Tuesday, February 03, 2004

A couple days after the Boston Phoenix ran my piece on the GBV box, Jordan Davis' blog (links to both at right) led me to his own article on the band, which contains a paragraph analogizing indie-rock's response to classic rock with the Protestant reformation.

Sasha mentioned Jordan's piece on his blog (again at right), and later asked me for further comment.

Keith Harris, who I didn't previously know, commented, astutely, on that post. Noticed on Keith's links list that he's reading E.P. Thompson's Birth of The British Working Class.

Thompson's anti-Althusser polemic "The Poverty of Theory" shows up in the book on humanism I mentioned yesterday. Said book also touches on Giordano Bruno, the 14th c. heretic/cosmologist my grandfather always claimed was our ancestor. In his Heroic Frenzies says Dent, "the language of idealism decomposes before our eyes into a pathological horror and contempt." (Sounds like some of the lyrics I wrote in college.) I mentioned G. Bruno in passing in the S/FJ post.

The Dent book's opening gambit is the famous Humpty Dumpty passage from Alice about language and use: "When I use a word...it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." The Humpty Dumpty view that what one means is just what one intends to mean is a whipping-boy in contemporary philosophy of language; it's very close to the concerns of the current chapter of my dissertation, and I mentioned the view by that nickname about 4 days ago.

Thompson's working class book (which I've never read) forms the inspiration for The Mekons' "Thee Olde Trip To Jerusalem"; also mentioned in the S/FJ post. (They discuss the song in this interview.) My next Phoenix piece is on The Mekons' Punk Rock, bringing us full circle.

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