Conrad Blog:

June 2013
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30            
Search


Archives
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
October 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
Recent Entries
The Cube
Some pics
Introducing the "I Heart Heart Cat Cat Map Map App App"
Art Inspiration
Twitter is down...
On Editing Drum Flams
Song-A-Nowandthen: Nervous Machine
Naughty Rams, Caught on Video!
Building the A12 Microphone Preamp
Faulty .NET Certification Materials - Image.Save()
Links
Cool stuff you should see:
Boardix
Pedalboy.net
TapeOp Board
Audioscrobbler
Syndicate this site (XML)
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.35

October 4, 2006

"Useless is Interesting"

“Useless Is Interesting”
A Failed Attempt at an Entertaining Article
By the ghost of Matthew Conrad Good


The printed word is NOT funny. Not, if I may further explain myself, my printed words, anyway. Of course, you’ve got guys like Douglas Adams and Dave Barry who make it really hard to stay quiet in a library… Heck, even John Donne will make you to stifle inappropriate laughs, assuming you understand certain references involving compasses and fleas (or if you have that particular type of misguided mind, as I do)… But somehow when I try tricks like that it just comes off bawdy.

And that, my friends, is why the “Entertainment” sections of ALL newspapers, major and minor, are not particularly entertaining. In fact, this article is probably not causing its readers to riot. Printed words are good at ideas (which is why humans have felt it necessary to burn many of them over the course of history), but they aren’t very good inciting the youth (which is why Rock ‘n Roll is more commonly cited as the impetus behind much of the social change that the 50’s and 60’s saw than the beat poetry of Alan Ginsberg. The kids just wanna dance).

So newspapers have no other choice than to do what I am doing right now – which is to talk about fun until it is no fun anymore. There are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, the purported “serious” arts have a long-standing tradition that requires layers and layers of critical review in order for us to be able to understand (or even take seriously) the thing itself. Like the rock strata covering dead things in the earth, an art is only important if it is so buried in carbon and time that it has become a fossil. Pop culture, seeing how this works, immediately and necessarily splits into two factions: those that desire that time-honored, museum-like credibility, and those that want absolutely nothing to do with it, until the end of time. They usually end up in museums, too.

The other reason is that the kinds of people that read articles about music and movies are the kinds of people who actually want to read articles about music and movies.

And that brings us to snobbery - which is an odd mix of humor and pride and cynicism and patriotism. But snobbery is also a complete side-effect of thinking too much about fun things. The irony in this is that this article is also a direct result of that very same thing. Snobs, feel free to laugh in your proud, cynical, patriotic way.

One of the prevailing theories of our universe (as I understand it, having had no solid cosmological training whatsoever) likens it to a 3-dimensional game of Pac-Man. In this universe, you are a yellow dot, capable of going left on and on into eternity, but somehow you can never leave your very small world. You and your yellow-dotted self wonder aloud about this… “Odd,” you say. “If I keep going long enough in one direction, I eventually come back to where I started.”

Which is where all the logical arguments I seem to make end up – exactly where I was trying to get away from. That’s not funny.

Posted by pedalboy at October 4, 2006 7:21 PM | TrackBack
Comments

huh?

Posted by: allison at October 5, 2006 1:58 PM

Well, that certainly covered a lot of ground in a pretty short amount of time. But I, for one, was entertained.

Posted by: Dan at October 6, 2006 10:37 AM
Post a comment









Remember personal info?