Thursday, March 09, 2006

Stick Death to Love & Ideals

"Out on the road today, I saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can neverlook back."
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know
Those days are gone foreverI should just let 'em go but

I can see you-Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
You got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone"

-Don Henley, Boys of Summer

I guess you'll have to pardon me - I am fascinated by the theme of betrayal.

Here, Henley laments the loss of ideals, but vows to remain true to his "brown skin shinin" lover.

(Or does he? How sincerely can either his lament or his affirmationof love be ? The "deadhead line," the best one in the song, is followed by Henley saying that those days are gone forever, and that you can never look back, which effectively lets everyone off thehook, while what he affirms in his lover are her evanescent beautyand youthful qualities... When those are gone, won't Henley be saying, " those days are gone forever," about her, too?)

I think that we know that to perpetuate opinion isn't to think,and that to live passively or in acceptance of slavery and abjection is not to live. Rock music, which is extremely important to most people under a certain age, ( and that certain age gets closer and closer to average life expectancy with every passing year,) because it represents what is left for us of some sort ofsubjectivisational mode, cannot abandon its rebellious pretence without finally collapsing whatever remnants of subjectivisation it is keeping alive. But it cannot be what it is, in the kind of society that this is,without making rebelliousness into lifelong adolescence, and something, for as seriously as it continues to be taken, remarkably silly.

Even if we are unable to find the means to formulate a notion of thetranscendental for our times, or a criticism of what's standing in for the transcendental in our times, you'd think that we would be able to find the means to criticize the kinds of betrayal of bonds,hopes, and promises which are to us and are ours directly. We can't.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Spinoza said...

If the second Enlightenment centered a privileging of the form of the subject, perhaps one way of framing the discourse of the third Enlightenment is a discourse of forms of subjectivity and -- more importantly -- of processes of subjectivization and desubjectivization. (Hence the importance of the Nietzsche --> Freud --> Foucault/Deleuze and Guattari trajectory.)

What is a form of subjectivity, and how do processes of subjectivization and de-subjectivization work?

The strange case of America's love-hate relation with rock music might give us a nice test case in which these more abstract questions can be worked out.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

"If the second Enlightenment centered a privileging of the form of the subject, perhaps one way of framing the discourse of the third Enlightenment is a discourse of forms of subjectivity and -- more importantly -- of processes of subjectivization and desubjectivization. (Hence the importance of the Nietzsche --> Freud --> Foucault/Deleuze and Guattari trajectory.)"

I strongly agree.

"The strange case of America's love-hate relation with rock music might give us a nice test case in which these more abstract questions can be worked out."

Isn't really a love-love relationship? Which is even stranger, if you think about it. No matter how much these guys lie to us, and pose before us, and pretend to be what we have by now known for decades that they are not, we love them. I am afraid that, because of the pathetic state of our contemporary powers of subjectivization, we cannot do otherwise... You can't let go of the only fragment of lumber keeping you afloat when you are shipwrecked in the middle of stormy seas.

1:39 PM  

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