Thursday, December 21, 2006


Please indulge me this one last broadside, I do solemnly promise this to be the absolutely final blog entry regarding The Wire magazine.

Our school head, a patronising maternalistic old dragon, often tried to force us to eat the weekly shepherd's pie, which all of us hated despite her it's-good-for-you exhortations and yet I did really use to love the rice pudding. Especially with a blob of jam. So anyway, as I was tucking into a third bowl of the goo, Martin, a nice kid with good intentions, who regularly used to sit at the table opposite me, would contort his face, and say, 'William, I don't get it, I just don't understand how anyone can eat that muck, it's disgusting, you're crazy!'. He couldn't get his head round it and that was an early moment I realised how people can be such prisoners of their belief systems, anything that doesn't fit into their narrow worldview is incomprehensible to them.

Keith Moliné, please tell me how much your article helped to pay a bill. Tell me how much sex it'll help you get. Tell me how it's improved your journalistic CV. Tell me how it's helped you do a bit of networking. Tell me what success really means to you as you stop and reflect that this is not about us, it's about you. And in the meantime, while you rewrite your 1,000 words on 'Noise and the Failure Imperative', I'll just sit here and enjoy my rice pudding.


Richard Molyneux said...

I have not read the artice but if it is in the new issue I may have to go into the W H Smith at Liverpool Street on the way home. I cannot stand The Wire, they are useless.

Wikipedia has this to say about Keith Moline. Nice one Keith. Unique Keith. The last sentence reads like something from pseuds corner in Private Eye.

'Keith Moliné is currently the guitarist for Pere Ubu. He has also performed with David Thomas and Two Pale Boys, Infidel, and They Came from the Stars I Saw Them. He uses a unique midi-guitar setup that allows him to produce numerous overlapping intstrument voicings within the context of "live" playing.'

zacpistol said...

Its like, I read this blog entry, and like, the rest of your blog, and yet, I still thought the preamble was like, in reference to that sleeper hit HBO show, The Wire. Cos like, on the urban radio stations in Philadelphia like, that's all they talk about and so, yeah, I thought that was what you were talking about, even though like, I saw you say the thing about that magazine, which like yeah. Jeeze.

spartacus mills said...

Leave it William, they're not worth it...

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr Bennett and friends, I dread to think what nasty invective you would have spewed in my direction if I’d actually slagged Whitehouse off. What exactly do you expect anyone writing about art to do? Yes, the Noise article (not a Whitehouse review or feature, remember) was indeed about me, to the extent that it was my attempt to provide an overview of the year’s music-making in a particular genre, based on what I’d heard over the previous 12 months. Being such a broadminded collection of individuals (having freed yourselves from the shackles of your respective belief systems) can you not accept that any work takes on a life of its own for each listener? It just happens to be my name at the top of the article this time. That’s the bit that tells you whose opinions you’ll find on that page.
So forgive me if I actually presented some of my personal thoughts about the Whitehouse project. Excuse me, Mr Bennett, for trying to examine how your art works and positing a few theories as to what it might mean and what its place might be in the wider world. I would have thought you’d have appreciated my attempt to write about your work without the usual recourse to sensationalism and biographical conjecture, but your reaction to my piece seems to suggest that Whitehouse is indeed as solipsistic and self-indulgent a project as many of your detractors claim. Why else would you make the automatic assumption that the “failure” I describe in the piece is your own?
You’re right, for the piece in question I was completely uninterested in what you (or the many other artists mentioned) feel about your work and how it functions. I was surveying what I perceived to be some common trends in the work of the artists I mentioned, not their personal drives and intentions. You, on the other hand, seem strangely and somewhat alarmingly obsessed with The Man Behind The Words.
You’re final rant is frankly incomprehensible, so I’ll just answer the questions one by one. 1) The article didn’t pay me enough to help clear any bills. 2) I doubt I could relate any future increase in the amount of sex I’m getting to the publication of the article. 3) I don’t have a journalistic CV. 4) I don’t know anyone to network with. 5) Put it this way: I don’t believe that success in my field has anything to do with being paid more than pocket money to do it, or sleeping with people who are impressed by those that do it, or having a career plan in it, or hobnobbing with other people who do it. (You’ll note that I’m not automatically assuming that this last question is a snide personal attack on my lack of success as you see it. I’m sure that you would never be so, shall we say, narrowminded as to base any notion of success purely on fame and wealth.)

Odile Lee said...

" a broadminded collection of individuals (having freed yourselves from the shackles of your respective belief systems).."

If it were only so!
It is a ongoing process.

I also wonder, art is PART and parcel of WHAT a artist is- and hopefully, this allows one to transcend the wider world.

Don't you know this?

What it means to the world , is what has poisoned art. Given us cheap, pop trying for meaning that exists about as long as it takes to "get" it and has about as much nourishment, as junk food.

Its just as Bacon said, There are too many words spoken on what art "means."