Monthly Archives: syyskuu 2017

¡Ciudadanos en adelante!

Normaali

Viikko 38



Motion
: THB that original inhabitants of popular places should take precedence over newcomers
Role: Whip (gov.)


Every aspiring young person has some kind of relationship with cities, counties, countries, provinces, states and towns. Some of them suit us fine, while others ring a false note/tone. Some localities we just can’t put up with.

This time, as an example, I’m going to talk about LA, the City being the original ”redwood” homebase to some while a ”Zoo Station” for others. To me, LA represents the weekday of Saturday. What do we know about Saturday?

  1. It’s part of the weekend, the first half (or the middle part, if we count the evening and night of Friday in.)
  2. It’s gotten its name from a Roman god called Saturnalis.
  3. Some associate it with sauna.
  4. Some concerts are staged on Saturday.
  5. Booze flows on Saturday.
  6. Doctoral vivas may be held during the pre- and afternoon part of the day.
  7. Financially, it’s the worst day for commercial transportation/logistics companies, as it’s not a day for work-related commuting, and everyone will have travelled for leisure either on the previous day, or a day thereafter, on Sunday.
  8. A sausage has been named to it (in Finland).
  9. It’s ”alright for Fighting” (according to Elton John).
  10. During Easter, Saturday has no special religious or liturgical meaning, at least to the layman.
  11. Most businesses are partially open on Sundays. It may be very good when it comes to discounts, refunds, sales or shopping (in a stationary way).
  12. Pets like Saturdays, for it’s the first day of the week when their owners have truly time to feed, maintain, walk and wash them.

In short, Saturdays are the day of the week, when it’s still OK to be messy, or a Mess, but which nonetheless do not the next day bite one in the ass.

What is, then, my relation to Saturdays?

Well, it’s not my best-liked day, but it’s not my bugbear either. It’s firmly one of the in-between days that I tend to have, united in that quality with Thursday. I have found that it’s an agreeable day, more for entertainment than for benefit, epiphany, erudition or profit. This means that my relationship with LA is a bit precarious and volatile. I have the potential to like LA, but that comes with a bit of strain, luck and determination. The underlying impression or illusion is that the day has more control over me than I have over the day. It also passes much faster than I think.

These impressions I have assembled in having been once to LA, for a few days, and having lived through innumerable Saturdays over the course of my life.

I do not obsess over LA, like some people do. We have to remember that the actual atmosphere in LA has very little with its original settlers to do. The ambience of raw competition, dog-eat-dog mentality, live-and-let-die attitude, viciousness and superficiality, and so on, have been created by all the arrivistes, upstarts, nouveau riches and social climbers who have since flooded the city saddled with their ambitions, aspirations, hopes and longings. They, in turn, have originally come from humbler, rainier locations, expressly to counter that ”poor provenance”.

I believe that the True Spirit of LA has more to do with Sunday than Saturday, were LA still that mission station once set up and inhabited by Spaniards. Once upon a time, LA had a promise about it. Now those days are long gone. Those, who come to LA, have to show some promise. They will get something in return, if they redeem themselves; this promise is given to them by those who have already settled there to prosper. But, maybe it’s a Com-Promise

Because LA has been tweaked into some thing it originally was not, I back up and forward the govt.’s motion that original inhabitants of popular places should take precedence over newcomers.

Thank you.


Arvio: En tee puheessa viimeisen puhujan työtä toisten puheita tiivistävänä ja selittävänä ”intendenttinä”. Sen sijaan puhun omiani. Tämä on väärin, mutta joissakin tapauksissa näin voi käydä. Joskus kyseessä on ymmärrettävä lapsus, ja haluan esittää yhden esimerkin, miltä se sitten näyttää ja kuulostaa (eli tältä). Syyt ovat nämä: a) muut puolen puhujat eivät ole myöskään tehneet hommiaan, jolloin ei ole ”mitään tiivistettävää” tai b) muut puolen puhujat ovat tehneet ”liiankin hyvää” työtä ja ammentaneet aiheen tyhjiin omilla puheenvuoroillaan, jolloin minkä tahansa uuden aineksen, jopa selälleen flippaavan, lisääminen debattiin bloosaa vain lisää myötätuulta oman puolen purjeisiin.

