Thursday, April 05, 2012

Third Letter on Harmony (unsent)

Sorry I’ve not written for so long, I’ve been pretty busy, and on top of that things have been getting rough again. I’m gonna have to go on the dole soon, and I’m really not looking forward to it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel any guilt about it, not at all. The pittance they give us is an insult anyway. Its not even the workfare programmes, its just that the Job Centre, the whole process, is a nightmare. Years ago they used to play music in those offices, I don’t think they do anymore. It was always the same old predictable crap, yet played just below the standard audibility range. Yeh, I guess that's one way of thinking about the unshielded harmonic condition common to everyone with less than five pounds in their pocket. The weird gnosticism we live inside these days. The social truths that only those who live far below the hunger line have access to. Them, and of course the very rich. As if the rich were some kind of jagged knife, out on the social perimeter, and we, the very poor, were being scraped against that knife, over and over. All of you people in the middle - no matter how much you do care - are really just sleepwalking. Its why I get so incensed when you chastise me for the violence in my work. I mean, what do you dream about? My dreams are identical with those of several Tory MPs. Except, of course, I have them when I’m awake. But anyway, whatever, I don’t mean to go on about my problems: I’m supposed to be writing to you about music, so lets just think about those songs they used to play in the Job Centre. All of the latest chart hits, converted into a high, circular whine, and in the centre of that whine an all too audible vocabulary. Money. Sanctions. Etc. That whine, that disaudibility, is fascinating. Its supposed to be. To be honest, I’m surprised its not been taken up by The Wire. I’m surprised there aren’t CDs, gigs in the Cafe Oto. I mean, its a very interesting listening experience. You move in slow motion. You feel like you’ve just been injected with 300 mg of burning dog. Grammar and syntax can no longer be controlled. Speech, which usually would be your means of entry to actual lived time, is compressed and stretched into a network of circles and coils, at its perimeter a system of scraped, negative music, and at its centre a wall. And then you wake up after a night of terrible dreams to find you are that wall. See you soon, I hope. Isn’t it about time you had me round for dinner.

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