Having no time, dreaming letters and posts in the hall:
1 – Post about A Megaphone
2 – Post about A Megaphone, The H.D. Book, and the hidden as the “boringly obvious.” Why we need to say obvious things. Ask obvious things. Repeat. The ordinary as the deliberately hidden, the occluded. Hidden, it becomes occult. Yet, still, obvious.
3 – Post about Cee-Lo at the Grammys and the occluding or revealing of cultural content as it filters up into pop life. Cee-Lo as Mardi Gras Indian. Mardi Gras Indians copyrighting their suits because for years their images have made money without them. Bounce and sissy bounce filtering into Beyonce’s Get Me Bodied video. Whether Ballroom is revealed or occluded in Madonna’s Vogue. And, what’s with the occluding?
For instance, why not footnote these appearances in some way. Not that it would make a big difference, but I wonder why not footnote. Back to the HD Book and the occluding of women’s roles in modernism. (Back to Pound talking about “spinsterly aversion” and “perfumed shit”.) Same questions again. Hiddenness. Obviousness.
(Bounce reference starts at 3:45.)
4 – Post about reading detail as a cultural practice. Close reading as a hipster practice. As in, the tireless excavation of layers of cultural detail. Uncomfortable relationship of this excavation to cultural tourism / voyeurism.
Make clear that this post is about me and my desire to tell people that Beyonce’s video is about bounce. As though I know what things mean. My cultural tourism of where I am from. And the endless question of saying it doesn’t matter to know but acting like it matters to know.
Also about detail as a current practice. Um, the Internet. Something to do with Josh’s article on TV criticism. Reading detail, so showing appetite for it, we ask critics to write it. Something about the critical fetish for reading detail. If the lack of an excavation occludes, can obsessive detail excavation also occlude? Like what is knowledge for; what is detail for.
Does detail devalue that hidden obvious. Something about Nabokov. About master, mastery; author, authority. Something about stuff I would have to learn about.
5 – Post about close listening as a possible alternative to close reading. Back to A Megaphone. And, from A Megaphone, Ultra-Red.
Ultra-Red’s Vogue’ology project. Do I understand their idea. Is their idea that people from outside Ballroom encounter not just Ballroom? But also encounter the terms people inside Ballroom are developing to describe and listen to themselves? So that the people outside encounter the artifacts with a frame that the people inside are making.
Terms like learning, listening, teaching, reading, history, reception, archive in relation to this long quote from the Ultra-Red interview on Vogue’ology:
“Thus, for some, the performance of vogue and the viewing of vogue are methods of investigation. Vogue is a methodology of gender performativity. It is also, therefore, an epistemology, an embodied knowing. From this perspective we understand vogue to be conditioned by systems of racial, economic, gender and sexual power, which is to say that it brings into play many of the terms of inequality while contradicting their patriarchal and racist underpinnings.
In light of this, the archive becomes a venue for the critical examination of methodology and epistemology. As led by its founder, Arbert Santana, the aim of the Ballroom Archive and Oral History Project is to engage the community in critical discussions of the contradictions manifest in vogue performance and established by the community’s kinship structure and its many other activities, such as its cultural labor.”
Intrigued by the idea that a community should listen to itself and challenge or evolve its terms. Wondering if I can find more detail on Vogue’ology project. Trying to get myself to read the critical prose and not just watch the Ballroom videos.
Intrigued by the idea that I, the person outside, maybe need to be bored a little bit? Not just dazzled by amazing artifacts that I tour and mystify. And by saying ‘be bored’ do I mean ‘think’?
Speaking of content as it filters into pop life, Vogue Evolution on America’s Best Dance Crew. Wanting to watch dips all day instead of going to work.
6 – The next post I think I really might write: post about Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama”, Anna Vitale’s Pop Poems, and The HD Book.