Neon Codex

Where digital meets classical.

Filtering by Tag: culture

Choose Life: T2 and Coming Full-Circle

I first saw Trainspotting when I was 16 years old, which in retrospect was the perfect time. Though I was never a drug addict of any kind, the film perfectly illustrated the process of growing up, in relation to your friends and your culture. I naturally gravitated towards Renton as a character in those days, his thoughts were my thoughts, on growing up, on going into the machine of culture and becoming a product of it. What if I didn't wanna do that? What if I thought my culture was bullshit? What if I thought it was unfair I was inheriting the mortal debt of generations of ecological and economic psychotic self-destruction? 

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Ah-pop-alypse Now!

It was on the day when reality became the parody. When the Doomsday Clock inched closer to midnight, like in the post-modern, pop-art frames of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen, and in a Dickian twist society's values became so defined by entertainment, that the political process finally completed it's inevitable hybridization with reality-TV and the American people elected celebrity, and former reality game-show host, Roald Crump president. Like some sort of loud, horrible orange mutant Reagan, the veneer of civility peeled away and his thoughts on the lower-rungs of society and minority groups made clear.

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The Alchemy of the Word

In A Season in Hell, Rimbaud describes a phenomena which he refers to as "The Alchemy of the Word". He describes his poetic flights and whimsies giving rise to vivid hallucinations which describe entire free-standing worlds of images and ideas. The idea being that language can actually alter or affect reality, or one's perception of it--which really when it comes down to it, is all that there is. Words serving as the program-script to the operating-system (to borrow Grant Morrison's language) that is the physical universe. With them you can communicate the entire spectrum of human emotion and experience, build entirely new worlds, create people. And the delivery system itself, language, the word, shoots like quicksilver across the page, going through ranges of elegant transmutations from feeling to feeling, idea to idea. 

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The House of the Spirits

 As we turned the corner down the alley, adjoining 1st and Adams, we seemed to slip between the cracks of the sleek, shiny business district into a whole different world. One that was seeping up from the pavement and spilling over, from where people had tried to bury it. There were elaborate murals sprayed all over the alley walls; huge, looming, colorful pieces depicting a transforming tapestry of heritage and culture. The alley was rife with symbols and expression. And it didn't stop on the alley walls, it bled down across the power boxes, decommissioned ice coolers, and dumpsters. It was like a shamanic vision quest of the Amazon jungles or the Navajo desert, twisted up into modernity, pop-culture, National character, and made manifest onto gritty, urban environs in brilliant technicolor. 

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Love in the Time of Kali-Yuga

My input is kind of all over the place tonight, I bought a copy of the Beatles film Help! today at work and now I'm listening to Kamasi Washington on Spotify, fucking finally, and I'm delighted to find that he is everything I've been told he is, an emerging vanguard of modern Jazz. Possibly the last one, it's really hard to say, he's either going to lead a brilliant resurgence of the genre or he'll be the dignified caretaker of its final days--a last outburst of urgent noise erupting from his sax as a hot, stifling death-rattle. Part of me believes that there's just too much strength in this man's ability and style, too much passion, for the genre to simply wither on the vine as long as he's around, but tastes have moved on by and large. It seems like most of my favorite musicians are flying low on the radar, while bigger, markedly simpler, acts dominate radio-play and larger territories in the collective consciousness wired into internet, TV, and magazines. They have the modern attention span for the moment, however so fleeting. But then again, who the listens to radio anymore anyway? 

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