A professor of mine makes his thoughts and opinions clear to us. He made a point to express his view on student compliance and how my generation appears to me much more well-behaved than he likes or is comfortable with. We sit in our chairs and dont interrupt or ever contradict what he has to say. We barely participate at all.
This only re-enforces my mother's belief that we are in (a hopefully brief) period of complaisance. Knowing the behavior of people my age, i cannot pinpoint anyone any more rebellious than myself... and i aint anyone who stirs up anything radical, now am i?
Maybe the problem is that people feel there isnt much to fight for these days. Sure there's gay rights, but it seems many people are either just too homophobic or backwards to fight for the rights of gay people (though most polls show a much greater tolerance towards gays in my generation... take that religious right!). But my intense anger towards anti-gay rights and gay-intolerance will have to be saved for another non-musical post.
Ahem, music, ahem.
Musically, im afraid of an oncoming backwardness, a cynicism towards what a musician can say in a thoroughly contemporary manner, a musical complaisance towards history, if you will. Maybe us classical musicians have learned to respect our predecessors so much that to musically go beyond where they would may feel insulting to those composers we love, who wants to contradict Mozarts edicts or Brahms' pronouncements? But i ask- whats wrong with drums and strong beats? thats all it takes these days to be contemporary, after all. You can keep your consonant harmonies and melodies, you just need to contempify a little. Its painfully easy to be (post)modern.
It occurs to me that in the same way social critics connect minimalists to the rise of post-modernism in the 70s and to the repetitiveness of modern advertisement and media, i could criticize Travener, who i just wrote about, for representing some kind of back-to-the-dark-ages religious/social mentality which we can sense in the evangelicalism of Pat Robertson and more explicitly in the likes of Jerry Falwell (who openly wants public schools to close and an American theocracy), which i could then connect to the rise of fundamentalism in the late 20th century. Likewise, my mother has been concerned that many Americans have simply been choosing to be ignorant (about iraq is what she is specifically referencing), this all mixes together in the mind of the academic to represent some sort of coherent(!) movement towards ignorance, artistic "traditionalism", complaisance and fundamentalist religion.
Oh it works well.
But i just need to make it a little more convincing. Does a period of complaisance sound like a good title to you? too grand? If i wrote this paper, that might be what i call it. But the better question remains... was that in anyway coherant?
BAZ at 100
3 days ago