Thursday, January 17, 2008

Si Le Cœur Vous En Dit

I have to admit, lately, I've been watching, quite religiously, Lost. Albeit, three or four years after it first came out, but now that you can watch all three episodes online for free, I've been devoting a lot of my free time to catching up. This evening, after coming home from work, I decided it was the perfect time to watch another episode. By god, if it wasn't the best one I've seen so far. After Kate and Sawyer played the "I never" drinking game, I had to pour a drink myself: the only thing I had: vodka on the rocks. As the episode progressed, I started thinking. This show romanticizes so much. For one thing, the thought of surviving a horrific plane crash, then being stranded on an island. These things that I never thought would be inspirational, idealized or even desired. At my age, thoughts of "what will I do with my life?" or "how will I make my mark on the world?" haunt me almost constantly. Yet, watching Lost, it seems like if only I were stranded on an island with few provisions, along with no one I knew, then all those worries would disappear. The only thing that would be left of me would be survival, and that alone is important enough. It seems like once survival is no longer an issue, we become plagued with thoughts of fame, fortune, success, the stock market, fine dining, and immortality through art. If I were stranded on an island, life wouldn't be much easier, but at least I wouldn't have to worry about applying to goddamn grad school.

Halfway through it I understand the theme of this particular episode: to kill a man. Rather, the plight of those who have killed someone who by no means deserves to live, who has harmed your life so much that anyone would agree he must die. This is when I began to question it: do they really mean to romanticize this? Of course, not to say that they mean killing someone is the most heroic thing to do, or that it is right in any way; instead, do they mean to romanticize the plight of a killer without guilt? In the moment of the TV show, it seemed to me that coping with killing someone who deserved to die (as part of, say, a firing squad, or meeting the man who killed your family) was indeed something that deserved to be engraved by the art's chisel. And yet haven't I known sadness, guilt, loneliness and utter forsakenness? Haven't I known these feelings and realized that--though I've read about them in such a way that I have momentarily yearned to feel such emotions, romanticized in exactly the same way--they aren't feelings that should make one envious of those who haven't experienced such hardships, that romanticizing them is almost wrong, a crime even? It struck me that in feeling that to kill a person who deserved to die (never mind the implications of that statement) I was actually justifying this art that was false. I wondered, is it when art makes someone feel that something undesirable is in fact desirable, is that when it becomes kitsch, fake, completely unreal? Is it cheap when a show, a film, a poem makes romance at another's expense?

Now, on to music news. Over the past week word has been circulating the Net that Justice submitted a mix to Fabric and were rejected (mostly for reasons of length). Justice felt that their mix was so good that they sent it out as a Christmas gift to a select few in the industry, and now it's circulating the mp3 blogs. As with most things Justice, reviews seem to be mixed and I'm not totally decided one way or the other myself. However, the first ten minutes of the mix are pretty effing fantastic. Starting off with a tweaked Sparks' "Tryouts For The Human Race" (reviewed by Matt a few months ago) and flowing flawlessly into "La Serenissima" by Rondò Veneziano (see above).

It quickly becomes clear why this mix is marked with controversy. For instance, by about the twelfth minute Justice inserts The Korgis "Everybodys Gotta Learn Sometimes" (that one later covered by Beck) that is sure to leave most scratching their heads--makes it seem more like the mix for a high school dance. Nonetheless, though somewhat patchy the 40-minute mix is rife with classics, including Alan "The Paradise" Braxe's "In Love With You" and an awesome mashup of "TTHHEE PPAARRTTYY" and "Everybody Dance." Well, don't take my word for it; grab your copy from Redthreat:

Justice - Fabric Mix

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