post by Neddie Jingo!
Yeah, it's the same damn fdl tempest, but i really love this because it's applicable in so many situations, really:
Punk is deader than goddamned Vaudeville. Fuckin' get used to it.
The notion that you can shock, vilify, curse, and gob the bourgeois into recognition of their fundamental uselessness has played, kid. We're shocked, vilified, cursed and gobbed every fucking day by the slime oozing out of our TV sets. We're numb. We've been épaté'd so many times by so many lazy goddamned "revolutionaries" that the sight of some self-appointed artist's hairy moon shining out over the waistband of his dropped pleather pants provokes precisely nothing. We've seen the act, chum. It's easy. It's cheap. It's the laziest, crappiest, most slothful kind of self-indulgence a person can grant himself.
You wanna know how to be a fucking revolutionary...?
How about this: The most revolutionary act you can perform in this fell, death-infected year 2006 is to act like a goddamned adult.
To continue your metaphor, Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians played in tune, with precision, and were ashamed -- as adults, professionals, are ashamed -- when a note was clammed, a cue missed, a beat dropped. I once gloried in punk's shambolic sloppiness; but it's become the accepted norm. Now it's just fucking lazy, Bad Musicianship.
...we can do better than that.
He's got a point there, kids.
I have a whole separate, very old rant on how i used to apply that to theatre, at least of the sort i was seeing at the time. Basically just substitute "Artaud" or "Dada" for "punk" and you get the general idea.
but yeah. Here's the deal about "shock," okay:
It only serves as a "wake-up call" for a very brief window. After that, as BNJ! points out, the shocked become numb. It's a natural defense. We wouldn't be able to survive otherwise.
"Shock" for its own sake (well it never is "for its own sake" is it, it's for the self-aggrandizing thrill of the response, pace flashers and obscene phone callers) isn't "radical," and it doesn't "wake people up." Not in a world of South Park, Fox News, Times Square, ultra-violent movies in megaplexes with surround sound, piped-in-music in every public place, the constant stimulating entrancement of the TV and the Internetz (yes, me too, goddamit), the ubiquitous cell phones going off, extreme sports, talk radio...it goes on and on.
You know what happens if you blow a trumpet in someone's ear? First they jump. Then they sort of get used to it. Eventually, if you're loud and persistent enough, and assuming they don't just get fed up and clock you, they go deaf.
And so, dear trumpet-blaster, in fact, may you be, and not even know it.