The Resonant

Sianne Ngai and The Sublemon have done much, I think, for aesthetics by formalizing certain descriptive terms previously used informally: the zany, cute, and merely interesting (Ngai); the baroque, whimsy, and cheesy (Sublemon). I want to continue that project here. "Resonance" is a term used primarily by non-scholarly readers, as Peter Stockwell notes in "The Cognitive Poetics of Resonance," and… Continue reading The Resonant

Oscillation / Fashion

1. Oscillation You can never really tell when James Murphy’s being sincere, whether he’s making fun of others or making fun of himself. “Pow Pow”’s his statement of philosophy—“from this position / I can totally see how the decision was reached”—which is a sort of pragmatist-PoMo enlightenment: acknowledge perspective’s providence on truth and then turn… Continue reading Oscillation / Fashion

A Possibility for Artistic “Meaning”

Interested in literary or artistic "meaning" as the sum of all infinite interrelationships between a work of art/literature and the equally infinite set of all data points which exist both inside the work and out in the world. These data points include, but are not limited to, the composition of society in its entirety, both… Continue reading A Possibility for Artistic “Meaning”

Seventies Interior Design

In the seventies, carpets were a way to signal a certain level of middle and upper-middle-class affluence. As such, they could be found almost everywhere. Today, stained wood stands as a similar socioeconomic indicator, at least in coastal American culture. There is the angle by which this is purely contrarian signaling — the upper-class picks a style (e.g. carpeting);… Continue reading Seventies Interior Design

Generic Fit

“This makes the pop song an indispensable mirror: The way in which a listener imposes himself upon the text, or transforms the text from generic to specific, shows that listener something about himself. He learns his yearnings, his sadnesses, his loves; he recognizes an emotional life which is otherwise elusive, and solidifies in time an emotional state… Continue reading Generic Fit