Scams n’ Flams

I dreamed I kept making coffee in a bialetti but then when I’d pour it it’d just be water and I’d be like NOOOO! WHY?!??? Horrible

We watched the new Total Recall. It was so boring. People are gonna go see it because it has “Total Recall” written on it and they know what “Total Recall” is and that it is cool, so, given that, why not just make a better movie? It doesn’t even have to be that much better. Just actually explore, a little bit, the psychological complexity of that movie’s actual plot. That’s all I ask.

This got us talking about the word “entertaining” and how much we hate that word, most of the time. “How was the movie?” “Oh, you know, it was fine. Entertaining.” When people use the word this way, they don’t actually mean “entertaining.” What they mean is more like “stimulating.” “It kept me stimulated. It kept my attention upon it.” Is that the same thing as being actively entertained?

Then we started talking about this anecdote Adorno tells, where he’s sitting in a cafe an a group of musicians are playing background music, and he actually pays attention to this music–music which is not meant to have attention paid to it–and what he hears in it is the ruins of culture.

To be fair, Adorno thinks everything is the ruins of culture. But still. What if we actually paid attention to these movies we watch in order to simply erase our minds of thoughts?

People who think everything great about humanity died at the end of the 19th century always crack me up. I mean, Adorno is much smarter than me, I know this isn’t the only thing he’s saying. But this is a running subtextual (or blatant!) thread in a lot of aesthetic/philosophical/artistic/whatever discourse and it makes me laugh. This vision of history as just thousands of years of everyone on earth saying “god, I wish it would get to the European 19th century already” and then everyone post-19th century being like “well that was great; now all we have to look forward to is cultural death I guess”

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One Response to Scams n’ Flams

  1. dv says:

    I listened to an interview with Irish comic Dylan Moran recently, and he defined “to entertain” simply as “to keep you from walking away,” which I thought was interesting and is sort of his answer to your question.

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