Enlighten Up

Enlighten Up

(Soundtrack: The Distillers —Sing Sing Death House, featuring the first punk song that I’ve ever heard about the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, which contains the magnificent lyric–“The thing about destiny/Is it never sets you free”… “Bullet and the Bullseye” is pretty fucking amazing too, in a completely different way… Brody Dalle is definitely the new Courtney Love–and, believe me, there isn’t much higher praise that I am capable of bestowing upon anyone!)

Just a couple of things that caught my eye today:

John Commonplacebook, newly returned from one helluva trip, wonders about all of the Enlightenment-bashing that echoes through the halls of academia. I couldn’t agree more with his current position on the matter. There’s a lot to love in postmodern thought–but almost all of it has grown out of the “Romancing of the Enlightenment” that figures like Shelley, Emerson, and Nietzsche first undertook, back in the wondrous nineteenth century. John also has some interesting ideas about Henry James that will doubtless flower into characteristically fine future-posts!

The Wildcat discourses upon Mulholland Dr. (as a particularly fine example of “shrapnel narrative”) and Veitch/Edwards’The Question (as an instance of “sizzling Pop Art Beauty”) in the same post! Yes. Yes.

Good Evening Friends!




  1. I suppose if by that you mean that she’s a gold-digging, murderous drug addict with little talent but a never ending lust for attention regardless of the cost to her soul…

  2. Dave,

    I found this piece in the Rolling Stone moving.

    One of the oddest aspects of Nick Broomfield’s “Kurt & Courtney” is his intransigence in pursuing this strange “C. murdered K.” conspiracy theory.



  3. Oops… I suppose I should have mentioned that that first comment was me.

    Anyway, I read your words, but all I have to do to disagree is to think back on, oh, every piece of music I’ve ever heard by Ms. Love. Have to say that in any decision regarding the quality of her artistic output, the quality of her music, or lack thereof, has to be the most eloquent measure of her talent. Putting her in the same breath as Kathleen Hanna or Corin Tucker … !!! … neither of those esteemed and talented women built their careers wholesale on the corpses of their dead spouses. Whether you believe Broomfield or not, its hard to argue that without his death she wouldn’t have been more than a footnote – and deservedly so.

  4. It interests me that Kurt n Courtney have become the Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes for my generation – I wonder if Courtney’s music will ever get the unbiased hearing that Hughes finally managed after decades.

    I should point out that I dislike Courtney Love, the public figure. I find her drug addiction, her lapse parenting, and her love for publicity just short of disgusting. But I’ve heard music from her that I enjoyed.

    – Matt Rossi

  5. absolutely Matt–there’s no reason anyone should feel compelled to defend Love’s off-stage/studio behaviour before getting into a discussion of her art. I mean, we don’t deal with male rock stars that way, do we?

    Tim–there’s obviously nothing I can say to bring you over to my side on this one… Suffice it to say, the human voice is pretty much the most important thing in the world to me (it’s pretty much the only subject of my fiction), and, of all the voices I’ve ever heard (“live or memorexed”), Love’s is in the top five, for sure. I can listen to her sing anything, and I will be thrilled to be in the presence of such a stunning justification for the existence of the human race… (see why I prefer to critique narrative?)

    but then again, she isn’t just singing anything…she may be a megalomaniac, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t close to being right in the claims she makes for her lyrics (this is turning into an LL Cool J song all of a sudden…)

    and, you know, Pretty On the Inside received rave reviews when it came out in 1991–before Nevermind… Cobain’s death cost this woman a lot more than a husband–it also ensured that she would never be taken seriously as an artist by a significant percentage of music writers, and that’s depresing to me…

    but, getting back to the Distillers–they’re awesome!


  6. Well, they liked Teenage Fanclub a lot, too, but when was the last time you pulled out your copy of “Bandwagonesque”? 🙂

  7. Whatever! I still get my fix of Glaswegian pop ecstacy every few weeks or so.

    “She wears denim wherever she goes/ Says she’s gone to get some records for the status quo/ Oh yeah”

    Distillers are great too, Dave. Brody’s got a hell of a punk rock rock voice.

  8. Ah, the Courtney-bashers. So free with the rhetoric, so ignorant of the workings of the human heart.

    Has she made some dumb decisions in her personal life? No question.

    Is she a bad parent? Probably.

    DID SHE LOSE HER HUSBAND TO SUICIDE? Yes, she did, and every one of these callous assholes who are so free with “gold-digging” remarks should have to go through the utter emotional agony of having someone you love dearly die unexpectedly. It devastated me for years–and I didn’t have lying filmmakers try to frame me for my love’s death.

  9. Regarding Fanclub, I promise you all that if you go dig up your copies of Thirteen (the only one you need, folks) and put it on, it will rock you as hard as it ever did. Oh yeah, and the Distillers are truly awesome (strangely, the first time I heard “Mono,” that’s who I thought it was. On repeated listenings the differences became glaringly obvious, not to say that I didn’t enjoy that song as well.)

    -Dan J

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s