“Candy” (Morphine)

Nihilism has strange contents: assertion of material, spatial self and desire to dominate. Can be read as misogynist joke (candy land as sexual bait) and as warning (sex as desert that promotes solipsism.) Dirge-like swooning suggests the world stuck in this circuit.


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“Bastard” (Tyler, The Creator)

Following Tyler, The Creator and his critics feels a bit like watching high-schoolers and parents fighting, with both parties alternating roles. (See, for instance, the fairly ham-handed critique in “Bitch Suck Dick” with the patented shock of both mainstream and aspiring lefties.) Premised as a confessional but continuing the offense, narrator impresses/confounds his counselor, Mr. TC. As listeners, though, we hear below this—where “demons” dwell. Form isn’t a strong preoccupation here (see minor nods to horrorcore minimalism), but conservatism is. The psychological subject emerges, abandoned (yet maternally protected); self-mutilating (and outwardly violent); and apathetic in general. The latter is the most confounding, since apathy is an “inherit[ance]” without end—an embodiment literalized and formed through paternal worship. Speaking out, but not acting up.


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“Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)” (!!!)

To legally dance in New York City, an establishment needed a Cabaret license until 2017. And when an establishment applied for one, they’d have to be approved by the fire department and a Community Board. With a history often centered on Giuliani’s “quality of life” campaign. the hazy origins of the law—that its institution and enforcement in the early twentieth century is related to segregation—allow alternate evasion strategies to emerge from the shadows, such as how gay bars routinely evaded the law’s enforcement. (And why Giuliani as “Julio”?) With so many layers of approval and overbearing officiousness, !!!’s focus on the “piggiest pig[’s]” stutters when it equates NYC’s situation with Footloose. There’s certainly paternalism in common, but there’s no ban. And there’s no generational conflict to exploit. It is, though, a question of what a just measure is, especially in light of NYC’s selective enforcement. The creation of an illicit dancefloor can be theorized aggressively, as Autechre’s project shows. It can also advocate for counterhegemonic praxis, as with the focus here on dancers sharing “nothing more than this very second” because mortality is always a beat away. Unlike Oliver Wang’s notion of dancefloor intersubjectivity, we shouldn’t claim that we “barely understand” what happens on the dancefloor. We listen and watch for its utopian possibilities and manifold realizations.


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