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What you cut up

If you cut up your own text, somebody's article, that's hardly manipulating the images that need it most. And it doesn't mix in enough stuff from the cultural signal-storm. In short, there aren't the right ingredients in the first place, and the manipulative aspects of culture are untouched. Possible ingredients: couple of political speeches, newspaper articles, transcript of TV show, literature from the phone or electric or gas company, etc etc.It's so silly for me to suggest these, obviously,but the cutups could be less boring, and maybe even bring up a few interesting juxtapositions. Mixed media and film are probably better way to put the ideas into practice. An example is Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca appearing in whatever commercial. The abject hungry greed of the pandering that will DO ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING is discouraging enough; then to watch the movie and be reminded of the commercial is a demonstration to me that some forms of meaning are not dead issues. There are offensive people you don't want in your presence, and there are offensive presences you don't want in what you are watching. How do artists answer that? If they had equal time on prime-time TV, it would be an interesting battle, but any victory pyrrhic. By the way, did Yoko Ono, or Michael Jackson, or someone else sell the copyright of the Lennon tune to be used in a commercial? Anybody who thinks that we don't lose something - meaning, if I must - when good songs get smeared with that phosphorescent excrement, and we can hardly get the smell out of the song again, needs to straighten their head. I thought at least one aspect of postmodernism was an emphasis on the particulars, once we had abandoned a lot of essentialist thinking? Why not discuss some of these ideas as they work out in particulars.

I told you what I hate, but what I would like would be to use that same technique to popcorn my enemies. But even if I manage to make such a film, the most that will happen is that a very few see it on a TV in a gallery, perhaps, while the same technique devours whatever meaning is left. Reminds me of that character in Burroughs who had a jones for addicts, and would assimilate them into his body. Even if he spits them back out, they're not the same again.

Thank-you for listening. Just meant this as ordinary conversation.

Michael McColl

Date: Sat, 22 Aug 92 17:07:13 EDT
From: mbm@pacscl.uarc.upenn.edu (MM)

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