Number Sixty: Is that all there is... to life, and moving on with it?
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
Earlier today I was reading Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus. I first read it in college in 2001 in a seminar on Marx and Nietzsche. It opened my eyes to a very different kind of scholarship and a very different way of thinking about cultural history. I love that book. But reading it again all these years later I was stunned by how differently I feel about it. The scholarship is still strong, well-argued, and illuminating; but now I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the absurd narcissism of the whole project. This whole book because Greil Marcus felt a need to justify how amazing he felt when he heard the Sex Pistols; he went so far as to ascribe an entire secret and unconscious chain of historical relations and intellectual antecedents to them to give them the profundity they’d earned in his heart. It’s kind of amazing, brilliant, and sad all at once.
I mention this all because at one point in the book, he uses a quote that I love from Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth. “People pay to see others believe in themselves,” she said, “on stage, in the midst of rock ‘n’ roll, many things happen and anything can happen, whether people come as voyeurs or come to submit to the moment.”
That sort of sums up my feelings about Sleep No More, sixty shows and 3.something years later. This is a very complicated recap, because it involves a lot of history, and personal experiences, and opinions. If you’ve read this whole blog and come on this journey with me, a lot of this will make sense. If you don’t like that I “speak with authority” about things, do me the favor and tune out now. If it bothers you that my opinions invalidate your experiences, that’s too damn bad, load your own opinions with more conviction next time around and stop trying to invalidate my experiences with your opinions… about my opinions.