« The degree of intensity of the image matches the degree of its denial of the real, its invention of another scene. To make an image of an object is to strip the object of all its dimensions one by one: weight, relief, smell, depth, time, continuity and, of course, meaning. This disembodiment is the price to be paid for that power of fascination which the image acquires, the price for its becoming a medium of pure objectality, becoming transparent to a subtler form of seduction. »
I’d also like to point out that large financial centers in certain cities around the planet are certainly going to kill millions of us by destroying our social safety networks in the name of their imaginary financial efficiency. You’re a thousand times more likely to die because of what some urban banker did in 2008 than from what some Afghan-based terrorist did in 2001. *Financiers live in small, panicky urban cloisters, severely detached from the rest of mankind. They are living today in rich-guy ghetto cults. They are truly dangerous to our well-being, and they are getting worse and more extremist, not better and more reasonable. You’re not gonna realize this havoc till you see your elderly Mom coughing in an emergency ward, but she’s going there for a reason.
– Bruce Sterling in an interview on BoingBoing on Cities
« Maybe you are a poet and a dreamer, but don’t you realize that those two species are extinct now? »
— J.G. Ballard
In her article “Art Versus Commerce: Deconstructing a (Useful) Romantic Illusion,” Deena Weinstein suggests that drug use and suicide are common discursive tools for constructing the romantic myth of the artist:
« Critics celebrate romantic rock deaths because they affirm the myth of the artist. A drug overdose, a shotgun suicide, or gangland gangsta slaying; these deaths show, rhetorically, that the romantic artist was authentic, not merely assuming a (Christlike) pose.
The right kind of death is the most powerful authenticity effect, the indefeasible outward sign of inward grace. “The artist must be sacrified to their art; like the bees they must but their lives into sting they give”, Ralph Waldon Emerson wrote. . . .Death isn’t the only authenticity effect embraced by rock writers. They also champion heroin-addicted musicians and rockers who are off their rockers. . . . Addicts and insane are automatically authentic because their grip on rationality is too weak to allow them to “sell-out.” »
Musically, the basics of “Waltz #2” do not seem to have changed much over the song’s numerous lyrical revisions. In an interview with Guitar Player, Smith described his affinity for the type of chord change that gives life to “Waltz #2”:
« I’m kind of a sucker for passing chords, such as when you play a progression like G, D with an F# in the bass, and F. There’s a half-step, descending melody in those types of sequences that I love. The Beatles did that a lot. And that’s what I really like about traditional music. There are ways in which the chords connect to each-other–where certain notes only move a little bit while the main notes move a lot. Anything that has an ascending or descending half-step thing in it always rope me in. »
«Vous dirais-je le fond de ma pensée ? Tout mot est un mot de trop.»
«Qui prétend à un minimum de tenue, loin de craindre la stérilité, doit s’y appliquer au contraire, saboter les mots au nom du mot, pactiser avec le silence, ne s’en départir que pour mieux y retomber.»
«En arriver à ne plus apprécier que le silence, c’est réaliser l’expression essentielle du fait de vivre en marge de la vie. Chez les grands solitaires et les fondateurs de religions, l’éloge du silence a des racines plus profondes qu’on ne l’imagine. Il faut pour cela que la présence des hommes vous ait exaspéré, que la complexité des problèmes vous ait dégoûté au point que vous ne vous intéressiez plus qu’au silence et à ses cris.
La lassitude porte à un amour illimité du silence, car elle prive les mots de leur signification pour en faire des sonorités vides; les concepts se diluent, la puissance des expressions s’atténue, toute parole dite ou entendue repousse, stérile. Tout ce qui part vers l’extérieur, ou qui en vient, reste un murmure monocorde et lointain, incapable d’éveiller l’intérêt ou la curiosité. Il vous semble alors inutile de donner votre avis, de prendre position ou d’impressionner quiconque…»