In two minutes

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short bursts on things I thunk.

Rape me, my friend: Do we really love the ones that titillate?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been reading Mark Yarm’s excellent book Everybody Loves Our Town (A History of Grunge). If you have a passing interest in the music from that time you should grab a copy.

I’m heading into the tailspin Nirvana took in ’93 and ’94. It’s quite sad. A band that could capture everything a generation felt in a riff and a verse but could not deal with each other or the world outside their tour bus.

One thing about the Nirvana MTV Unplugged performance in November ’93 has always bothered be.

The more Kurt bared his tired and tortured soul, the louder the audience cheered.

By the final song, a Leadbelly cover on betrayal and murder the audience of MTV executives and their children are in raptures.

My girl, my girl, don’t lie to me,
Tell me where did you sleep last night.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun don’t ever shine.
I would shiver the whole night through.

My girl, my girl, where will you go?
I’m going where the cold wind blows.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun don’t ever shine.
I would shiver the whole night through

Her husband, was a hard working man,
Just about a mile from here.
His head was found in a driving wheel,
But his body never was found.

My girl, my girl, don’t lie to me,
Tell me where did you sleep last night.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun don’t ever shine.
I would shiver the whole night through.

My girl, my girl, where will you go?
I’m going where the cold wind blows.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun don’t ever shine.
I would shiver the whole night through.

My girl, my girl, don’t lie to me,
Tell me where did you sleep last night.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun don’t ever shine.
I would shiver the whole night through.

My girl, my girl, where will you go?
I’m going where the cold wind blows.

In the pines, …the pines,
……… sun,
……….shine.
I shiver the whole, night through!

Why did they cheer?

Did they also feel Leadbelly’s anger like Kurt?

Did they go home to the needle and a bottle of Jack? (Woah kids, easy.)

I always thought a more appropriate reaction would have been polite applause (i.e. respect). Even silence.

Not the “we just seen somethin” college whoops of an organisation that screwed Nirvana as much as the next place.

(In a prior performance not long after a Kurbain OD they insisted Nirvana play a set list of MTV’s choosing. They shouldn’t have even been playing).

To many people’s minds, the artist is there to hold a mirror to ourselves, to show us what we truly feel.

And of course that’s what got the MTV audience excited.

Kurt put into words and music what they could only feel.

Anger and sadness, betrayal and humiliation, hypocrisy and exploitation.

But do you think they would have had a beer with him? Would they have held his hair back as he vomited backstage?

Probably not. Too hard.

They were there to be entertained (most of them), not too understand or to think on the performance.

I was at ACMI last weekend to see Writer’s Bench.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melbourne became saturated with graffiti after the influence of New York subway art reached us in the early 80s.

Middle class Melbourne reacted with fear and a heavy hand but now street art and graffiti is feted and protected (half-heartedly) by the city.

Hosier Lane is now a tourist drawcard and one stop on an itinerary that might include The Zoo and The Penguin Parade at Phillip Island.

But I can’t imagine many tourists, or Melburnians for that matter taking the time to understand why people bomb trains or walls late at night or even talking to people brave enough to share their art and perspective without regard to convention.

For me, as an observer only, I sense that artists, and those who create culture on the fringe, are often looking for understanding and acceptance of a diversity of views. Perhaps they want to be recognised as tellers of important truths but not leered at or watched on like a curiosity or rebel.

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