WTM #1011: Consumption of Meaning

Wreck This Mess / Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies
Radio Patapoe 88.3 ~ Amsterdam ~ 
24 maart 2008 // 17.00-19.00
For complex reasons, our culture allows “economy” to mean only “money economy.” It equates success and even goodness with monetary profit because it lacks any other standard of measurement. I am no economist, but I venture to suggest that one of the laws of such an economy is that a farmer is worth more dead than alive. A second law is that anything diseased is more profitable than anything that is healthy. What is wrong with us contributes more to the “gross national product” than what is right with us.
 ~ Wendell Berry, poet, ecologist

If only more of today’s military personnel would realize that they are being used by the owning elite’s as a publicly subsidized capitalist goon squad
 ~ Major General Smedley Butler

The Animation of Lists 1 > Warren Burt [1]
False Awakenings > EMT [2]
Chemise de Nuit > Davide Bacula [3]
Le Tele Noir et Blanc / Black & White TV Sets > Diane Labrosse [4]
Ge Zeiten > Die Resonanz Stanonczi [5]
Deep in Country > Deadbeat vs Moral Undulations [6]
Triptico > Gotan Project vs Kruder [7]
Hoops & Mallets > Art of Noise [8]
Shadow Behind the Iron Sun > Evelyn Glennie [9]
Sonic Corridor > Wild Shores [10]
+ Drugs > George Carlin [11] [RIP]
La Borduna > Die Resonanz Stanonczi [5]
The Animation of Lists 2 > Warren Burt [1]
Easin’ In > Steinski [12]
+ Shoot > George Carlin [11] [RIP]
Ticking Alarm Clocks > Diane Labrosse [4]
Luminescences [Annea Lockwood] > Thomas Buckner [13]
Ranta > Vladislav Delay [14]
New Hula Slide > Mike Cooper [15]
River Runs Deep > J.J. Cale [16]
La Del Ruso > Gotan Project [7]
Misguided Angel > Cowboy Junkies [17]
The Animation of Lists 3 > Warren Burt [1]
A Cowboy’s Dance Song [James B. Adams] > Glenn Ohrlin [18]
The Animation of Lists 3 > Warren Burt [1]    
[1] The Animation of Lists on Pogus.
[2] Lucid Dreams on EM:T.
[3] Snuck in there from some anonymous source.
[4] Music for Objects on the Verge of  Extinction on Ambiances Magnetiques.
[5] Live at Jazzit on No Man’s Land.
[6] Journeyman’s Annual on Scape. One of this year’s faves thus far.
[7] Inspiracion Espiracion on Basta / Discograph.
[8] Legs on Chrysalis vinyl 1985.
[9] Shadow Behind the Iron Sun on RCA. Deaf composer musician.
[10] Optophonia on Optical Sound.
[11] FM & AM on Little David 1972.
[12] One of my favorite sampleodelic excursionists.
[13] Thomas Buckner on mutablemusic.
[14] Multila on Efa Imports.
[15] World Slide on Ethbo.
[16] NaturallyŠ on Shelter 1972.
[17] The Trinity Session on RCA vinyl. Thanx David Evans.
[18] Cowboy Poetry Classics on Smithsonian Folkways. Weirdly unmoving spoken word record. The recordings are by contemporary [career?] cowboy poet genre types and I crave the originals with scratches and poor recording quality.


So you have this corporate elite, an oligarchy of money and influence who ruin the environment, destabilize governments, prop up regimes, etc. then, when things are on the brink of whatever disaster they begin to speculate and invest in technologies and systems that will correct or erase or undo their previous rapacious gestures. It works in personal fitness, the battlefield of the modern body too. Globalization = eat fat dream thin, feed our obsessions until we are immobilized by our own culturally encouraged gluttony. Then they make us pay in guilt and geld/money to take it offŠ

The essence of globalization is a subordination of human rights, of labor rights, consumer, environmental rights, democracy rights, to the imperatives of global trade and investment.
— Ralph Nader

I wonder about the explosion of high adventure, exotic animals for dinner, a kind of gluttony for the empty calories of decadence as the pay off for ill-gotten gain in abstract labor – best if recorded and then shown on some reality TV. So the wealthy [or those on the brink] are alive only when broadcast. The explosion of TV shows about the wealthy [both idle and overworked]. The explosion of extreme sports, extreme anything including extreme attempts to dodge boredom [except read a book] is all about the empty promise of being alive when you are seen being gluttonous. MTV is one of the main purveyors of this – they show no music, they are devoted to the gluttonous lifestyle as the only way to buy your way out of our existential malaise. I say gluttonous but it is probably more something zombie-like, like unconscious consumption in lieu of anything better. The lower your creative invention skills the more likely/quickly you turn to shopping as an escape clause. What you end up with is a throwaway culture where all behavior is a combination of attention deficit syndrome + rampant consumption. And there are dolls and action figures that promote that very activity – status based on styles steeped in consumption, purchase all adventureŠ it makes you wonder about voting, whether voting for politicians really matters any more since the people who really rule our lives have their own flags and own interests. The ultimate symbols of this kind of tourism in every aspect of one’s own life is climbing big peaks like Everest or Alpine peaks in Switzerland. By now the idle adventurers [who get so much noble press] who climb Everest have left so much garbage behind that Everest has been declared an environmental disaster. On a similar jag: Meanwhile there are hundreds who don’t make it to the top and need to be rescued by Nepalese or Swiss rescue services. It has become so common in Switzerland [where modern tourism was invented by the English in the early 1800s] that the Swiss now make the adventurers pay for their own rescues.


How can music contribute less to this global exaggeration of extreme experience – well, think smaller clubs, less huge screens, less huge Rolling Stones or U2 type tours, unplugged, acoustic or low-electricity DIY electronica? Consumers vow to insist on lower spectacle and higher musical value? Musicians not giving in to flat screen mania and becoming themselves a live representation of a TV broadcastŠ Fat chance with people paying extreme prices for ‘rock’ concerts like Rolling Stones or Madonna [$700!] all to prove to the fans themselves that they believe in something so much that they are willing to buy their way into faithŠ It’s like people no longer being proud of their work, their father’s their musical abilities, but instead being proud of something that would have once been shameful/ridiculous: waiting in line for 2 days to be the first one to buy the new Gameboy or something like that. Or something like that. For my money, the best concerts I see are either on YouTube or cost under 20 euros. The rate of diminishing returns starts as the costs begin to climb after that.  [end of rant].
*** announcement for those in NL

thursday 26 juni POW Ensemble in het BIMhuis
Piet Heinkade 3
1019 BR Amsterdam
Reserveren: 020 788 2188
POW Ensemble plays an Homage to Hazard

“Homage to Hazard” is a jazzy program with improvisation, songs, strange texts and unstructured pieces involving the  theme of LIFE’S UNCERTAINTIES – in an ironic and humorous way. Computer and live elektronica undercut all certainty.

Han Buhrs – voice, live elektronica
Guy Harries – voice, flute, computer
Luc Houtkamp – saxophone, computer, live elektronica
Nina Hitz – cello
Wolter Wierbos – trombone
Micha de Kanter – sound

texts & compositions: Han Buhrs, Guy Harries & Luc Houtkamp

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