Hitting the Links: Grace Jones, Italian Futurists, and the Radical Politics of Love
For your weekend, I present five intriguing missives from across the digital cosmos:
Here are three songs, from three albums recorded in three consecutive years, all from the Nixon era. Each year, the lyrics get more pointed, more obvious in their contempt. But it’s a contempt mingled with understanding, and grounded in a deep, deep love for the people most affected by political failure.
The price point corroborates that, asking for the worth not of an album but of a piece of software. But even then, it poses challenges. We expect a certain amount of utility for our buck; I own one other app that costs $40, for example, and it is a cloud-based productivity suite, which is about as utilitarian as it gets. You don’t do anything with Reflection, and it doesn’t do anything for you. What sort of software is that?
On May 19, 1978, Jamaican-born model and singer Grace Jones turned 30. On June 7, she released her second studio album, Fame. Five days later, she celebrated with a combination birthday/album release extravaganza at LaFarfelle Disco in New York. The fun and debauchery were captured on film by notorious paparazzo Ron Galella, who was famous in his own way for relentlessly pursuing celebrities and getting his teeth knocked out by Marlon Brando.
Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti founded Futurism when he published his Futurist Manifesto in Parisian newspaper Le Figaro on 20th February 1909. Futurism was a key artistic and social development in 20th Century art history, originating and most active within Italy, but also a movement whose ideas spread to Russia, England and beyond.
This is what is most disturbing about “I feel like”: The phrase cripples our range of expression and flattens the complex role that emotions do play in our reasoning. It turns emotion into a cudgel that smashes the distinction — and even in our relativistic age, there remains a distinction — between evidence out in the world and internal sentiments known only to each of us.