The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Amanda Fucking Palmer quoted out of context

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Amanda Palmer has been involved in some controversy regarding a recent project (thank you, Miarr, for pointing me to it).  I’m not talking about it, thinking about it, or linking to it.  And if the controversy itself becomes the subject here, I’ll probably close comments.

But, in the course of the discussion, she said something that made me want to stand up and cheer, and so I am obligated to quote it.  Upon being accused of “hiding behind her art,” she said:

“here’s what i consider hiding: producing inoffensive, corporate-penned, vanilla-bean love-story family-friendly made-for-mainstream-radio music that won’t offend a single person. and won’t make anybody laugh, won’t make anybody think, won’t make anybody wonder, won’t make anybody talk, and won’t change anybody’s life.

THAT, my friends, is hiding behind art.”

Oh, yes.

corwin

Author: corwin

Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

0 Comments

  1. I found the source of the quote. And that wasn’t the only great thing there, but it was certainly great.

    Thank you for sending me on the information hunt this evening, I feel better, at least emotionally. (And Tylenol will take care of the @#$% with my head, I think….)

  2. that’s so good, she must have had it holstered. Waiting for some one to go there.

  3. Well that’s just fucking delicious.

    Thanks for posting. 🙂

  4. *stands up and cheers*

    She says eloquently what I would have used many more words to say awkwardly. I aspire to be as brave as she is, and to stand as squarely behind what I create.

  5. I ♥ Amanda F. Palmer so much!

  6. Welcome, Steve. 🙂 Hee, you read my post! I feel all tingly and warm inside now.

    Re: Amanda Palmer: She is so excellent, I can’t even. And yes, this next project of her has set some very high expectations (it has to justify all the shit she’s embroiled herself in right now) but what the hell, this is AFP. I believe she can do it. And if she doesn’t… well, at least she’s not hiding behind her art. o/

  7. I wandered over to discover the controversy, and completely understand why Steve will lock down discussion if it crops up here.

    The quote, standing alone, is awesomesauce. Thanks for pointing it out.

  8. So … okay, first of all I’m late to the AFP party, anyway, but that might actually be to my advantage in other ways. ‘Nuff said.

    However, as to the issue at hand, I don’t know why it has never occurred to me in this form before, but the concept of art as a neurotic symptom occurs to me. That, essentially, seems to be the phenomenon she is referring to. Inoffensive, uninspiring, vanilla-bean art is … safe.

    So at the moment, I’m not nearly high enough to follow the spiral ’round and in, but I’m fixating on a vague notion of art as a neurotic symptom, but only in an ironic, self-aware context intended to comment on futility, or something approximately like that. But we can only wish. It’s not every day that someone hands me a thirteen-minute cover of Rhys Chatham, or I accidentally discover that Phillip Glass does write music for conventional instruments.

    But thirteen minutes of three guitars playing one note in unison, or—well, you just have to hear Glass’ string quartets. These are incredibly offensive to people because, um, er, well … I don’t know why.

    Art as a neurotic symptom. Click. Anyway.

    But that’s the thing. If you open yourself for the audience, entrust them with your most arcane secrets, you risk confusing people, and being accused of hiding behind art.

    What is the audience hiding behind? Or hiding from? What are the inoffensive, vanilla-bean artisans hiding from?

    Out here in the northwest, as I’m sure anyone who has spent time around any Germanic or Scandanavian population in the U.S. can attest, there comes a point where people start apologizing that their furniture is merely Ikea. Suddenly, the bookends from Wal-Mart seem a godsend. Or, perhaps, it is just easier to wonder what’s wrong with people.

    Why does anyone become an artist? I always thought it was because in some way, art had made us laugh, think, talk, and wonder. And it changes our lives.

    Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe having your artistic vision immortalized in Wal-Mart tchotchke is the height of accomplishment.

  9. Art IS neurotic, risky, and antisocial. AFP is my favourite example. She’s got the holy fire and isn’t afraid to use it, exposing the whiners, the do-naughts, and the jealous in the process. From her same post:

    “to get clear, i always have to stop, dig deep within myself and ask: were my intentions good? could i really stand behind them? was anybody really harmed? if i’ve actually harmed someone (and the harm isn’t just a drama in their heads), have i owned my responsibility?”

    “when i quiet myself down and find the answer within myself, that’s the most important one.
    it speaks louder than the voices outside my head and the anonymous voices on the internet.”

    “it is to this voice you must listen, or you’re FUCKED.”

    The brave and bold may be our only present-day defence against the inoffensive, politically correct, family-friendly, puritan soul-rot.

    (footnote: just clicked on a tweet from NG to SKZB and back. Bet my office’s IT dept. is going to have fun if they look up *that* background image in the logfiles!)

  10. Brilliant. Thanks for finding and posting that.

  11. Not having read anything but this (having no idea about whatever it refers to), I have to disagree with her: writing inoffensive pap isn’t hiding behind art: to hide behind something it helps to be in the same timezone.

  12. Yet more proof that Mr. Gaiman is truely favored by the gods, damn his miserable soul to heck!

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