)
as a child i have encountered art and politics as subjects as defined by 'adults' i regarded these 'disciplines' as boring and not for me...yet I could be described as a politically and artistically active human, I chose not to view my experiances according to these highly artificial 'groupings'
HOWEVER this is of limited use when trying to discuss the world with others (specially when we are trying to analyse whats gone wrong...how not to go wrong).
The problem wit hthe whole world its that we interpret our own ideas using the 'political' template tha is extant, this means we will refuse to accept any solutions unless they reference some idea/model that is already defined. Squirrel and John are encountering an unfortunate misaligment of terms and definitions, you are not that different but are arguing rhetorically.
John I feel you are mistaken, because everything is dumbed down and largely pointless, systems of control are very happy when people are running round in paterns of pointless activity/ discussion.....you are right there is inane banter....so turn it round (I need to do this more too, except at the moment I have a crushing workload of pointless activity)
You are both humans, you are both clever, you both care about humanity, but express it in different ways.
Sorry I thing I started off wanting to say that all art (even non political art) can be viewed as political because people make associations, it is the natural thing to do, so if you hear loads of tory stiffs opinions on many things it often comes as a surprise to hear that some true blue is really into abstract art (its an association that I make...a wrong generalisation but its wha humans do and therefore there is something to be learnt from it)
This is one of my most woffly fluffy posts. but I feel it is needed after the Mr Logic type argument you were getting into.
freindly Fuzzy logic discussions is where its at, not the germanic rhetoric type
but Im fuzzier than him.
Gary Numan is a tory too (Is Brian Ferry? his son is an arse, albeit a funny one)
Well Gary Numan only has one or two good songs so ignoring him is generally pretty easy.
'Are 'Friends' Electric' and 'Cars' are classic pop songs.
"Personal views, interests, preferences and predilections do not necessarily need to agree or confirm with an abstract ideal of life dictated by a political adherence"
I've always held the opinion that "personal views, interests, preferences and predilections" are actually the areas in which one's politics are in fact revealed.
That's not to say your view isn't valid and I'm not especially trying to start an argument but I would like to express my view that, whatever a person claims to believe, it is their actions that reveal their true selves.
I don't really believe the personal and political can be separated - certainly not in a distinct manner.
"I would like to express my view that, whatever a person claims to believe, it is their actions that reveal their true selves."
The political view that one adheres to, promotes, and elucidates at any opportunity if so inclined, is a view that should inform how one acts with respect to aspects of life that are political including, for example, views on education, welfare, health provison, etc. It can include how one's view of issues related to art in all its forms.
However, discourse and actions in a general sense, in a clear non-political environment, do reveal one's personality but have no connection with one's political outlook. To confuse someone's general personality and how they interact with world with their political views is to devalue poltics.
but I don't feel that I'm devaluing politics in what I'm saying. And I also don't feel I'm 'confusing' someone's personality and political views, just stating a view that your political views are part of your personality (and a rather key part at that) and I think continue to influence your behaviour in what is not an overtly political situation.
I don't necessarily think there's any need to further this argument as I think we've both stated our views perfectly clearly.
although I don't see many 'clear non-political environment[s]',because I think that much of the way we assert our own freedoms is political.
To return to my original point though, I do see cultural texts as a political arena. Your assertion that 'deliberate dumbness is incorrect' I do see as a political statement. Criticism and social interaction are political in this circumstance. You have created your own hierarchy based on 'good' and 'poor' taste - it is a particularly elitist view which I would not have expected you to hold.
Your first sentence is basically what I was trying to say in all my long-winded and incoherently argued posts!
if, hypothetically, your suggestions of my assumed elitisism were correct, that would not provide any contradiction to a socialist political view.
Both yourself and theguywithnousername are presenting similar views, in different ways, that reduce politics to an analysis of personal communication, personal tastes, all of which are driven by personal neuroses and foibles.
...that's certainly not what I'm doing and I'm sorry you've chosen interpret it that way. That's also not really how I've interpreted nice_squirrel's posts (although she's obviously perfectly capable of arguing that with you herself).
I honestly do not feel I have anything to add to this discussion at the moment in time but I think I've made my view perfectly clear (even if the best way I can sum it up is by quoting nice_squirrel's statement that "much of the way we assert our freedoms is political").
Obviously one cannot live life sticking entirely to set of poltical guidelines. But to me, my politics are the ethics and principles I consider important and there are very few meaningful decisions that I make without my ethics and principles having some influence.
you're right, in a way, although you've phrased it negatively. My politics are very personal to me, which is why I don't subscribe to a set political doctrine such as Marxism. My political beliefs do have a lot to do with the way people interact with each other, which is why I hold generally left-wing views, as they suggest more personal freedom, and mutual support and tolerance. Therefore I do see cultural elitism as political.
That appears to be a self-contradictory comment.
(As an aside, Marxism is not a doctrine.)
Perhaps, your work allows, or will allow, you to have an external influence on people you don't know, and, so, your description of your use of your politics may be beneficial to them.
I'd find it bizarre if someone's politics weren't very personal to them.
