Waggish

Reusable Imagery

Richard Cochrane brings us a memorable image while reviewing an old Bill Laswell Praxis record:

Buckethead will be the sticking-point for most listeners. He sounds like an actor playing the part of a heavy metal guitarist, standing there on stage shredding his fretboard as if flanked by enormous quotation marks.

It’s even funnier if you actually picture it. It taps into dreaded revivalism, which is dispatched well enough here that I don’t have to deal with it. But what Cochrane mostly captures is the massive cognitive dissonance brought on by the simultaneous reactions of “No one can be that un-self-conscious!” and “Look at how un-self-conscious he is! (I bet he’ll be rich someday…)”

It’s ripe for reuse:

Jonathan Franzen plays the isolated writer who locks himself in the closet and writes portentous truths about the world, as if flanked by enormous quotation marks.

In front of European audiences, Richard Perle spews out Ugly American fantasies of empire, as if flanked by enormous quotation marks.

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo walks through a series of post-Genet allegories against Terrible Things as if flanked by enormous quotation marks.

Steven Pinker reiterates classically overblown nativist dogma as if flanked by enormous quotation marks.

You get the idea….

Leave a Reply