Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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December 13, 2007
aesthetic perplexity

Below is drummer Dee     Pop's account of his first visit to CBGB's.

We believe it to be the greatest description of the experience of aesthetic perplexity that we have ever read:
The first time I walked in there, I was like, I must have been about 16 or 17 or something, I just remember seeing the Ramones, and just not getting it.

I went home really pissed off and angry, going "Why did my friends bring me to see this?" I just didn't get it. For the next 24 hours I was consumed by hating this band.

And the next night I went back by myself to see them again and I don't know what hit me, but it just all made sense that night. For some reason I had to go back. I couldn't understand why I couldn't just let it go, how I was that upset about what I had seen.

I just remember going back and thinking, "God this [is] amazing."

The above is an example of what may be one of the most fascinating sub-varieties of human intellectual curiosity.

It's like a type of curiosity that involves at least two or three tiered levels of disorientation. In the first place, we're not even sure if we're disoriented. Second, if we are, we don't know why we are. Third, if we don't know why we are, we don't even know why we don't know why we are.

The vorticed combination of (among other things, probably) excitement, anxiety, stubbornness, embarrassment, delight and outrage is exquisite.

Maybe the experience is kindred to the more general human phenomenon whereby one can, despite oneself, flush relentless mental and emotional energy into situations one "hates," in quantities that might superficially appear disproportionate, when the real(er) deal may be that the situation is mystifying and one wants to puzzle out its mystery.

Now, from here, this post could go in at least one of two directions:

←            ←               →            →

theory geek
wannabee direction

music geek
wannabee direction

The same explanation may also sufficiently account for the bewilderment, or sort of perplexity, which, as is said, seizes the visitor on first entering St. Peter’s in Rome. For here a feeling comes home to him of the inadequacy of his imagination for presenting the idea of a whole within which that imagination attains its maximum, and, in its fruitless efforts to extend this limit, recoils upon itself, but in so doing succumbs to an emotional delight.
(from Kant's 3d Critique, here)

commentary on the finer points of the Dee Pop radio playlist from last spring, here

the aesthetic theories of Wittgenstein,
i.e., "puzzlements"

Floor Kiss trivia, here

Ursula Göricke's amazing doctoral dissertation,
"Poetry as Epistemological Inquiry" (.pdf)

Radio I-Ching review, here

Or, if we could exercise some restraint, the post would go in neither direction, and would simply end.