Thursday, November 01, 2007

Britney Spears video

...anyway this is a better example than all that about renaissance drama:

They hired a bare arse double for this video*; it's meant to be something like:

this unexpected social convention, a red hot bared arse projected out of the usual neolib austerity, this estrangement invites one to "spiritualise" the social world as it appears**; to find society tiered, and so, in a way, artistic.

This seems to be what Pierre Bourdieu missed: that bourgeois art isn't made in the image of bourgeois man, but is rather constituted as a compliment of the major bourgeois idea: bourgeois individualism; and as such this art is quite often presented as a series of imaginary exoteric networks, such as can be observed.

*surely an original stage in the progress of division of labour

**what Lacan imprudently generalises in his "big other" theory


traxus4420 said...

this is good, though sometimes the gnomicicity of the prose is a tad frustrating (like i should talk)

have you heard any of the other songs off of that album? i've heard maybe 3 and they're all kind of terrifying, like things have gotten to the point where her handlers have just decided to assault you with the T&A like a set of clubs. there's another one with a scary vocodered black man chanting in the background, which is odd. also this awkward autobiographical one attacking the tabloids that gets more awkward when you find out she didn't write the lyrics.

britney's 'exoteric network' is surely ripe...for something or other.

catmint said...

"the gnomicicity of the prose is a tad frustrating"

Indeed. I suppose it would be better to only write stuff that's properly worked over or write nothing at all. I think I started off doing this as a deliberate parody of something or other and it's sort of stuck. I wrote some of these things for the sake of recording an idea or trying different things out. It may actually have had the effect of degrading rather than improving my ability to write clearly.

Traxus, I'll try to be less opaque. I've read some of the new American Stranger snd I thought it was very good, quite elegant writing.

I've only heard the single off this album. I thought it was alright. How should you characterise the atmosphere they're trying to generate? or the worldview that's meant to be evoked? I don't really know how to formulate my impressions. I want to agree with Britney's handlers that it's "sexy" and "futuristic" - but I think the connotations of these words have shifted a bit. Also I'm sure it doesn't express anyone's own life - it's exoteric in this respect - it's setting up a paper wall.

the "exoteric networks"

this was going to be a sort of joke around Mark K-Punk's conference on "the weird" - the last lines of copy on the poster would be something like "working dalek will deliver speech on exoteric networks. tea and coffee provided"

traxus4420 said...

just so we understand each other, i really like the tone and style of this blog. experimentation is usually the motive behind my blogging as well; i wouldn't want to make you so self-conscious that...i've gone and made you self-conscious, haven't i?

ugh, such is the inherent difficulty of reform.

as for britney, i think 'comeback' is what they're going for -- sexy and futuristic too of course, but all these terms apply only as the stagings of familiar pop culture tropes. you can tell what you're supposed to think about it. but you have a hard time 'agreeing.' or disagreeing, really. this is what i was getting at with the violence of all the songs i heard. maybe unreasonable aggression (she IS attractive, right? why so defensive?) has always been a feature of britney songs, but it just seems so much more strained now. the wall is so much more noticeably paper. or we're less sure what's supposed to be behind it. and that's what i think makes it more scary and uncomfortable than funny, though it is that as well.

isn't there a joke here? shouldn't someone be getting it?

i'm one of those who wanted her to perform with the shaved head, if that tells you anything.

and thank you very much for the complement.

catmint said...

"i wouldn't want to make you so self-conscious"

no, I'm aware of this. Generally I've got a vague plan of what I'd like to say, a few ideas, and I try to fill in the blanks as well as I can. And the success rate's variable. If I absolutely had to write a proper essay with structured arguments, proof etc, I'd write about different things. I'm not trying to be anti-rational - it's just the way it worked out.

"(she IS attractive, right? why so defensive?)"

yeah, she's pretty. The media has a thing for vengeful women - I'd maybe connect her style with that.

you're right too that it's a struggle to find the video silly, although it really is.

catmint said...

"The media has a thing for vengeful women"

...the media's interested in her as a flaky character, or whatever

the video, I think ties in with the tendency of pop-videos or advertising to present vengeful women or aggressive women - Britney's character's maybe unsuited to this role - who really knows? - but there seems to be a strong imperative in play to do this

catmint said...

the "exoteric networks":

There's a book written in the 17th century: Head's Canting Academy by, I think, Richard Head - it's a dictionary of contemporary underworld and gypsy slang

this is my new example of this phenomenon

Head makes extravagent claims about the network that exists around thieves and gypsies - and he's evidently able to sell his book on these claims

the points I'm interested in are:

1. the idea of gypsies here is reproduced by non-gypsies not gypsies - it's reproduced exoterically

2. the unfamiliarity of the field impells the reader to imagine the other group as having a network. If the presuppositions of this tendancy also include the individualism of the reader then this sets up a binary distinction social/individual

It could be suggested that the deliberate or automatic exercise of this tendency would serve to make good a social order predicated on seperation

However, since there's always some real element mixed into the falsification - here the historical reality of gypsies - so it's not straightforward to align this insight with scientific method

You could theoretically have some sort of measure of inflated value along the lines of Tobin's Q perhaps

Some things in contemporary art, in the wide sense, suggested to me a delight in imagining "exoteric networks" in a more or less calculated way - graffiti would be one, also "fine art" descended from Italian futurism

the implications remain to be discussed

catmint said...

Head's Canting Academy

...I think Bourdieu had an exaggerated sense of the importance of a declining trend in bourgeois art and was insensitive to a rising trend, of course things have changed since then too