Sunday, January 27, 2008

Out To Lunch (aka Ben Watson)

I'm cleaning my office to promote good work habits. To that end I'm trying to throw out no-longer-needed clutter, including printouts of online articles which I find easier to read on paper than on monitor.

Other than this introduction this post will have no original writing by me (and no photographs). What it will have is several quotes which I highlighted in a scholarly paper given by Out To Lunch (aka Ben Watson), author of The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play and master of Zappa talk and double talk, to the International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology.

Surrounding these little bits of wisdom his paper/speech contains some fine opportunities to reflect on the differences between
  • England and America
  • musicians and academics
  • a bunch of isms and a bunch of other isms
  • the common language that divides the United States and Great Britain.
That having been said, I give you Ben Watson:
... Zappa's work is exciting because his art is not the product of an ideology or theory, it wrinkles and overlaps and concentrates bits of the material world so that the whole universe may be viewed in it upside down, tiny, like the image inside the convex mirror in the parlour of your great aunt in Chingford ...

... Zappa's albums present such an outlandish splice of complete madness and cutting sanity that he forces the listener to speculate about the relativity of madness and sanity, the dialectical involvement of opposites like order and chaos, rationality and irrationality. ...

... Zappa wanted to make an art consisting entirely of "sin" - of unabstracted, specific, personal expressions unrepressed by any generalised archetypes. That's why the records he produced are so delightfully knotty, gnarly and pleasing, even when you can't understand a word - and once you've worked out all the ingredients of "Debra Kedabara", all the stuff about B movies, Mexican rubber masks and dental flossers, you're really no wiser. Why did he put all that junk in there? Because it resists the abstract concept! ...

Esemplastic Tags: . . . . . .