(originally published 11/28/2006)
More academic blah here.
I’m tired of these words, or more specifically their contemporary connotations:
1) Eclectic: it’s hard for me to take this adj. for anything but a slur, evoking diletattantish ‘jack-of-all-trades’ pretentions. It’s a perfect word for the wishy-washy, ultimately Western-based ‘World Music’ and ‘World Culture’ lauded by NPR imbeciles. Or for describing a Pat Metheny album with a guest appearance by some DJ or dancer or something (oh shoot! crazy!)
2) Funky: Okay, I’m hardly Catfish from the JBs or nothing, but I wanna suggest that we refrain from describing dress shops, restaurants, interior decoration or lifestyles* as ‘funky.’ Actually, I’ll go so far as saying we should stop describing non-funk music (including disco, soul, r+b and other music made by traditionally ‘funky’ people, who are inevitably also ‘black’ people) as funky. Raenie could probably take me to task on this, knowing much more about these genres than me. But I wanna suggest we don’t cry ‘funky’ for every wah pedal or slap bass we hear.
3) Surreal: I think this one speaks for itself. We should also include ‘surreal”s overworked brother ‘Kafkaesque’ in the mix.
Any more suggestions? Objections? I’m trying to get some interaction outta you people. Ben, Raenie and Will are carrying a lotta weight these days over at the poisonshake.
* In what’s close to a marxist moralist aside during the conclusion of Postmodernism, Jameson cites discourse of ‘lifestyle’ and ‘sexual orientation’ as only possible under ‘late capitalist’ (sic) relations of production and pomo culture. He’s funny and he’s right, I think.