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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Sound Byte City

I wrote the other day in Broken Threads:

I think that a good deal of the problem with Cable TV entertainment: to be precise, its decline into a pit of irrelevant posturings, is due to the growth of commercials. Commercials constitute a break in the thread of the narrative of the program being presented, and it seems there may be a critical threshold - which we seem to have crossed - beyond which the experience of narrative continuity breaks down.

Think about it... then think of Herman Cain. I mean, is he not the prime example of a lack of continuity?

Mr. Cain was superb with small, individual blurts, such as "9-9-9!", but when he was asked to explain things on a larger scale and at some depth - such as Libya - he said that everything began spinning in his head!
In effect, Mr. Cain, being a prime example of a successful 21st century American male, could not and cannot handle complex issues. In fact, he cannot even provide continuity with one woman... his wife.

The leading picture is the three standard stoppages by Marcel Duchamp, defined by 3 broken threads falling randomly upon a sheet of paper, and thus redefining Duchamp's experience of Art:
Duchamp would come to look upon the stoppages as one of the key works in his development as an artist. "In itself it was not an important work of art," he [Duchamp] said, "but for me it opened the way -- the way to escape from those traditional methods of expression long associated with art. I didn't realize at the time what I had stumbled on. When you tap something, you don't always recognize the sound. That's apt to come later. For me the Three Standard Stoppages was a first gesture liberating me from the past.
The following is another redefinition of Modern Art by Duchamp, entitled "Fountain" and pulled from some bowling alley wall around 1917 and shown at an art gallery:

Similarly we ourselves as artists have redefined the meaning of "Man or Woman of Substance and Propriety" in the 21st century.

The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. - Marcel Duchamp

Mr. Cain - and, by implication, the rest of the candidates - are the fruits of our labors.

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