Books
Dubravka Ugrešić

Karaoke Culture

    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    I raise my voice against cosmetic plastic surgery that produces karaoke people; against political plastic surgery that produces mentally identical individuals; against religion, because it produces sectarian lackeys; against karaoke politicians; against karaoke states and state systems; against karaoke ideologies and ideas; against the global karaoke spectacle and the millions of us who are birds of a feather and karaoke devotees. Totalitarianism is dead, long live totalitarianizing freedom! And that’s why, earthlings, complainers of the world—unite! Let’s clear our throats, raise our red fists, and sing without risk. Because even our protest is nothing other than karaoke
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    AA is a child of his time, his gestures—irrespective of his occasional self-adulatory revolutionary rhetoric—are neither great, nor powerful, nor subversive, nor mind-blowing. Deep down, AA is just a small-time hacker. He’s not even driven by a powerful and passionate Salieri-like envy. He hardly knows who Mozart and Salieri are—questions of copies and originals are lost on him. He is a sophisticated barbarian, the sophisticated part his mobile phone, the barbaric his message, which he films live and sends to other users
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    AA has occupied YouTube and hundreds of similar sites, which were all invented for him in the first place. Don’t even dream they were for you. He is an anonymous creator, editor, contributor, and end-user of his own encyclopedia, Wikipedia. And hey, amazing, he’s now the most consulted global source of general information. Protected by the mask of anonymity, AA establishes his hierarchy of values. He decides whether his Mom is worth a Wikipedia entry, how much space Paris Hilton deserves, and how much Nikola Tesla. AA has his own literature, determines canons, and then does whatever he likes with them. And nobody can hold him to account, because he is nameless. He has his own culture in which others just like him, the nameless, actively participate. He has set up his virtual institutions, developed his forms of education, his information, and his leisure activities. AA doesn’t need existing institutions—he will invoke, destroy, and reference them; AA has created his own parallel world in which everything belongs to him. AA is in the majority. That’s his strength. He controls the most powerful toy in the world, the Internet, that’s where his strength lies. He is fluid, changeable, ephemeral. He is a morph, he is infantile, he is elusive, he is mobile, he “rides” and “surfs,” he moves around, he appears and disappears. He doesn’t have a declared program to contest or dispute. Actually, he doesn’t have a program at all, but this doesn’t stop him from making his fanatical and penetrating voice heard—that’s where his strength lies. You are in his power. You have a first name and last name, you’re an author, you stand behind your work; you are responsible for what you’ve written. He’s not interested in responsibility (To whom? To what? I mean, do the superstars of the contemporary art world show any responsibility?!), nor is he interested in authorship. He
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    The Internet and the new communicative ecstasy have given birth to the collective author, his work “collaborative fiction.” With audacious ambition, and trying to piggyback on the success of Wikipedia, in 2007 Penguin Books initiated the wiki-novel project A Million Penguins. The project quickly tanked because the collective authorship couldn’t agree on a thing.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    the critical unanimity points to the very opposite: that the “literary novel” is returning to its roots, back to the place from where “popular literature” never budged.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    The most entertaining part of the fanfic phenomenon is the new coinages, which supports the theory that fans are more interested in communication and interaction with other fans than the actual subject matter. Fanon is a story or situation that deviates from the canon. Fluff is prose to warm the heart, while Kleenex warning is an early signal that things are soon going to get sad. Gen (general fiction) denotes the absence of sexual content, although this doesn’t exclude the protagonists getting together or pairing. A hot bunny is a story idea, and a round robin a story with which the author seeks help from other fans. WAFF stands for warm and fluffing feelings (a feel-good story), Het denotes a heterosexual relationship, and AU (alternative universe) stories modify a particular aspect of the canon. Denial fic is a good example of AU. Ficers intervene in the canon to either prevent a tragedy, or simply “put things right” afterwards.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    As a modern phenomenon, fan fiction is attributed to Star Trek fanzines, one of which—Spockanalia—is thought to contain the first examples of fan fiction.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    The only thing that reminds us that literature was once a complex system with in-built institutions—of appraisal, classification, and hierarchy, a system that incorporated literary history, literary theory, literary criticism, schools of literary thought, literary genres, genders, and epochs—are the blurbs that try and place works of contemporary literature alongside the
