February 28th, 2005

Semiformalishmaybe

The James Bond Edition of Hava Nagilah

The tilt has cleared from the board, and the high score list has also returnedto zero. The paddles move, an unencumbered movement. Another shot at love,perhaps. In the background, the soft punk listening channel continues to play.

I've been thinking more about music -- previously I positioned in my mindthat punk and goth are really the same kind of music, punk being mostly moreenergetic, rough, and edgy. Someone claimed to me that they don't like punkbecause it's not very melodic, and while I think there is melodic punk,they said that it didn't have that certain je ne sais quois. The latter israther subjective, but it did get me thinking about things. Punk music isactually rather versatile -- while traditionally it is "rocking" with guitarand lots of energy, I've also heard some soft, gentle punk that was stillrecognizable as such. Was it just because it was from punk bands and gotmentally grandfathered in because of that tie, perhaps also because it hadvariants of their classic sound? I don't think so -- I'm not sure whatit is that makes me think of it as punk -- it's something about the sound.Of course, this might be a case of soft categories -- perhaps there's nosingle thing that can make music punk, just as no single issue can make oneliberal or conservative. Are there hard criteria, or are the borders like acloud? If I find hard criteria, would I just be fooling myself? Is there evenany reality to this struggle? Maybe different people might define their worldin terms of essentialist or emergentist ideas, and so long as their perspectivesshare certain useful functional characteristics, there's no reason one isbetter than the other. On the other hand, perhaps it's arguable that thosecharacteristics are generally or universally better served by one or theother perspectives, or by some meta-ordering of when to use each. As for now,I'm getting a bit too meta.

POUND is progressing nicely. It would progress more nicely if I didn'tkeep finding distractions.