Mainokset

Take a Stand With Your Band

Normaali

Viikko 36


 

Date: July 29th, 2017
Motion: THB that pop-culture musicians have become wiser with time and age
Role: Rep. (opp.)


What characterizes this generation of youth is its seeking of attention, often gullibly, avidly and without regard for what has passed as culture before. Furthermore, many teeny-boppers seem content to try to please as big a chunk of the audience as possible, thus resorting to the cheapest tricks, the meanest, keenest common denominators and most plastic kind of backing tracks.

I claim that it is entirely possible to court an audience in a counterintuitive way, wooing it less rather than more, and here I’m going to tell you How.

A ”tenure-track” musician should first develop a style and contents that alienate 65 % of people in exchange for appealing to 35 % of people. The reasons for the potential, desirable aversion may be varying: abrasive guitars, nasal singing voice, shocking clothing, naff lyrics, explicit lyrics, ugly-looking fellow musicians, off-putting ”farting” synths, fixation on death/sex/alcohol/graves/food/Americana etc. etc. etc. The reason for the appeal, on the contrary, should always boil down to just one thing: the Originality and Humanity or the musician(s) in question.

Then, it’s time for the breakthrough. The musician needs to break through somehow, creating a big enough splash, in order to be recognized in the humdrum buzz of the media landscape. Usually, mainly in the Past, all that was needed was a catchy enough song to release. It became trickier during the MTV Era, when a flamboyant enough music video was also needed. Today it is trickier still, as a video no longer carries enough prestige or commands enough attention to get noticed. An alternative, cheap route to recognition may be a tune to the opening or closing credits of a pay-channel TV show, for instance. At any rate, any self-reflecting posse of musicians ought to be able to ultimately figure out what they need to do to break the glossy surface in the Attention Economy.

When the fan base for the band has been created, the conformities of a proven rock n’ roll trajectory begin to take over for the benefit of the musicians. A lot of things come taken for granted:

  • a record will be followed by a tour
  • royalties come at the end of the bookkeeping year
  • the band may ask for gratuities on their so-called ”raiders”
  • the latest record is always the ”best” (even when it’s the worst)
  • shows are a mix of old and new songs, plus a cover song, perhaps
  • critics will hate the band, if it’s not a mixture of the academic, proletarian and pathetic
  • the first visit to the rehab of any of the band members is to be anticipated
  • etc. etc.

What is great, all the same, is that from here on in, all that fans of the said band want is that the band will repeat the formula of making music and rock stardom ad infinitum. The band may voluntarily or involuntarily, by way of coercion, have to repeat the qualities present in the initial line-up, for as long as it is capable of producing something Original in that 10 % of free space that is reserved for creativity, warmth, humanity and originality in the goings-on of a band. And this is Good News for those who are not that keen on change and self-improvement, but rejoice instead in free play and ego-tripping.

Fans, namely, accept all the flaws and faults in the bands and musicians that they happen to admire or adore, if and when these musicians steadfastly continue in the trodden tracks that they set to tread and sought for themselves. For this reason, it would be foolish for any young musician to try to be an artist EVERYBODY or ANYBODY likes. It’s bad for business, quite simply. Rather, be warts and all, and repeat yourself and your story. What would work in a rock n’ roll song (repetition and an acquired genre/niche/taste), will work in a pop life and on a rock n’ roll career.

I’m claiming that pop musicians have not become wiser with time and age, because they don’t follow, arguably, these recommendations in this time and age.

Thank you.


Arvio: Puheessa saattaa olla joitain abstrakteja aineksia peruskuulijalle. Se tulee kuitenkin ymmärrettävämmäksi, jos tietää, että en lähesty aihetta ihan nolla-lähtökohdasta vaan olen mm. tehnyt juttuja musiikkistudioissa ja kuluttanut paljon aikaa ja paperia musiikkielämän lainalaisuuksia pohtien. Parhaiten puheen tajuaa joku, joka on samassa tila(ntee)ssa tai samanikäinen kuin minä. Lopun viimeinen rivi selventää, miksi käyn juuri tämän sisältöisellä, vähän erikoisella puheella tätä motionia vastaan.