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    With the affirmation of “workers, peasants and the honest intelligentsia,” a place within these dynamics was also found for amateur literature. The world of “outsiders”—amateur poets, bearers of oral traditions, gusle players, “living newspapers” (reciters of political events in traditional decasyllables), cranks, literati, epitaphists, the lot—was given wings. It was, however, largely thanks to established writers and filmmakers such as Želimir Žilnik, Dušan Makavejev, and Slobodan ijan that this “underground” amateur literary activity was given its due
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    There are the legions of “academics,” covered in historical dust, who every now and then let out an epileptic kick in the hope of reinstating the canon.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    The carnivalization of imposed values and of authority has always been a driving force behind popular culture. Valentina, “the people’s princess,” inadvertently carnivalized a body of authority (a Bulgarian television jury), inadvertently knocked a “queen” (Mariah Carey, the queen of pop) from her pedestal, and then made one final gaff: like a modern Eliza Doolittle, she knocked the English language off its pedestal.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    Avatars
    We live in a time in which fantasies of the surrogate are no longer reserved only for the famous. Today the Internet disseminates, enriches, and popularizes fantasies of the surrogate. The surrogate is no longer our replica, but a second, third, fourth, and fifth self, one we design and redesign, model and remodel, one we control or make disappear with the touch of a fingertip.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    so, in the end, why are gifts sent by the anonymous masses karaoke? They are karaoke because the whole point of the gift is symbolic rapprochement with one’s idol. Like the legion of Elvis impersonators who both idolize and carnivalize their “King,” the anonymous singer sidles up to Elvis by doing a karaoke version of “Only You,” but inadvertently soils his aura in the process.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    in all, alongside the cult of “technological progress,” culture itself was a “cult” ideological tenet under socialism. Education and self-education were the obligations of every progressive socialist individual, and love of the fine arts went hand in hand with humanism and the development of the well-rounded socialist personality, all of which found expression in “artistic” amateurism.[2]
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    the Moscow of the mid-eighties, they thought of me as a “Westerner.” An elegant coat and soft leather boots rising up above the knee from Trieste, Shetland wool sweaters and a cashmere one from London, a good quality Yugoslav overcoat (in Russian a dublyonka), a passport and hard currency (which got me into “Beryozka,” where I bought a fox-skin cap for myself, and Stolichnaya vodka and copies of The Master and Margarita for friends); all of these passed as irrefutable evidence of my “Westernness.”
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    Here, the typical emotional state, radically superseding the hyper-consciousness of irony, is the trance—the state of being swallowed up by your activity. In place of the neurosis of modernism and the narcissism of postmodernism, pseudo-modernism takes the world away, by creating a new weightless nowhere of silent autism.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    On the Internet “amateur monkeys” create “an endless digital forest of mediocracy.” The forest is growing rampantly, and Keen predicts that by 2010 there will be five hundred million blogs “collectively corrupting and confusing popular opinion about everything from politics, to commerce, to arts and culture.” Keen assails the notorious fact that Wikipedia is the work of amateurs, of anonymous contributors, the end result being that “it’s the blind leading the blind—infinite monkeys
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    This theft of the star’s aura, or inadvertent subversion of a hierarchy of values, remains in the sphere of the innocent, empowering, and transformative.
    Laura Littlehas quoted2 years ago
    The karaoke machine was invented in the early seventies by the Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue—who forgot to patent his invention, and so others cashed in. A few years ago Inoue apparently won the alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Ig Nobel), awarded by The Annals of Improbable Research. They praised him for “providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other.”
fb2epub
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)