Reduction of political views to personal views is the flaccidation of politics. Further, personalisation of political outlook is anti-social in nature.
I will too.
All I meant is that surely your politics are essentially your beliefs? Surely you must have a reason for what you believe? And surely that reason must be your own reason and therefore personal to you, otherwise you wouldn't believe what you did?
Surely that makes sense?
And, yes, my own political views are essentially related to principles of how one should and should not treat other people rather than the pursuit of some utopian ideal. But I don't really understand why you see this as flaccidation or anti-social. To me I simply see it as the application of one's poltical beliefs.
To me grounding the way you treat people in ethics and principles is anything but anti-social.
That's just an insult.
It certainly wasn't meant as one.
I wasn't necessarily suggesting that you are pursuing some kind of Utopian ideal, just trying to explain that my political beliefs function on a personal level rather than an abstract one.
It is not accurate to posit personal versus abstract in the way that you have.
And the only reason I'm did it is to try to explain to you why I'm so confused by the way you seem to find the personalisation of politics to be "anti-social".
As I recall, at the top of this debate, my entire point was that you can't completely separate the personal from the abstract in the way that you seemed to feel you could.
JUDAS! (The other one)
well, not officially, but she did like Jesus a fair bit, like moi
can't someone start one for Lord of the Rings or summat.
it's easy to remember
but now I'll be ever so upset if I'm not mentioned.
about four books.
So if there isn't one for the Shoot! Annual 1993 very soon, I'll be incredibly disappointed.
"Jesus gave James and John a nickname. He called them BOANERGES (BO-A-NUR-JEZ)."
which DiSer is Rob... :)
Traynor is clearly Ray/Ian
see bamos more as a Robert Fleck
is Gary Pallister alright with you?
Which countries would DIS ers be
HO FO = Thailand
Patricide = Switzerland
Homesick_Alan and JasminePearson = Chile
Crablin = Greece
Brainlove = Iceland
PeeVee = Lichtenstein
Bamos = USA
The Principality of Liechtenstein (German: Fürstentum Liechtenstein) is a small, doubly landlocked country in Western Europe, bordered by Switzerland to its west and by Austria to its east. Mountainous, it is a winter sports resort, though it is perhaps best-known as a tax haven. Despite this it is not heavily urbanized (like the Principality of Monaco or Gibraltar) but many cultivated fields and little farms characterize its landscape both in the north (Unterland) and in the south (Oberland)
industry and has more registered companies than people (I knew this without looking it up nyah!
It is a very small, yet pretty country
hence the association.
Its capital is Vaduz
bless you :D
though surely with those dental credentials it should have gone to bamos?
It was just the sheer size of the US and the size of their food portions that swung it with Bamos (Of course there was no kind of political connection between the US and Bamos)
Who would be North Korea?
it is the only european country without its own army
peaceful as well. i rule.
not that I know any of their players.
Why not John Wark then? HUH?
"if DiSers were teenage girls"?
i'd be me
The bastard managed to spin out once already
edgey stuff. I bet he gets ALL the girls at the Socialist Club
being called that really
playing Slayer and Dolly Parton
and colin jesus?
and raz the virgin mary?
if only to deflower Raz
Would be this "beloved disciple" which gets mentioned a lot. Bamos would be John with his crazy bible that doesn't match, I think he was a joker.
what am i?
i can't remember their names.
She was yellow.
The others all had sucky names like Moonbeam and Twinkle Stars and stuff.
think you're thinking of Five Star
choosing these eh?
watch it hbs. i'll get my dad on you.
because im getting busy with your mum?
It took 43 minutes, but it was worth the wait.
takes him about 5 seconds, and she's never satisfied. once she went on points of view to complain.
can someone just tell me - did Traynor get owned again?
Not really by me 'cos I get scared and confused and panicky when people start using long words.
But other people did a far better job than I did at arguing and he definitely got owned.
nice_squirrel simply repeated what works for her, and brainlove went off on a tangent.
But being serious it did seem to me that you did what you always seem to do i.e. attempt to prove your intellectual superiority in an argument rather than reach consensus and I certainly don't think you proved your intellectual superiority so, if that was your intention in the argument, then frankly I don't think you were successful.
to present the correct view.
Your claim that you think I was attemtping to prove something about myself is either a) consistent with your over-emphasis on the personal nature of discussion, or b) a fib.
But I honestly do find the way you argue on here to be a little intimidating. I'm all for an interesting debate and I don't tend to take it personally in anything like the way you seem to think. But there does seem to be times when you are trying to prove something about yourself.
Of course it might be that I misread you. Obviously these discussions take place in a purely written form so lack the nuances of face-to-face and spoken interaction so it might be at times my impression of you leads me to read things you post in a slightly different way to how you intend them.
"so lack the nuances of face-to-face.."
wrong. Traynor doesn't have a face. The JDT.205 is a streamlined robot without face capabilities.
It was a simple not-particularly-funny implication that I could be doubting Thomas.
I get it now.
Good work, JD.
Can I call you JD?
As you were JD.
you should have seen my "If Dolphins were Monkeys" one on the NME forum back in '98
tuna would be cheaper