"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Apr 12, 2011

Level Seven

Japan raises nuclear alert to level seven


Still the tired attempts to explain why it's "not like Chernobyl." Of course it's not. If it were like Chernobyl, it would be in the Ukraine. It would be 1986. Ronald Reagan would be forgetting what he knew about Iran-Contra. New Wave would still have listeners.

But the "not like Chernobyl" narrative is a concealer. It's meant to soothe, to suggest that "at least it's not like Chernobyl."

It's a comparison intended to reduce concern about Fukushima Daiichi's severity. And that makes it suspect.


fwoan said...

Hey, not fair, I love new wave!

Jack Crow said...

Inside joke, fwoan. Me being vain. So, I'll share it. New Wave no longer possesses the audacity of its own innovation. It belongs to a larger genre, one in which it is entirely subsumed.

It is Eighties Music, right along side Hair Band Rock, Madonna, early house dance, digipop, deadsoul and soft rock.

And there's some justice in that. It's flippant and unserious (which is not offered as an indictment).

Some of the blame falls on the usual suspects, Nirvana and their ilk. They altered rock and its synthesized cousins by taking music seriously again. But also, perhaps more significantly, the blame falls on Axl Rose and Guns and Roses. He did more to divide rock and music than a dozen Cobains. GnR is deadly serious music, both in how it takes itself, and in how it relates to the world. GnR, for all that they wore the guise of a hairband, is unrelenting, internalized, self-consciously earnest commentary. It's the perfect predecessor to the emerging and separate genre, metal.

Rock only works as rock if its unserious and trivial. If it's party music. If its result is satiety and catharsis. Rock is like comedy. It is its own joke.

New Wave belongs to that lineage.

But, in dividing rock between alt/metal and commercial pop rock (which I think includes New Wave), Nirvana and GnR managed to create the aforementioned umbrella genre, almost by default.

Say the words "Eighties Music" and then see if Zeppelin, Zappa, the Who, Miles Davis, Monk, Hooker, jazz, blues etc fit. I don't think they do.

But, say any new wave band (even ones which managed to straddle genres, like The Cars, New Order or the Talking Heads) and you can fit them almost immediately into the retroactive genre, "Eighties Music."

So that, goes the inside joke, people who listen to "New Wave" today are listening to "Eighties Music."

fwoan said...

I don't think Rock music suddenly took itself seriously with the advent of GnR/Nirvana. To say that would ignore punk rock, (actual) emo, gothic/industrial, etc. Perhaps "popular" rock music.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Still the tired attempts to explain why it's "not like Chernobyl."

Yeah, evacuating the population of Tokyo would be much more difficult than the evacuation of Kiev would ever be...

finn said...

Yes, nothing says "unserious, trivial party music" like Gang of Four's Entertainment or Flux of Pink Indians' The Fucking Pricks Treat Us Like Cunts. I'm guessing you weren't anywhere near adulthood in 1982, yes?

Jack Crow said...

Punk is a product of the 1970s.

Jack Crow said...

A genre is a generalization, finn. There are always examples which don't generalize well.

But, do take a mild inside joke in a quip about an otherwise serious subject and turn it into a reason to be a dick. That'll do a body good.

Music loyalty makes people into assholes.

Christopher M said...

"Rock only works as rock if its unserious and trivial"

This is a peculiar assertion. I also question the assertion that Talking Heads, New Order, or the Cars can be aptly described as "unserious and trivial." A sense of humor is not an indicator of triviality.

David K Wayne said...

Punk was a bitter response to industrial decline. New Wave was a way to embrace it (even the names of the bands hint at that).

Er - I spotted something on BDR's blog about 'Charle F. Oxtrot RIP'. This wasn't meant literally was it?

Jack Crow said...

Daiichi, level seven nuclear disaster - meh.

Is rock a serious sort of music, flame out.

We're fucking decadent. And not in the pleasant, hedonistic way.

Anonymous said...

As to CFO, I think he lives to fight again, but you have to keep an eye out.

As for New Wave, I like it! But most of it sucked. And Punk? I like it, but most of it sucked. And Southern Rock? I like it but, but where to stop? A lot of stuff sucks. Look for the good and relish it, when you find it.

As for nuclear power/Japan. Well, at least it's not Chernobyl is about as good a slogan as any. Let's hope it's accurate.

Happy Jack said...

Chernobyl was run by the commies. Efficient capitalists are in charge in Japan. Nothing to fear.

Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols had a baby, and they named it Nirvana.

Randal Graves said...

Ride the Lightning, Seven Churches and Hell Awaits, now *that* was eighties music. Your favorite band sucks. (too nice?)

Anonymous said...

It's my hope that "finn" was doing a satire, albeit poorly. Otherwise I'd suggest to "finn" that being a rabid argumentative "fan" of music is a far cry from being a musician, and if music matters that much to you, finn, then you should learn to play and get your creative argumentative fix through note- and noise-making of a musical sort. Your rhetorical devices are sub-par, that's what I'm saying, so I'd aim toward the musical and not the literal if I were you.

WK - Mr Oxtrot has moved onward, you can read about him here:


As executor of his estate I can field any Qs about him.

David K Wayne said...

DOH! Just realised that nom de plume...

fwoan said...

Whoops, didn't mean to derail this into a music discussion.