Looking at Justin Timberlake’s on the old cover of the February 2003 issue of Vibe (it’s in the office, no idea why). Okay, fine. They had Eminem (and got Zadie “I Was A Promising Novelist For A Few Minutes There” Smith to write his puff-profile), then they got Justin, the white(r) Michael Jackson. But why is he wearing an MC5 t-shirt?

Justin Timberlak Vibe Magazine The hijacking of once-rebellious iconography is no surprise, and yet it’s still bothersome. For folks who take rock music “seriously,” as I do in my weaker moments, this is a vestigial response that can’t quite be excised, like the itching of a phantom limb. It’s just one more way in which pop culture can buck you off the horse, one more way you can be kept from coming to grips with its omnipresence, its omnivorousness, and its repeated, wilful murder of context.

And I don’t mean murder of context in a good way, like sampling; I mean it in a brain-deadening, punishing way, melting everything down into a sea of meaningless signifiers no longer attached to anything, totally unmoored and drifting and glancing off each other without ever leaving a mark.

Music I listened to today:

Morton Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet, performed by the Kronos Quartet with Aki Takahashi on piano

Art Ensemble of Chicago, Americans Swinging in Paris (a compilation of the albums Les Stances A Sophie and People In Sorrow)

Yes, Close To the Edge